Ready, Set, Read!

The ABC's of being a children's Librarian

Podcast Series: Little Kids, Big Questions

Zero To Three has an amazing podcast series called Little Kids, Big Questions. There are a number of issues tackled in this series, from the child’s emotional development, to the role of society and media in their lives.

One I listened to recently is titled: Daddy, Papi, Papa or Baba: The Influence of Father’s on Young
Children’s Development Featuring Kyle Pruett, M.D.

I found this one to be particularly insightful for parents with children under a year of age. Host Annie Pleshette Murphy speaks with Dr. Kyle Pruett on the role of fathers in their infants lives, from the physiological bonds to how they differ from mother’s in their reactive thought process to tantrums, melt-downs and everyday situations with infants and toddlers.

Here are some of the interesting take aways from the interview. I’m copy and pasting from the transcript which you can find at the Zero to Three website. My comments are in the parentheses following the statements.

  • But they father. And what that means is, umm, in general fathers are more likely to be physically activating of their children, uh, than mothers, umm, to whom they—they would be compared. (Women are more nurturing, holding the babies in a protective hold, whereas men hold their babies facing out.)
  • Mothers also tend to work with their children to avoid frustration. You’ll hear dads, uh, doing that a little less often in the service of helping their children manage frustration. (dad’s tend to step back and let the child figure out the frustration on their own, whereas moms are quick to jump in with solutions).
  • We have evidence that—that babies as young as six weeks of age are already responding to paternal versus maternal styles differently. (This I found particularly interesting. As early as 6 weeks, babies automatically relax when mom picks them up, but when dad picks them up, they perk up ready to play.)
  • And so what real co-parenting is—not about 50/50; You have to be led by what the child needs. (This is a very important distinction. Although we as parents try to split the responsibilities down the line, it’s not always so cut and dry. The child’s needs vary and its the parents job to communicate with each other as well as the child to figure out who needs to respond and how.)
  • what matters it seems is that they are engaged in a supportive parenting collaboration with the mother, and, umm, that they carry their children’s needs in them as an obligation. And when that happens, we watch children benefit, umm, behaviorally, educationally, and emotionally. (Pruett is referring to any father-figure (uncle, grandfather, etc). The last effects are children who are better problem solvers, more successful in school, put off having sex, are more emotional stable, stay in school longer and are more academically successful.)
  • but we are aware that the father’s vocabulary is a better predictor of verbal competence in young children than the mother’s.
    (I bolded this for emphasis. What a crazy finding. What an important finding.)

This quick podcast, only 26 minutes long, offers some insight into the role father’s play in helping shape their child’s life, often instinctively, not really aware of what is going on. I know much of this seemed so new and amazing to me, but when I sit back and think about my son’s relationship with my husband, so much of it rings true. Its good to be reminded of these little differences between moms and dads. Especially under the warning that dads are not employees. They are there to be a parent, not a sub-parent, which is a role many men are cast into because women seem to take the lead with dictating parenting methods and rules. Communication is a key component to everything for a happy marriage and happy family.

Pruett discusses more of this in-depth in his book, Partnership Parenting.

Partnership parenting : how men and women parent differently-- why it helps your kids and can strengthen your marriageWorldcat Summary: Men and women not only have naturally different communication styles, but unique approaches to parenting as well. While mothers tend to overprotect their kids, fathers tend to push them toward independence. And whereas many experts tend to advocate “a united front,” Drs. Kyle and Marsha Pruett reveal how Mom and Dad not always being on exactly the same page–which, initially, may seem to cause conflict–can actually strengthen the whole family. Informed by the Pruetts’ research and extensive experience with parents and children, Partnership Parenting offers a new outlook.

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Nonfiction Review: Kids During the Industrial Revolution

Kids During the Industrial Revolution…


Kids During the Industrial Revolution by Lisa A. Wroble (Kids Throughout History Series)

Grades 3-5

Genre: History, Child Labor, Industrial Revolution

This is an informative and terse book providing a brief overview of the industrial revolution and how it effected children primarily. I liked that there is a glossary in the back as well as pronunciation guides for the polysyllabic words. Those are also highlighted in bold font and a definition is provided right away.

This book provides little snapshots into life during the industrial revolution. Each page covers a different aspect from the machines, the rise of the industrial city, to food and clothing as well as changes for the better. Its 24 pages total with lots of black and white photos and illustrations to better depict life in those times. Although the book is about kids during the industrial revolution, the book focused more on life during the industrial revolution, not so much on the kids. The industrial revolution began in England from about 1650 to 1890. Although most industrial revolutions start during times of war, this one was spurred by technology innovations and the creations of machines and factory mills. Cities developed, tenements and row houses blossomed, making for cramped quarters and large city life. A broad opposite to the calmer life on farms. Many children worked 12 hours days from 5a to dusk, with no time for school or even play. Sundays were reserved for church, but most people worked 6 days a week, often not even earning enough money to purchase the goods they produce.

