Empowering Parents to Teach- The Three Books That Taught My Kids to Read

The Three Books That Taught My Kids To Read

There are three books that I have to credit with helping my children learn to read.  They are all part of the Beginner Books Series from Random House. While we have an enormous amount of books in our house, these three stick out to me. Through simple language, rhyming, repetition, and fun illustrations, my children read these over and over again. Today, I’d love to share these with you. If you are looking to add books to your home library I suggest you add these! Usually, I would suggest getting books form the library, but these I recommend buying to have at home so your child can read them many times. You can purchase them from the links* in this post or at your local book store.


Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess

(click on picture to purchase on Amazon)


How this book helps: This book relies heavily on rhyming.  Hearing rhymes helps children detect patterns in our language.  When the child starts reading, seeing these patterns in print helps the child relate the sound patterns to how they look in writing.  The rhyming words are first isolated so it’s very easy to draw attention to the word endings and how they look the same. Afterwards, children see the word used in a very short rhyming sentence.  It gives the child immediate practice recognizing the word in context.

This book  was one of the first books my oldest read out loud when he was little.


Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire


(click on the purchase to purchase on Amazon)

How this book helps: The rhyming in this books helps the child anticipate what word may come next.  It also uses a lot of the same words through out the story. This gives the child practice reading the words over and over again, helping to commit the words to memory.

This book was one of the first books that my youngest liked to read out loud.


Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman


(click on the picture to purchase on Amazon)


How this book helped: This book does not rhyme, but it does uses a lot of the same words over and over again.  This helps the child rely more on the context of the story than the rhyming pattern. The pictures help the child figure out tricky words; for example, if the child has trouble reading the word “three”, s/he can count the number of dogs in the picture.


Before my kids attempted to read these books independently, I read them out loud to the boys many times. This gave them an understanding of the story and let them hear the words used.  What I like about these books is that they are long, so the child will not likely memorize the whole entire story. While memory of the story is involved, they still have to use their reading skills.


If you are still not sure if your child is reciting a story from memory or really reading try two things. One, have the child point to the words as s/he reads. Are the words matching? That’s a good sign. Is your child’s finger running over the words too quickly or slowly? Then, s/he may be reciting from memory.  Two, after your child reads a sentence ask him or her to point to a word. For example, after reading the sentence A green dog on a yellow tree ask your child, “Where is the word yellow?” Can s/he find the word? That’s another good sign that s/he is using a reading skill!


Enjoy reading together :)

Empowering Parents to Teach- Three Books


For more easy to read books, check out this list: 15 Really Easy To Read Books for the Beginning Reader


Empowering Parents To Teach- Learning To Read Is A Ball

Book Review: Learning To Read Is A Ball by Kimberly Scanlon


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for purposes of review. I was not financially compensated in any way. All the opinions expressed are my own.


Kimberly Scanlon authored a new book called Learning to Read is a Ball designed to help parents of pre-readers develop their young ones’ literacy skills. With an extensive parent guide in the back, this book is a good tool for the parent or caregiver that wants to teach his or her child pre-reading skills. I was invited to review this book and share my thoughts with you.


Scanlon’s book is like a two for one. It’s a picture book and it’s a how-to guide for parents. In the opening, she asks parents to refer to the parent guide in the back of the book. By reading this guide, parents learn many strategies to use while reading the story. Using the story in the front of the book as a reference, Scanlon shows the reader how the strategies can be implemented.


With this understanding, the parent can begin reading the story to the child. The story has simple language, rhyme, salient print, and meaningful pictures that are necessary for pre-readers to comprehend the story and begin to recognize print. Not only that, this story is interactive. Scanlon intentionally leaves places for the child to write on the pages which helps the child make the story his or her own. Both the parent and child learn from this book. The parent learns how to further his or her child’s literacy development with strategies that have been proven to be helpful and the child practices early literacy skills.


While this book is intended for pre-readers, I read this book with my beginning reader and he enjoyed the story. As we read, he asked good questions and interacted with the pictures. I used the strategy that Scanlon recommends called, “Complete the rhyming word”. As I read, I left off the second rhyming word for my child to anticipate and say on his own. These words are underlined in the story helping both the parent who is new to this strategy and the child.


My goal at Empowering Parents to Teach is to equip parents with the tools they need to teach their kids. Scanlon’s book is aligned to this goal. It’s not just another picture book, it is a teaching guide for parents who want to help promote their child’s early literacy. With the skills learned in this book, you can promote your child’s literacy anywhere or with any story.


Visit http://www.scanlonspeech.com/ for more tips to help your child’s speech and language development.


*Note: When this post was originally published (May 1, 2015), there was a giveaway. The giveaway is now closed and the winner received her copy of the book.


To purchase this book or Kimberly Scanlon’s first book, click on the links below or order them at your nearest Barnes and Noble:

*These are Amazon affiliate links.