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alligator arrived with apples

Alligator Arrived with Apples: a Potluck Alphabet Feast was penned by Crescent Dragonwagon with pictures by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey.  A huge group of animal friends gather for a Thanksgiving feast and eat their way from A to Z.  Alligator arrived with apples and allspice.  Bear brought banana bread, biscuits and butter.  Zebra zipped over a zaftig zucchini.  An epic meal to go down in history!  This book is an entertaining read-aloud and is about nothing if not alliteration—a phonological awareness skill that contributes to a good foundation for reading.  So many children’s books have alliteration and rhyming elements, so when you’re reading them aloud to your children, you’re naturally supporting their pre-reading skills!

Alliteration is a phonological skill that contributes to emerging reading skills, but when your child becomes of reading age, some of the more significant phonemic awareness skills that contribute to a strong reading foundation are segmenting and blending.  Click here for a post about phonemic awareness from a couple of years ago if anyone’s interested in learning more about it.



emerging readers and increasing reading fluency

Some of Avery's favorite books when she was learning to read last year.  Mo Willem's humorous Elephant and Piggie series has some nice repetitive dialogue and many opportunities for sight word practice, which is an important component for building reading fluency.

Age range for guided or independent reading: 5-7

Henry and Mudge is an early chapter book series by Cynthia Rylant that is a perfect transition for your child after they've mastered beginning readers and need a more substantial plot line, with a wealth of new words to decode. 

Age range for guided or independent reading: 6-8

Lexile range for the series: 180L-600L

The Nate the Great series is also a wonderful early chapter book series for increasing fluency in budding readers.  His mysteries provide good fuel for early readers, spurring on their curiosity and honing their inferential, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.  There's a good range of easier and more difficult books in the series, plus some repetitive text for building fluency and confidence in reading ability.

Age range for guided or independent reading: 6-8

Lexile range for the series: approximately 110-480



What we're currently reading: Pie by Sarah Weeks.  A fantastic story so far about friendship, family and pie.  And it doesn't hurt that there's a different pie recipe at the end of each chapter!  It turns out that the recipes came from all over the country and Sarah made all of the fourteen pies in the book.  Her favorite was cherry, with buttermilk as a close second.


ira sleeps over

I loved the bedtime story that @bonjour_mes_amies shared yesterday, and I thought I would share one of our recent bedtime reads.  Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber was one that I loved reading as a kid and one that I’m so excited to share with Avery and Nate.  I remember my favorite part of the story being when Ira hopped the fence over to Reggie’s house next door for the sleepover.  As a kid, I think I loved the idea of having good friends living nearby.  Happy weekend, all.

What cozy stories has everyone been settling down before nodding off this week?


the new kid on the block

#littlelitbookseries is all about poetry this month.

The New Kid on the Block belongs to a five-part anthology of poetry by Jack Prelutsky, the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate, and is illustrated by James Stevenson.  It is filled with Jack Prelutsky's ingenious wordplay, outlandish ideas and hilarious characters.  The beauty of poetry is that it is full of rich language and rare words that are so important for kid to learn, but are delivered in engaging ways that resonate with them.  And we know that what kids enjoy tends to stay with them.  Everyone needs at least one Jack Prelutsky book in their library for rainy days (and sunny ones!).

For a thoughtful collection of poetry, check out #littlelitbookseries on Instagram.