Books & Reading

Discuss and share your favorite children's books, adult reads, reading tips, parenting blogs, and more.

Favorite parenting and/or child development books?

Looking for a somewhat easy read since my brain is usually a little fried at night. Something starting from 1 year and on preferred but if it has a little bit of the first year too then it’s ok. Thanks!!

Book recs for toddler transitions - moving, big bed, new sibling

We have a lot of changes coming up for my 3 yo daughter - first a move to another house in SF, then a transition to a big bed (from crib) and then a baby brother coming in early Aug. She responds well to situational books so I'm looking for recommendations that deal with these different topics? She has enjoyed books like Maisy Goes to Preschool and When I Miss You. Other suggestions to ... More

  • Jennifer
    May 21

    A really fun book we read with our son was King Baby by Kate Beaton. We also had several other big sibling books (berenstein bears, little critter, Katy Duck), but our son wouldn’t have anything to do with them (2 year olds... ha!). We didn’t prepare him much for his big bed besides talking about it (the “one of these days you are going to have a bed like mommy and daddy etc.). He was beyond ... More

Any book recommendations to deal with a budding toddler personality?

  • Katrina
    May 17

    It's Okay Not To Share and other renegade rules for raising competent and compassionate kids by Heather Shumaker. Life-changing look into how toddlers function and how to work with them.

  • Erin
    May 17

    How to Raise a Wild Child :)

My son is 3 years old and reading is one of his favorite activities.

How do I get him to pay more attention to the words? He seems to have most books memorized... I prompt him if necessary. Sometimes he tells me the whole story, other times I read the whole story.

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    The fact that reading is one of his favorite activities is fantastic! It is also wonderful that he has memorized stories. I suggest shaking things up a bit. Start with a new book with the promise to follow it with an old favorite. It can help if you point to the words as you’re reading. This might keep his attention focused on the words on the page. You can let him use his finger when he retell... More

ESL Books

My kids are learning English as a second language and it’s tough! Any suggestions on helping them with their vocabulary and getting better at comprehension? Their grades are not good.

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    It is a challenge to learn a second language and to have your schooling depend on the acquisition. The more English your children hear and speak the better. Young minds are incredibly adept at picking up languages –much better at it than adults – but they need exposure. Reading to them or using an audio book while looking at the actual book can help. It’s rare I suggest watching TV with childr... More

Best book or series for a first grader?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am not sure if you mean for a child to read or books to read to a child, so I’ll answer both ways. First – what first graders might read for themselves. Of course, first graders vary a good deal in their skill levels, and it is important to make sure you choose books your child can read with ease. I do like the old favorites, though, like “Frog and Toad,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” (... More

  • Laura
    May 24

    thank you!

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

My 9 year old is struggling with reading. I was wondering what I can do to help her?

ADHD and dyslexia = frustrated mother and child :(

  • Anonymous
    May 15

    Thanks. I will try this. Ask her IEP team to give me more things to work on

  • Mariah
    May 22

    Maybe look at understood.org a coworker of mine suggested to me for my toddler but hes a bit young compared to the focus on the sight but it could be helpful for you

Is there any benefit to reading above a child's comprehension level?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am not sure if you mean reading books to a child that are above his or her comprehension level or if you mean a child who can say the words but doesn’t understand what he or she is reading – so I’ll answer both questions. When reading aloud to a child, it’s fine to read books and stories where there is a little stretch for the child. The story might include unknown vocabulary or twists in th... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

Keeping a gifted reader challenged

My kindergartener was an early reader and now reads independently at a grade 2/3 level. He’s way beyond what they are doing in his class and I want to make sure he doesn’t get bored with reading! Is this something I should work with his teacher on or just try to make sure he has plenty of books at home to challenge him?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    What a great problem to be facing! But I don’t underestimate the issues of helping early and gifted learners. There are lots of issues that arise, and will arise, as your son progresses in school. Absolutely make sure he has plenty of great reading material at home, along with taking regular trips to the library and bookstores together. I would also talk to his teacher. No doubt there will be ... More

  • DaveP
    May 25

    The library is your best friend for a gifted reader. Plus a fun place to visit. We gave our son his own library card and he chooses books online to be available to pickup. We do supervise selections but he can go through series like the box car children then hardy boys. Look online for websites that suggest good reading material but it helps if you can read with him too at times as even the bes... More

Hello Everyone!

When Winnie asked if I would answer questions from parents about how children learn to read, I was delighted to say, “Yes!” As well as designing the curriculum behind HOMER’s learn-to-read program, I have been teaching children to read for more years than I like to admit, but I never lose the excitement and joy that comes from helping youngsters make reading breakthroughs. I love sharing helpf... More

What are some tips to turn good readers into avid readers?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am a strong believer in reading aloud to children even after they become good readers. My first teaching job, I read aloud to my third graders every day. I noticed how many of my students, especially those who never read for fun, began reading independently and requesting to take books home that I’d read to the class. At some point, many children lose interest in having their parents read t... More

  • Esteban
    May 18

    Wonderful advise thanks so much. Love the idea of commenting on what we read as adults

What’s your baby’s favorite bedtime story?

