Children & Reading 101

posted Jun 22, 2014, 12:13 AM by Amie Ridley   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 1:20 PM ]

Hello!  Welcome to the Reading Corner.

I was inspired to start this page/blog type section when my 4 year old daughter decided she wanted to learn to read.  I was very excited as I am an avid reader, so started to research how to go about teaching her how to read… And this is where the trouble started for me, because like everything else these days, reading tuition is a Hotly Debated Topic (yes, I am an A. A. Milne fan from way back).  

So I decided to do what I usually do when overwhelmed by many other peoples passionate opinions, and ask someone I trust and respect for their advice.  Off I traipsed to the local library to ask one of our beloved librarians, who recommended I read two books: Reading Magic by Mem Fox and The Reading Bug… and how to help your child catch it by Paul Jennings.

These books were pretty easy reads and incredibly encouraging, as we were pretty much doing what was recommended anyway.  So I chillaxed and went back to just enjoying the reading with Miss 4.  And pretty soon was suprised and delighted to find that she was beginning to go through the pre-reading processes described in these books quite naturally.

So why now the Reading Corner?  Well it’s partly selfish - to be able to keep an accessible list of favourite authors and books in a handy place.  There are many such lists and even books of reading lists available, this one just happens to be from our families personal tastes.  And on that note I figure it’s a handy place to refer friends or family to for books that we have enjoyed.  One of the side effects of small children is a terrible memory for details (although I was never that great with the details anyway) so I am often forgetting an author’s surname or some detail from a title.  

So what about Reading Magic and The Reading Bug… Well I would highly recommend you read at least one of them.  Reading Magic would suit more if your family is younger, or even better read it before having kids so you can get reading to them from Day Dot.  And The Reading Bug.. is an excellent and encouraging read for anyone with primary age children, especially if they are struggling with reading at school.  Mem Fox and Paul Jennings really know their stuff and have worked in literacy for years with a real passion for helping kids to grow up not only literate, but really enjoying reading. And if I ever get overwhelmed by others forceful opinions on reading again, I shall return to them to encourage me to just keep on with what I am doing, and that it will be OK.

I shall finish now, as I am being asked to read a book…

Other Resources:

Both Mem Fox and Paul Jennings have websites that feature transcripts of their talks, recommendations for reading and other excellent such things:

There are also several reading list books available.  Bear in mind that these lists, just like this page, are someone else's opinion, based upon their experiences and family so you don’t have to enjoy all the books on a list.  They can be a great place though to find new ideas, and if you are requesting books through your library then it is no loss if you find that a book listed is just not enjoyed by your family.  

The Read-Aloud Handbook - Jim Trelease

1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up - Julia Eccleshare (general editor)

Babies need Books - Dorothy Butler

There are many other books available, and a search under “children books” on your libraries web page will yield many results.  At least it did for me, and I am reading some more so can update this list in future as well.