Monday, 27 June 2011

Raising bookworms

Booksworms, I seem to have 3 children fitting this description. My kids loves books, even though they still cannot read. They love to hear a good story, they love to learn new information in a non fictional book, and they love to just turn pages of a book, feel the paper in their hands, and look at the illustrations.

I think there are many ways to stimulate the love the reading. Here is how we do it:
  • We read books to our child starting at the youngest age.
  • We model reading (and loving it) by reading ourselves as often as possible (read I always have a book going) and enjoying it
  • We presented to each child how to handle a book, how to store it, take care of it. I think respect is important to enjoy something. I have given an old paper back book to E so that he can learn to manipulate a book properly, like turning the pages slowly really early.
  • Modeling how to respect books by really taking care of books, turning the pages slowly without bending the corners, returning them to their shelves once done, and mending a book that needs it as soon as possible
  • We go very often to the library, and my kids love it. When we go, I try to go with only one child to really be with them and not run around like crazy. I think it makes their experience more enjoyable
  • Giving children books that are age appropriate and that are well illustrated
  • Letting books at the disposition of children
  • Rotating the books that they can have access to
  • We have set up many special spaces dedicated to reading : special nooks, books near the bed, in our common living area...
E loves books. Books have always been part of his life, and he really enjoys them. We have read to him since his very first days of life. Now he not also like to sit and listen to a story, but also to just turn the pages, and look at it.
For his age, the illustrations of the book are the most important point for us. We try to find books that are beautifully illustrated, illustrations that are not cartoonish, but realistic. I also make a point to find books that don't have too much illustrations, or that I feel would be overwhelming. I like one illustration per page, and loads of white space around. Check out the fruit and veggie book picture below to understand what I mean. THis IMO allows the child to really look at one drawing at a time and concentrate on that rather then on all insignificant details. Plus, it is easy for us to play the name game.

Here are his current favorite:

A french book that illustrates fruits and veggies with the greatest care:

Alison's zinnia: a lovely book showing and naming many beautifully drawn flowers that goes over the alphabet

E loves to look at faces, and this book really fit the bill for him:

A book by Charley Harper: He seems to really love the illustrations. I like that the illustrations are simple and clean, and not too much. One illustration per number. Clear and to the point.

And finally an illustration only book showing scenes of everyday play. I love the soft hues and he really seems to enjoy seeing children playing in all sorts of way

happy reading!


  1. Our 1 year old daughter, Eva, loves books too. Your list is great, I was really impressed with Alison's Zinnia, we'll have to check that out in the years to come. For now we get board books at the library. At 14 months old she plays a bit too rough and would rip paper pages right out of their binding. :) When we aren't reading books with her she sits and plays with them as one of her favorite activities.

  2. Hello there Neptune, (Love the name as one of my nicknames is Mars :)

    First time commenting but I have been reading your blog for a while and think it is fabulous. Love your bilingual posts as they are a great addition to ma éducation de la langue française! (I'm advanced beginner/intermediate)

    I wondered if you could let me know the name of the first French vegetable book you mentioned in this post. Also I'd really appreciate it if you had any other Montessori appropriate French children's book recommendations (reading lists or websites) as these can be a challenge to find in English and a Herculean task by comparison in French :)

    Merci mille fois,


  3. Hello Michelle and welcome!

    Thank you so much for your comments. I plan on keeping the bilingual post, as soon as we get back on track with summer.

    The veggie book is this:é-légumes-Virginie-Aladjidi/dp/2226207082/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309534498&sr=8-1

    L'inventaire illustré des fruits et légumes. There is a couple of them available: one about the animals and one about the sea.

    For the children book recommendation in french, I am working on a list. As you say, c'est introuvable! in french. I have search for reading list, and I just cannot find any. Stay tuned, I should be done with it really soon!

    Thank you for your comment!

  4. Charissa: Alison's Zinnia is one of my favorite english book right now with him. It is fun to read, the illustrations are great, and it is not too crowdy!