Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 184: See Me Run

We looked for this book at our local library after seeing it was a Theodore Seuss Geisel honoree winner for 2012.  If you've never heard of the Geisel award, it is given annually to the author and illustrator of the "most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English" (according to the
ALA's website.)  It is no surprise that the best early reader books would be honored in the name of the great Dr. Seuss, and we have a few other previous winners on our bookshelves that we absolutely love:  Mo Willems' Are You Ready to Play Outside (2009) and There is a Bird on Your Head! (2008), and Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas (2006.)  Now, some people probably won't be impressed with this book because at a quick glance, it might not seem like anything special.  There are only a few words on each page with some silly pictures of dogs.  But let me assure you:  if you have a child who is just learning to read, this is the perfect book!

See Me Run is an "I Like to Read" book, published by Holiday House and written by Paul Meisel.  The award winning books I mentioned above are all considered "Early Readers," though I have learned that there is a great deal of variety when it comes to this genre.  For example, "I Like to Read" books are different from "I Can Read!" books, such as those in the Frog and Toad, Little Critter, and Amelia Bedelia series. I'll have to do a little research on this to find out more about specific reading levels within the broad category called "Early Readers," but from what I can tell about the "I Like to Read" books by Holiday House, they are a great starting point for beginning -- and I mean just beginning -- readers.  (To learn more about the "I Like to Read" series, visit the Holiday House brochure about them here.)

As soon as we got this book home, my son took it out and we sat down to read it together.  I started to read it to him, but he immediately stopped me and said, "No, no, I can read it myself!"  And he did.  Pretty effortlessly.  I watched his face as he read, and with each turn of the page, his smile got a little bigger. Part of this was due to the silly story itself, but a lot of it had to do with the fact that this was a story he could easily and comfortably read all by himself.  For a beginning reader, this is a powerful thing.  This is what I think makes this book so great.  We love the Frog and Toad and Henry and Mudge series, and those are considered "Early Readers," too, but they are several steps and reading levels above See Me Run.  I am extremely lucky in that reading appears to be something that has come quite easily to my son, but I would imagine that this book will provide many struggling or emerging readers with the boost of confidence they need to feel successful and good about reading.  The text is short, there are familiar sight words, and there is just the right amount of repetition to make kids' reading become more fluid as they go along.  I even caught my 2 year old daughter "reading" this book by herself this morning, which made her quite proud.  ("I can read it all by myselfs!")  Plus, the pictures of the dogs are cute and fun, and the ending is even sillier.  If your child is just starting to read or you are having trouble finding a good, true "Early Reader," we highly recommend this book.


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