be brave, little one.
Learning to read is a special alchemy that the child's brain is made to perform. With the help of early readers and beginner chapter books, simple language (with some new and challenging vocabulary sprinkled in) is the perfect way to encourage your burgeoning reader without overwhelming them.
illustration by Lilli Carre from Tippy and the Night Parade
You want your child to not only learn to read, but to love reading. To find solace, inspiration, joy, and entertainment between the pages of a book, to learn and grow with a love of reading that supports them in every other area of their lives.
One of the hardest things for a parent to do in this situation can be to let the child move at their own pace, to balance encouragement and support with patience and understanding. This can be a delicate time, and a child who is struggling is easily overwhelmed, especially if they sense their parent's emotions attached to their success. Be sure to keep reading a light and fun activity, a part of your everyday lives, but never a chore or obligation. Picking up a book is a treat, and how exciting it is to watch a child discover this!
PS. Don't stop reading to your child once they begin reading for themselves! Take a look at our Resources list for more information on the benefits of read-aloud for older children.
keep it light
note to grown-ups:
a few words about
Seeing yourself reflected in the media you consume has a value that can't be overstated, for children and adults alike. Reading a book with characters who look like you has been shown to impact self-esteem, leading to improved social interaction and academic performance, and encourage a love of reading.
According to the Open Book Blog by Lee and Low Books, Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined wrote just 6% of new children’s books published in 2016. Of course, diversity isn't only limited to skin color or cultural background; it also includes (but is not limited to) LGBTQIA, gender diversity, people with disabilities (physical and otherwise), and religious minorities.
Find more resources about diversity on our Resources list.
what's new in early readers
on the cosmic blog
you asked for it:
printable book lists
if we don't have it, we can find it.
we need diverse books
A non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
Publications about books for children and young adults.
A group of authors and illustrators who came together to push awareness of the myriad of Black voices writing for young readers.
By Hannah Ehrlich for The Open Book Blog by Lee and Low Books. March 30, 2017
Pamela Paul and Maria Russo for The New York Times