My baby loves books & storytelling time. His favorite is during bedtime wherein I get to read him “Goodnight Moon” for like the Nth time. Any suggestions on a good book to read for babies especially for bedtime.

  • Kristin
    May 13

    Thank you for all the suggestions! These were the ones we were able to get over the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to find more on our neighborhood library too!

  • Rachel
    May 18

    2 of my daughter’s favorite bedtime books are: I love you stinky face by Lisa McCourt Don’t let the Pigeon stay up Late by Mo Willemstad

How can I start teaching my three year old letter sounds and moving that into reading?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    Being the curriculum designer of HOMER, I have to say that our program for three-year olds is excellent. We cover sound-letter correspondence as well as addressing the auditory and visual tasks that are foundational to a child’s success in reading –and all in a playful format. That said, there are a number of non-digital ways to make learning letter sounds fun for children. I suggest making a... More

App to get free ebooks & audiobooks using your library card

Life changing app alert! This has been around for a while in the form of Overdrive, which was a really big PITA to set up and use, but they just launched a new app called Libby which looks way easier to deal with. It really does work though. You put in your library card number and then you can check out ebooks and audiobooks just like regular library books. Definitely worth downloading if you ... More

  • Ashley
    May 14

    Love this! Thanks for sharing it

How did you all prep your kids for school?

My daughter likes to play school sometimes and I was thinking of doing little drills to practice for school—like the morning routine and walking to school etc. Thoughts? Also any book recommendations? She loves stories to prepare her for transitions. TIA

  • Liza M.
    May 11

    You can make a social story for when the actual day gets close. Just use power point. It's pretty much a "first, then" story. For example: first, I wake up, then I get dressed, then I have breakfast, then I brush our teeth. Then I get our backpack. Then I walk to school/take the bus. Etc... You can add clip art or even work on it together, taking pictures as you practice the rout... More

  • Ebonie
    May 11

    My son does not do change well everything has to go very close to expected. So when I was to put him in school the end of the year before I took him there and we took pictures. I mean a lot of freaking pictures of everything. We then went home and started putting the pictures up. So he was able to see things that would be everyday for him soon enough. Worked like a charm he loved school since t... More

My family is bilingual. Any skills/tips for Spanish & English reading for my almost 3 yr old child?

  • Emily
    May 13

    First off, that is awesome! Second, I learned that reading books with both languages help a lot. For example it may say “the sky is blue” and right next to it it will say “el cielo es azul” so it incorporates both and means the same thing. Dora books are really good for that. Good luck 🙂

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    Being bilingual is a great benefit in life, so it is wonderful that you want to make sure your three-year old’s reading skills are developed in both languages. But to make sure that your child is literate in both languages might require extra effort. The alphabet is the same, but the pronunciation of the letters is not identical, at least not completely identical. This means your child will hav... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 09

How can I get my 3 year old to sit still for a story?

I try to read to her every night, but all she wants to do it wiggle and talk and flip around the pages. Sometimes she engages with the story or pictures but mostly she just isn’t interested. What am I doing wrong?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    You are not doing anything wrong. I applaud your observing that what you’re doing now is not working well and looking for alternatives, and I do have some suggestions for you. First, don’t worry --at least for now –about the words on the page. For the moment, let her turn the pages and then share -- even for a second or two – your observations. “Oh, I love this picture!” “Here’s where the co... More

  • Gean
    May 27

    I had the same problem. My daughter, now a month away from six years old, is just now starting to like books. The more animated Iam with my reading, the longer she can sit for it.

Introducing reading to a 3 year old

I've been teaching my 3 and 2 year old about language since birth. My 2 year old, his vocabulary is just beginning to build. He is at 100+ words now. My 3 year old has an impressive understanding for language and grammar. I think she's ready to learn to read. I'd like tips on how to begin. She's known the alphabet for 2 years and can recognize letters in various fonts, both big ... More

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am delighted to share some ideas with you, and I applaud your careful nurturing of your children’s language development. As I mentioned in another answer, certain listening skills are highly correlated to a child’s ease in becoming a reader. At HOMER, we offer a huge range of listening tasks for just this reason. Likewise, we focus on helping children relate letters to their primary sounds.... More

  • MomBreezeKhia
    May 16

    Thank you. I appreciate your advice. Wow, you are so gifted. I will follow every step of this information that you've given me. Thank you so much !

How can I help my son gain more confidence in reading?

Hello! My son is a first grader and he is an excellent reader, however he likes to add extra words in a sentence/passage as he’s reading or he will know what the word is, but will say something different. I just would like for him to be more confident in not being afraid to say the word or at least try to sound it out. Thank you for your help.

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