This book is a great introduction to history for young children. Although I would recommend it more for early grades. I feel that the writing is too simple for fifth grade.

I would also tie it in with these historical fiction books about the Industrial Revolution:

The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully

The Blue Door by Anne Rinaldi


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Board Book Review: I Love You Through and Through


I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustak

Board Book

Genre: babies

Find this book at your local library

This is a wonderful little board book with padded covers for new parents to read to their children. It covers so many different elements, all through 2 to 5 words per page. The illustrations are in warm tones of pinks, and purples with a pudgy little baby at the center of each page. The pages are in full color and highlight all the different and funny things toddlers do throughout the day. The book covers a number of concepts from body parts, to opposites, to emotions.

I love your happy side, your sad side

your silly side, your made side.

I love your fingers and toes,

Your ears and nose.

The book is written in a soothing little rhyme, which makes this book perfect for bedtime as your cuddle your little one into bed. Kids can point to the different objects on the page while reading along. They can point to their ears and toes. They can point to a teddy bear, they can show a smile to be happy and frown to be sad. There is a lot of use with this one, very simple little book. What I like most of all, is that the parent is neither the mom or dad. Too many of these types of books are geared towards moms, leaving dads out in the cold. Now, with more and more fathers actively engaged in their child’s early years, a book like this, a book that lets anybody really (aunt, grandparent, babysitter) read and discuss all the ways in child they love their child.

Primary Reading Skills

New Vocabulary Use this book to introduce new vocabulary to your child by explaining and pointing to body parts and illustrating different ranges of emotion.

Love Books A book like this will reinforce a safe and loving environment for the child. They can refer to this book when they feel upset, they can learn that parents love them, even when they make a mess or get in trouble.

How to use this book

For Parents

Read this with your newborn, infant, or toddler. Point to and explain the different actions on the page. Have your child point out different images. Have them express and emotion they are feeling (happy, sad, etc).

For Librarians

A book like this is great for intimate lap-sit programs and baby storytimes. Although the book is small, it might not go over well for larger crowds. I’d put this out on display near the picture books and parenting books.

Similar Books

How Do I Love You?  Guess how much I love you Love you forever

© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me@TheNovelWorld

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5 Finger Test – Is this book right for you?

The 5 Finger Test of Choosing a Book to Read

 I stumbled across this awesome little handout at my work today.  What an awesome way to decide if a book is the right book for your child’s reading level. That is a question I am asked daily. Particularly for kids who read book at a higher level than their grade. It’s very difficult to match a specific age to a specific reading level. This 5 Finger Tip chart is exactly what I need to help parents select the right books for their kids. Well, really in helping the child choose the right book for themselves.

There are numerous variations of this chart all over the Internet. A simple Google image search brought up a plethora of bookmarks, handouts, and posters. I like this one for the simplicity, but there are other, more colorful options out there for libraries and classrooms to print and display.


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Picture Book Review: Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin

Cows in the kitchen

Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin

Picture Book

Genre: Cows, farm animals

Find this book at your local library

While Tom Farmer sleeps, the cows, ducks and the rest of the farm animals find themselves in the most peculiar places, making quite a mess in the farmhouse.

This is one, fun picture book. I’ve already decided to read it at my next storytime. The book itself is quite large, which is ideal for my large crowds. The words are sparse, repetitive and written in a sing-song manner. Its read to the tune of Skip to My Lou.

Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo

Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo

Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo

That’s what we do, Tom Farmer!

The illustrations are absolutely wonderful. There is so much detail, but so much simplicity at the same time. Its a book that kids can peruse looking to see what each duck or pig is doing on the page. But at a general viewing at storytime, it’s very easy to see the chaos and the mess that each animal group is creating.

Primary Reading Skills

Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness): The fun rhyme and song will help kids pick up on the different animal noises.

See Letters (Letter Knowledge):

For Parents

  • This is a great book to read before taking a trip to a local farm, or petting zoo. Mix and match with other farm animal books for a fun reading day.
  • Help your child point out all the words that begin with “f” -Fuh (ie Farm, furnace, foot)
  • Have your child point out what they see on each page. Have them elaborate on the story.

