One Book, Every Young Child 2017

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It is time to celebrate all the young children in your life!

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has established one week every April to recognize and highlight the importance of early learning since 1971.  The Week of the Young Child celebrates children, their families and teachers by providing an array of activities to engage in.

In Pennsylvania, we celebrate young children all month long by highlighting and engaging in early literacy and focusing on one stand out picture book. Established in 2006, One Book, Every Young Child is a collaborative effort of various organizations throughout the state that advocates and promotes the importance of early literacy skills for young children age three to six.  This year’s One Book, Every Young Child selection is Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer.

In Daniel Finds a Poem, a young boy is eager to discover what poetry is after seeing a sign on the park gate that reads, “Poetry in the park Sunday at 6 o’clock”.  As he sets off in the park in search of what poetry is, he encounters different animals to ask.  To a spider, squirrel, chipmunk, frog, turtle, cricket and an owl, poetry is something different.  With all the responses, Daniel creates a lovely poem about the wonders of nature such as the morning dew glistening on a spider web or crisp leaves crunching.

Reading and explaining poetry to a young child might seem like a daunting task. Stop by your neighborhood Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location and view the selection of poetry books.  Ask the children’s librarian for recommendations to help narrow down the choices. By reading poetry, you are introducing your child to a completely new format of reading material, as well as vocabulary not used in everyday conversation.

Aside from poetry, other themes pop up throughout the book, leading to a plethora of activities to experience and enjoy. Nature, animals, habitats, seasons and days of the week are just a few other topics explored in the book.  Young readers will be delighted at all the sensory elements found throughout; bright colors, animal sounds, vivid descriptions of nature and much more. The illustrations are eye-catching and complex.  The collage-styled pictures create layers of color to highlight the park’s environment within a city neighborhood.   Daniel Finds a Poem is sure to engage young readers while awakening imaginations and furthering one’s love for reading.

Art from the book, "Daniel Finds a Poem".

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be hosting a variety of storytimes to celebrate One Book, Every Young Child that will be sure to provide a literacy-rich experience for your child!

After listening to Daniel Finds a Poem at your local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, check out a copy of the book to take home and read repeatedly to the delight of your child!  Together, write your own poem! It can be as simple as describing a favorite color by naming objects of that color. For example, a child might say yellow looks bright, happy and sunny, and it is lemons, the sun and a bumble bee. Write down everything they say to compose a poem and encourage them to draw accompanying pictures to illustrate their poem.

Venture outdoors to visit a park and do not be afraid to get dirty! Search for all the animal habitats that are described in the book, such as a spider’s web, a pond where the turtle and frog reside, or a chipmunk’s home in an old stone wall. Collect bits of nature like leaves and rocks to examine further at home. Do not forget to stop and listen to all the sounds that are composing the outside noise in your neighborhood.

If your child loves art, then bust out the tissue paper and glue to create a collage and mimic the style of illustrations in Daniel Finds a Poem.  Guide your child in using scissors, and exercise those small finger muscles by cutting tissue paper into various shapes and sizes. Glue layers of tissue paper all over a piece of thick paper to create a collage masterpiece.

There are so many possibilities for adventure and discovery when learning about something new with your child. So get ready to celebrate your young child all month long while exploring Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer, at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh!

To learn about more accompanying activities to try with your child, visit Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child.

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Anna is part of the Early Learning BLAST Outreach team. She enjoys rooting for her home team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, venturing outdoors to hike or run, and chasing after her big, fluffy dog Otis.

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