8 by Eight
This month's 8 by Eight list focuses on books about family literacy.
Bookstore Babies is a cute introduction to bookstore outings. It's on this list, however, because the last page has some great guidelines for making reading times interactive. The spread contains vignettes of the previous pages with questions about each page. On page one, adults and babies can look for the teddy bear. On page two, you can count together. Some questions are more open ended and encourage creative answers. Questions such as "what are the other books about" will give you a chance to talk, discuss, and speculate together.
This is Not a Book is a wordless book wherein the illustrations on each spread look like objects and spaces that are definitely not books. The illustrations will also help you figure out how to orient the book. The book should be laid flat on the page that looks like a tennis court; the pages will be held at a 90 angle on the pages that look like a lap top or a piano. The butterfly page will be flapped and moved through the air. You'll need to be creative with the tent. The butt? Well, that one's up to you. Wordless picture books create wonderful opportunities for readers of all ages to flex their own storytelling skills. This book will have you talking, thinking outside the book, and laughing. All great and important parts of literacy development.
Hug this Book! is another interactive book that encourages engagement, not just with this one book, but will other books, too. Hug a book. Smell a book. Make up a story about a book. Read a book with a friend. All great suggestions!
We Are in a Book! is an existential investigation about what happens when the characters in a book discover that they are are characters in a book. Elephant and Piggie get a bit power hungry, though, when they realize that there is a reader of the book and that they can make the reader say words! Silly words that make Elephant and Piggie (and maybe the reader!?) laugh hysterically. The impending conclusion of the book is a bit nervewracking but perhaps the reader will read the book again?
We Are in a Book! in Spanish! Many of the books in the Elephant & Piggie series have been translated. Please ask if you're looking for more translated and/or bilingual books.
How to Read a Book is a poetic ode to books by Newbery winner Kwame Alexander. The text is paired with gorgeous illustrations by Melissa Sweet. The final package is a perfect as a clementine. The interactive pages -- fold outs and die cuts, demonstrate how much range there is in books. Sweet's illustrations are brightly colored collages and will inspire art projects. How to Read a Book is the kind of book that grows with readers. There is always something new to find and appreciate.
The final two books on this list are for parents, educators, and others who are interested in learning more about why family reading, making up stories, laughing, having books in the home, play time, singing, talking, are all vital for langauge development, critical thinking, empathy, behavior, math, and beyond. Both of these books are packed with great information, delivered in an accessible way, and both offer practical tips for incorporating reading in the family schedule.
Enjoy and Happy Reading!