Happy spring everyone! It’s that time of year once again to celebrate all the young children in your life!
For the past 14 years, Pennsylvania has celebrated the importance of early literacy development in young children through its One Book initiative. The One Book program encourages families to bond through books and reading while engaging children in conversation and other activities around books. It also highlights the importance of reading early and often to young children.
Since 2006, a book has been selected annually by a committee of early childhood educators, librarians and museum educators. This year, two books have been chosen, which has allowed the program to include the youngest children. This year’s books are Barnyard Banter (ages 0-3) by Denise Fleming and Not a Box (ages 3-5) by Antoinette Portis.
Barnyard Banter takes us on a noisy visit to the farm The rhyming text introduces children not only to some of the sounds animals make put also shows them where animals can be found on the farm, e.g., “Cows in the pasture, moo, moo, moo.” The limited text is full of rich vocabulary. Hearing and making animal sounds helps young children hear the different kinds of sounds that make up words, which is an essential skill for future reading. After reading the books, try acting it out with some stuffed animals or farm toys.
When is a box not a box? When it is a mountain, rocket ship or race car! Antoinette Portis’ Not a Box celebrates the power of a child’s imagination. Throughout the book, a small rabbit shows us the endless possibilities of a simple box. Young children learn about the world by talking with adults and this book is a wonderful conversation starter. After reading Not a Box, try asking questions like, “What would you make your box into?” and “What special thing could your box do?” Give your child some boxes and see what they come up with.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be celebrating PA One Book throughout April with a month of storytimes. Families will talk, play, read, write and sing with friends. So visit a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh near you and let your imagination soar!