Picture books play an important role in helping to turn children into lifelong readers.
There are six early literacy skills that can be developed with young children using picture books: motivation to print, print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, phonological awareness and narrative skills. There are many fall-themed books in the Abilene Public Library that can be used to help develop those early literacy skills.
The motivation for printing is to be interested in and enjoy books.
Print motivation can be developed by reading a variety of books with different themes or topics. Kelly Nidey’s “When Autumn Falls” features bright illustrations that are sure to appeal to young readers. It’s a good choice to help build print motivation as well as print awareness, which is next on the list.
Print awareness is all about noticing the words around you, learning how books work, and following the written word. Parents can model the behavior by reading to a child on their lap and showing them how to turn the page of a book. They can use their fingers to point to words and pictures on a page.
Knowledge of letters and vocabulary
Knowing the letters is another fundamental literacy skill. Knowing that letters are different, knowing the sounds and names of letters, are all stepping stones to learning to read.
“A is for Autumn” by Robert Maas is a good choice for teaching letter knowledge. This book features photographs of all the elements to connect words to real life objects. Children who can identify shapes are better at identifying different letters. “Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes” by Felicia Sanzari Chenski is an excellent fall-themed shape book.
Both of these books can help children expand their vocabulary. Exposure to new books will increase the number of words a child can encounter. Parents should make sure their child knows and understands the new words as they read.
Phonological awareness is a term that may be new to many families.
It’s hearing and playing with the little sounds of words. Rhyme is an important part of this skill. “My Autumn Book” by Wong Herbert Yee is a fun rhyme book about a young girl who goes out to observe the changes of the autumn season. Jamie Swenson’s “A Fall Ball for All” is another fantastic rhyme book where the wind invites all the forest animals for a ball.
The last skill is the narrative skill. Narrative skill involves describing the events of a story, making predictions, and knowing the order of events. “The Autumn Visitors” by Karel Hayes is a great story for storytelling skills. A family of bears move into a deserted house and they go out to enjoy the town’s festivities. Parents can take a break from reading and ask their children what they think the bears will do next and what the bears will celebrate. After the reading, parents can ask what happened first, next, and last.
There are many fall-themed books at the Abilene Public Library that would appeal to preschoolers. Parents can use these books to develop and develop their children’s early literacy skills. Stop by any branch and speak to one of the children’s librarians for book suggestions.