National Buy a Book Day?
September 7 is National Buy a Book Day. Did you know that? I've always wondered how these little known holidays came into being, and I now know how this one started. Philip Athans, a bestselling author of fantasy and horror novels, admits he made it up.
|Photo in Public Domain Courtesy of Grafeek at Pixabay|
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Why Buying Books Encourages Children to Read
As my biographical sketch here reveals, I've always had my nose in a book. I have disclosed some of my personal reading history from childhood to college graduation in National Read a Book Day Should be Every Day. In that post I not only share my favorite picture books, but also some video clips of television shows that were competing for my reading time. The books usually won. I was fortunate because I had a relative who bought books for me on every gift-giving occasion. It helped me acquire my reading habit.
Every child should have the opportunity that I had. First I had many adults in my family who loved to read to me and I learned to love books that way. The people who gave me books read them to me over and over as I requested them. Those books became part of me. Because I owned them, they were always there for me to look at and read, once I learned how, at the age of three. If I got stuck on a word, an adult helped me. Having an assortment of books to choose from makes it easy for a child to learn to read and enjoy reading. But a committed adult needs to keep reading aloud those books beyond a child's reading vocabulary.
Buy Books That Will Hold the Interest of Your Children
Each Gibbons book presents a series of pictures that tell a story or explain a process or the way something works. Many pages are divided into several frames, like comic strip frames, but the the pictures in each frame are in the style you see in the image below. Children will return to these books repeatedly because of their bold colorful illustrations and the information they impart.
Board Books Your Child Will Love
Be sure to pick the best board books from the hundreds now available. The babies and youngest toddlers need large bold colorful illustrations with distinct shapes. They don't need many words. Some of the books also have textures for children to feel. These can be searched for as Touch and Feel Books. The classic book of this type is Pat the Bunny.
Young children have loved Pat the Bunny for decades, but it gets mixed reviews. Some feel the comb binding is too easy to destroy. After looking at my own copy, I can see why this might be true. It appears that some adult supervision may be needed with the youngest children. The pages themselves are not as sturdy as those of a board book. I would recommend this for toddlers, but not babies.
This book is has been in print since 1940 and is still a best seller. It is popular because children can pat what feels like bunny fur, play peek-a-boo with a character in the book, smell flowers, (yes they do have a scent), look in a mirror, feel a daddy's scratchy face, read a book within a book, and put a finger through a ring hole. It is best if parents read this book to children a few times before letting them read it on their own. That will help children better understand the activities. Since the book and its illustrations are so old, all characters are Caucasian, and that may be a drawback for some people.
The Bright Baby board books you see below are perfect for the youngest children. The large uncomplicated pictures are easy for toddler eyes to take in. The colors are bright. The pages I saw had three or less words in large dark print. As with other books for this age, adults should read the book with the child several times and talk about the pictures and words. This helps children develop basic vocabulary as they learn to talk. It also helps them look at the books in a more knowledgeable way independently.
The board books below are examples of the kinds of books to choose for a toddler beginning to be interested in words. I love all of Sandra Boynton's board books. Her pictures invite conversations between the children and the adults reading to them. She is not afraid to use the big words with interesting sounds that children love to learn and speak -- like hippopotamus. But she also uses short rhyming words that are easy to pronounce and read such as cat, rat, frog, and bog. Children adore seeing Boynton's animals do silly things they would never really do. These books are wonderful vocabulary builders that hold children's attention.
Guess How Much I Love You reveals the truth that words can't really explain the limits of love because it has no limits. Parent do love their children more than words can describe.
Diggers and Dumpers is an example of the best type of special interest nonfiction books for young children. My Jason had an avid interest in trucks and construction vehicles. At five years he knew more about big rigs than I did. This is a book that would have been just right for him between one and three, and he would have continued to look at it even longer. The illustrations are large and clear. The words are in large type. They tell children the names of the vehicles they like to watch, and they explain what these vehicles do. That's what children this age want from nonfiction -- a way to talk about what interests them, whether vehicles, flowers, animals, or everyday objects and activities.
Lois Ehlert is a children's author and illustrator known for labeling the objects in her bold colorful pictures that emphasize the shape of things. Click that author link and you will see all her books I discuss here. Planting a Rainbow, shown below, explores the steps in planting a flower garden in very simple terms, with few words, in giant print. Unlike ordinary word books, Ehlert's books tell a story or explain something in a child's world in a way that makes sense to them. She continues the gardening theme in Growing Vegetable Soup and then exhibits the fruits and vegetables that a garden produces in the alphabet book Eating the Alphabet. Most of her subjects are related to art and nature, so it's easy to find one of her books that is just right for your child.
Wouldn't you like to celebrate National Buy a Book Day now by buying a book for your favorite child? Publishers, authors, and booksellers will thank you. And don't limit book buying to one day of the year. Let's keep authors and publishers motivated to continue giving us more quality books for our children by helping them earn money through our purchases.
Which book will you buy? What is your favorite picture book? Did your children have a favorite?
Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.