50 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten
We know, parents, we know. It seems like every time you turn around there's another talking head telling you that your child needs to do this and do that, or else...well...the talking head shudders to think of the dire consequences for your kid's future. Of course, this all plays on your natural fears, and of course, you would do anything to help little Joe or Jolene grow up to be a happy, successful adult, so you play Mozart around the clock even though both you and your child would rather listen to something just a little more funky, you flash flashcards at the breakfast table, you tilt the foot of the bed up 3 degrees so that the blood circulating through that precious little body bathes the pituitary gland. The end result? You're exhausted, your kid is bewildered, and a new talking head is lurking inside the TV waiting to pounce the next time you turn it on.
Unfortunately, the experts may be right about some of it (not about the dire consequences part--that's just hot air)(and not about the pituitary thing--I made that up). Of course, it may be that they're just trying to sell you their three DVD set with step-by-step instructions for turning your kid into an übermensch or frau. We don't really know.
One thing we do know that does work--that will give your children the best possible start in school and will continue to pay dividends throughout their lives--is this: reading.
Education.com has put together a list of books that your child should read before kindergarten. Note that it says should--not must. It is a collection of reading that, as the website says, "run[s] the gamut from read-alouds that parents can share to early reading practice" to "topical subjects (like fear of school)" to "skills kids should master (such as the alphabet)" to stuff that's just "flat-out fun!"
It should be said that these are not the only books your child should read. While you are at the library picking up a few of the books on the list, cut your kids loose and let them follow their noses to other stuff that excites them. Reading shouldn't be a chore for either of you.
Education.com's 50 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten (25 of the 50, Actually).
1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
2. Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel or Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott
3. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
4. The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain
5. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
6. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
7. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
8. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
9. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
10. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
11. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett
12. Curious George by H.A. Rey
13. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
14. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
15. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
16. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
17. Froggy Gets Dressed or Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
18. George and Martha by James Marshall
19. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
20. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
21. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
22. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? By Jane Yolen
23. I Stink! By Kate McMullen
24. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura J. Numeroff
25. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
That ought to get you started. For the second half of the list visit education.com or print the pdf attachment below.
PREACHY TRUISM ALERT: Love your kid. Everything else is secondary, no matter what the experts say.
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