Thursday, September 22, 2011

Story Time

I'm going to two preschools for work now and am so amazed how professionals believe that 'moral' books are interesting to 3/4 year olds. The ones with titles like "I Can Share" or "Co-operation Is Fun". Gag. They are dull with very weak story lines and really, from the response of the children, aren't appealing to them either. I'm pretty sure the manner in which the 'stories' are read (definitely not told) adds to the boredom level.
My prof in Literature for Children HATES those books and I understand now why. The children have zip idea what they are saying. I love how one little girl asked "What is share?" It says it all--the kids don't get it. Weave what you want them to learn into a delightful simple story and "bing"! they understand. But no amount of reading stories is going to create a sharing child, that is done by example and by doing. Otherwise it sounds like Charlie Brown teachers "wha wha wha".

Read good stories that are well written and your child will be engaged if you also tell the story and not drone on through the words. Teach your child by example ("do as I'm doing, follow follow me").

Our family liked the Berenstain Bears "First Time" books and Robert Cosgrove's "Serendipity" series of books. Yes they would/are considered 'moral' books but like parables, they are also a good story. (Franklin books-the non-TV series ones- are good also). So is Dr. Suess' "Green Eggs & Ham", "I Will Never Eat Tomatoes" and other Lauren Child's Charlie & Lola stories. There are so many good quality children's books that those mediocre (read lame) books are just fire starters.