Thanks to Nimbus Publishing for sponsoring this post so that I can help you raise little readers who love local books. As always, all opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosures for more information.
First timer and not sure what a virtual book club is? Check out this post first for tips on how to host a book club (for just you and your kids or for a whole group) to instil a love of reading in little kids.
Our selection for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club this month is for our littlest readers. Let's Read! is a board book that will grow with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. It has bright colours, photos of real babies, lots of smiles and a wonderful, singsong, rhyming text that you will love to read again and again and will be as familiar as a favourite song to you and your baby in no time.
The book begins with an infant and shows how the baby is listening, then as the pages go, the babies grow and we learn about each stage of reading for each age "I am reaching," "I am curious," "I am ready to read!"
While my kids are a little old for this one, my sweet niece, R, is not. She just celebrated her first birthday and loves reading books with her favourite people. She happily obliged as my tester and model for this book club with a story basket, a song, and a reading tool kit.
READING TOOL KIT
Most of us have seen the research showing how beneficial it is to read to babies but, I get it, reading to a baby can feel a little, well, one-sided. First of all, trust that there's value there and keep doing it. Build it into your routine so that it's a natural part of your day at least once, bedtime is when most people do this so that books are connected to a comfortable, safe space.
Put together an interactive reading tool kit so you always have ways to keep reading fun and engaging for both of you, whether they're an infant laying in your arms while you read, or a busy toddler who wants to hear the exact same book one hundred times a day.
Incorporate a reading buddy - puppets are fantastic for this, but stuffed animals work just as well. Have them read the book and it will entertain both of you.
Use different pitches of your voice, silly accents, or sing the story in your own tune.
Make a book interactive by adding post-it notes to the pages and having your toddler "lift the flap" to see what's underneath.
Ask questions "Can you see the red dot? Here it is!" "What sound does a cow make?" That's right, moo." Even if it's an infant, you can talk about what's on the page, ask a question about it, and answer it for yourself. Baby will appreciate the varying cadence as you talk and, as they get older, they will be able to participate in answering the questions.
Use an empty bathroom tissue roll covered with construction paper as an "I Spy" game. Ask where something is (i.e. Where's baby's ear? Can you find baby's nose?") and have them peek through the roll to find it.
Clap along to the rhymes in the book and show baby how to clap and/or give baby something like maracas to shake along with the beat.
Use a magnifying glass to show baby different ways to look at the images and words.
As they start to talk you can read a familiar book and occasionally pause, and wait for them to fill in the missing word.
SONG: READ MY BOOK
This simple song is a great way to incorporate reading, movement and music. While singing it, make the book dance around, bounce baby on your lap, or clap your hands together.
Sung to the tune of Row Your Boat:
Read, read, read my book
Reading is such fun!
Look at it, point at it, play with it, reach for it,
Books for everyone.
After reading the books a few times, create a Let's Read! story basket filled with baby-safe props. Find or make an item to represent the rhyme on each page and fill a basket with the items.
Present the basket to baby and allow him or her to play for a bit with the items first (otherwise they'll not be able to focus on reading!). Then read the story and pull out each item as you go. This is a great way for older siblings (and cousins in our case!) to get involved in reading to little ones. You can read the book and the "big kids" can be in charge of the props.
Some examples for props to use for Let's Read! include a stuffed star to represent the phrase "day and night" on the first page and a puppet cow for the page with "Tell me what a cow says / Does a cow say moooooo?"
Some soft patterned blocks and wooden red blocks for the page with "polka dots and big red blocks" and a toy dollhouse crib for the bedtime page
For the last page one of the phrases is "I'm learning all about the world," and so we rolled around a ball that looked like a globe.
The story basket connects the abstract to something concrete and adds an additional interactive element to the book for baby to enjoy.
Thanks for joining us! If you haven't read our other books yet, be sure to check out The Snow Knows, Abigail's Wish, and A Harbour Seal in Halifax. Our next book will be announced in a few weeks on Facebook!
Three are THREE WAYS to enter to win. Each method gets you an entry into the contest so the more ways you enter, the better your chances!
1. Leave a COMMENT ON THE BLOG POST below (be sure to enter your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner!)and tell me your favourite place to read to kids. Is there a comfy chair you like? A reading nook? Sprawled on the floor?
2. LIKE this Facebook status.
3. COMMENT on the same status telling me who you would give this book to if you won (a friend, a family member or a child in your life). Feel free to share and/or tag a friend who might like to enter to win as well!
Contest closes at 8:00p.m. AST on Sunday, April 23, 2017.
*Contest restricted to residents over the age of majority in North America.