I like finding good books to recommend to parents and to add to my own professional development, so I picked up How to Raise a Reader. Written by two editors of The New York Times Book Review, How to Raise a Reader is all about inspiring parents, caregivers, and educators to promote a lifetime love of reading. Organized into four parts – Born to Read, Growing a Reader, Your Middle-Grade Reader, and A Reader for Life, with a fifth section providing book suggestions by themes and reading levels (not A-Z, more like age and grade) – this is a handy Readers’ Advisory volume to have at your fingertips, and a good suggestion to hand parents who want to work toward growing their own readers. There’s advice, tips and facts about early childhood learning, and booklists, booklists, booklists. Illustrated in full-color by popular children’s book illustrators, this is a book that will make you fall in love with reading again, too. It’s easy to read; easily skimmed if you need to look for one specific section or booklist; and filled with an upbeat, positive attitude: you can do this! You can get kids to love books!
Never overwhelming, the information is presented in easily digestible sections and fact boxes. Get yourself a desk copy to keep on hand, and consider adding this to your parenting sections. And encourage those parents when they come in, looking scared and lost. Remind them that reading kids’ books is fun, and tell them that they should never feel bad about reading along with their kids, too! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a parent confide that they “aren’t really readers”, or “haven’t picked up a book in SO long”. Kids’ books are the best way to get back into reading – let this book and your expertise be the pep talk bewildered or just plain tired caregivers need.