As Easy as ABC

One of the most exciting times in a child’s development is when a child is first beginning to read.

Pete the Cat's Train Trip    Sam Goes to School

There are many steps a child passes through before actually being able to read a book: learning that the secret to a story is contained in a series of small black scribbles on a page, learning that the scribbles are placed together to represent words, learning that each letter has a sound or sounds that it represents. When the child is able to crack the code and sound out letters, and then put the sounds together to read words: WOW! It just makes you feel like dancing, because you know that reading is really the key to knowledge and to a lifetime of enjoyment.

You may not realize that we have a separate section of “Beginning Reader” books. They are located in the corner outside the children’s room at the Aurora Library and at the end of the picture book shelves at the Dillsboro Library. These books are also marked on the spine with a blue or pink ABC sticker.

This area of the library actually has two kinds of books. First, we have phonics books that emphasize the sound made by a particular letter, usually written in the form of a simple story. Here are some examples of this type.

Four Fish   Holly and Hank

This area also has storybooks that are designed for the early reader by limiting both the number of words on each page and the difficulty of the words. Ideally, all the words in these books will be relatively simple for kids to sound out.

Bubble-Gum Radar   Dancing Dinos

Be patient and encouraging as your kids struggle to sound out words. It’s hard work! That’s why there is so little text on the pages. The illustrations can also help decode the words and place the words in context. It’s often helpful to let your child reread the entire sentence; the first time through may take all their concentration and they might miss the overall meaning. You might want to take turns, each reading a page at a time.