For Librarians

  • I imagine this book can be easily transformed into a felt story.
  • Great for a baby/toddler storytime
  • Songs for storytime (Skip to my Lou, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Baa Baa Black Sheep)

Similar Books

The Cow buzzed Cock-a-doodle-moo! Moo, baa, la la la!

Sheep don't count sheep The farmer in the dell

© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me@TheNovelWorld

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Early Literacy Tip: See-Show-Say

When your toddler finds a book that they love, chances are, they will want you to read that book over and over and over again. Plus, once more after that. How do you beat the fatigue?

Try the See-Show-Say method as devised by Joseph Sparling:

  • See: Direct the child’s attention to a picture or detail and name or descrive what you see.
  • Show: Ask the child to show you an object, detail or action on the page.
  • Say: Ask the child to name the picture, object or detail or to say something about it.

Try these three tricks to making the time you spend reading together more meaningful with your child’s.  This type of interacting reading will help strengthen your child’s developmental skills over time. They’ll be able to pull out more information from the story than what is merely presented to them. Try this trick with your child’s favorite book the next time you sit down to read.

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Parent-Child Reading Club: Same Author, Different books

Did you know that many of your favorite authors of adult fiction also write children’s books? Why not start a family book club, and introduce your favorite authors to your children. Here are a few to get you started.

George R. R. Martin

For Adults – The Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice Saga (Fiction Martin)

For Kids – The Ice Dragon (J Fiction martin)

Neil Gaiman

For Adults – The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Fiction Gaiman)

For Kids – Coraline (J Fiction Gaiman)

James Patterson

For Adults – Toys: A Novel (Fiction Patterson)

For Teens – Game Over (YA Fiction Patterson)

For Kids  – Treasure Hunters (J Fiction Patterson)

JK Rowling

For Adults – The Casual Vacancy (Fiction Rowling)

For Kids – The Harry Potter Series (J Fiction Rowling)

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Storytime Thursday: Babies!

This week’s story time theme is Babies! I read two of my absolutely favorite baby books:

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

I love this book because it showcases a diverse set of babies, born in towns, far away, in tents, in towns, in eider-down, etc. The final message is that all the babies are the same, no matter where they are from. Being in the Bay Area, I have an incredibly diverse audience for my story time, and this book went over really well with everyone. All the parents enjoyed the refrain “And all of these babies, as everyone knows. Had ten little fingers and ten little toes.” They cuddled their babies, wiggled fingers and gave little hugs. It was a very sweet reading.


Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell

This book was particularly fun to read. I think the adults enjoyed it more than the kids actually. But I like this book for introducing a variety of sounds and noises that children make and experience throughout the day. Everything that happens in this book is something that an infant goes through, from meals to baths, to being hushed to sleep. It’s a very cute book indeed.

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Read for the Record® on 10/21st with Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells


Join millions of children and adults this year to read a single book for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® annual campaign to raise awareness to the fact that many children start kindergarten almost 60% behind their fellow students. This celebration of literacy is set to break the record for the largest shared reading experience of a single book. That book, is Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells.

Find this book at your local library and read it with your child. Read it once, twice, however many times they will sit through the book. I’ve already grabbed my copy from the library and will be ready to start reading with A as soon as possible.

In the last 8 years, Read for the Record has engaged 11.5 million children and put 1.6 million books into the hands of kids in need. We’re excited to help even more kids participate in this year’s celebration. To receive books in time to celebrate on October 21, be sure to order by October 6.  Here’s to breaking a new world record together! via First Book Blog

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Storytime Thursday: Safari Animals

Simms Taback's safari animals Simms Taback’s Safari Animals

 Do Crocs Kiss by Salina Yoon

These books are amazing for a baby/toddler storytime. They cover the same animals, but in fun ways. One focuses on the sounds they make, the other focuses on their physical features and attributes. Both books are wonderfully colorful. Do Crocs Kiss is a lift-the-flap book, where you lift the mouth to find out what noise they make. Safari Animals is more intricate. It is a book of fold-outs. Each fold offering a hint at the animal. It unfolds to one giant square, with the answer to “who am I?” which you find with every animals.  The words on the page are large enough that all the adults read aloud with me and they really got into making all the animal noises. The kids and parents really enjoyed both books. I had parents browsing through the books throughout storytime and they even checked them out afterwards. That’s always a hallmark sign that I picked good books.

Primary Book Skills

Make Sounds (Phonological awareness) Kids and parents learn about sounds and animal noises. Different animals make different noises.

Use Books (Print awareness) These books diverge from the traditional turn-the-page style of reading. Young children learn to lift the flaps and unfold the pages to find out what happens.

© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me@TheNovelWorld or at my Tumblr.

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