We dedicate one week each year to actually teach about books. Of course we use, read and encourage books every day. But one week we really focus on what makes up a book. What a page is, what a cover is, how there are words and pictures on the page and the words are made up of letters. This may seem simple, but our children need to know it all. And it’s an amazing theme!
We teach about the cover, the binding, the author and the illustrator. The page numbers and read the dedication if we find one. We encourage children to do more than enjoy the artwork in a book, but to really look at it and decipher if it’s drawn with a pencil, painted with a brush, made with chalk or marking pen…or if they think it’s something else…a photograph, clay or perhaps cloth.
More than that, we love to name the author and the illustrator and see if children can guess if they are a man or a woman, just by their name. Even more fun, is to quiz them on remembering the name of the author and illustrator while reading the book. This is excellent for memory and really personalizes the experience of a book.
Children can develop a higher regard for books than just another “thing” in their life. Someone, a real person wrote the words on this book. They made up the story. Someone, a real person painted the picture that I am looking at. Hey, I can paint! Someday I will write words!!
Of course, the children think one of the best books we have is Julie’s book. It has her picture on it and they know she’s the author. In fact, probably news to most parents is that Julie has one children’s book, privately published and not perfect…but the kids love it. (It’s called The Sock Monster) For that book she is the author and illustrator.
Book learning is fun. Have your child tell you a story. Write it all down, no matter how silly, scary or boring it is. Now they are an author, too.