So far I’ve talked about being selective about choosing good books for your children, as well as being intentional about finding and identifying good books. In this post I want to focus on the importance of building reading into your routine. Routines will look different for every family, and rightly so, as you encourage reading in a way that is specific for your children.
My children love to snuggle together on the couch when we have a time devoted to reading. They are not holding other toys and we minimize distractions. Our routine always includes reading the title, author, and illustrator to our children. When our children discover a new favorite book, they are able to ask for it by name instead of referring to it as “the cow book” or “choo-choo.” And most important for our family, when we go to the library to get new books, it helps them and us when we remember the names of favorite authors.
We make the library a weekly part of our routine. I can’t read every book before we bring it home, so I also make sure that I have one or two old favorites each week, in case the new books are not as good as I hoped. Some weeks we only have time for a quick trip to grab a few books, but many times we spend an hour or more looking through books, playing with the toys (and the computer!) in the children’s section, and talking with the librarians. The library has become one of their favorite places, and because we go weekly, they anticipate each trip and ask to go even more often.
Favorite ABC books
ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book by Alison Jay
One of our favorite author/illustrators. Each page has beautiful images and several objects to discover that go along with the letter.
The ABC Mystery by Doug Cushman
A simple book with great rhythm. Follow the clues to discover "whodunit" along with Detective Inspector McGroom!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr and John Archembault
The classic alphabet rhythm and song. We have this audiobook also and it is a hit.
Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson
Follow through the alphabet with cars, trucks, and other things that go.
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
This is an adorable book with occupations and activities for each letter of the alphabet. Great illustrations also.
Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss
Another great classic. The board book is a good introduction for smaller children, but move on to the full version as soon as possible!
I Spy: An Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait
Each page features a piece of artwork. Look for the part of the painting that corresponds to the appropriate letter. There are several books like this as well. This is a more difficult I Spy.
Also noteworthy but highlighted earlier...C Is for Caboose: Riding the Rails from A to Z and Baby Einstein: Alphabooks