I want my kids to be readers. So very, very much. I want to share my love of words and story and learning with them. When Madison was three, I worried a bit. She really didn’t display any interest in books, not even at bedtime. Now as a six-year-old, she is reading well beyond her age, loves the bookstore, and picks up books for fun.
At three, Carter is in love with books…as evidenced by this picture of him reading Marissa Meyer’s Heartless….errr..yeah. He plays with my books all the time, pretending to read them, playing bookstore, even just stacking them.
I have no well formulated plan for raising my kids to be readers. Instead, it is a simple immersion. I have a library of over 2000 books in my home – in the same room as my kids’ toys. Both Madison and Carter have shelves loaded with books in their room. We read at least two books every day; the bookstore is a fun day out; and they see me reading all the time. I figure if they are just constantly surrounded by books, a wide-range of books at that, then reading will just be natural. So far, so good.
I do worry that as they get older and more and more of their lives are outside the house, reading will fall by the wayside. I have a half-formed plan for bridging the books they read now – which have wondrous pictures – and non-picture books: COMICS. I love comics, or graphic novels if you want them to sound more intellectual, and I think using comics to augment my children’s reading experience will help them begin to engage with more complex stories. I also have both Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck, The Marvels, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret ready and waiting for either kid to display an interest.
Are there any comics/graphic novels that you guys know of for 3-7 year olds?
Most advice articles on raising a reader focus on junior high age children, and I want to solidify books and reading long before my kids hit sixth grade. I’d love to hear some advice from all of you. So outside of immersion (and possibly comics), how do you recommend instilling a love of books in toddlers and young children?
Side note: Don’t you just love how his little finger is mimicking following along with the words in that first picture and the oh-my-goodness serious face in the second?