1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Here is our January update for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Remember, if you have not yet registered, there are two ways to participate in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten:

  • You can visit a Library location to receive a paper log. Staff will take your information and provide you with a booklet to keep track of all the books your child reads. 
  • Or sign up on Beanstack to track books online, the Library’s online reading platform. Just create an account and log books as your child completes them. You can even download the Beanstack app to log books by scanning their barcode with your phone!

Literacy at Home

Beyond the technical early literacy skills that tackle syllables and letters, there are also more conceptual elements to literacy like background knowledge. Background knowledge refers to the information we know about the world, outside of the text we’re reading. For example, if your child has already seen trees, touched them, climbed in them, and talked with you about them, they are going to be able to utilize that background knowledge to understand a book about trees. It is one thing to have the skills necessary to read the words, and another to be able to understand them, and their context. This understanding will then encourage the growth of abstract thinking and problem-solving! Reading Rockets discusses this topic, and notes that “once print has been decoded into words, reading comprehension and listening comprehension requires the active construction of inferences that rely on background knowledge.” 

Try sharing concept books, and initiate discussion about them, building your child’s “threshold of knowledge” as described in this Reading Rockets blog. Non-concept books are also great tools. Try relating the story you’re sharing to your child’s life, or involve them by asking them what they think will happen next. Cumulative stories are an easy way to encourage the “what happens next” discussion, where a repetitive and rhythmic story builds upon itself in a predictable way. You can also grow this skill outside of storytime by simply talking with your child about the world and providing them with experiences to build their background knowledge. 

Book recommendations

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A FlyThere Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback is a great example of a cumulative book through a classic poem you’re probably already familiar with, not to mention: it’s so much fun!

Journey by Aaron Becker is a wordless picture book that encourages imagination, context, and conversation as the reader follows a young girl on an exciting adventure.

The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos is a bilingual cumulative tale that includes a glossary of Spanish words, and a step-by-step guide to building your own piñata.

This Is A Book of Shapes by Kenneth Kraegel begins as a straightforward concept book about shapes, but includes unexpected and silly twists that will help you build up early recognition and background knowledge while keeping your child’s attention.

Don’t forget, for every 100 books read, stop by your local library branch and redeem for a prize book!

Check out this list of all of our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten prize books!

For caregivers: 

For those of you just starting out with our program, try The Read-aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, a classic since its first publication in 1982 - now on its eighth edition. Including both research and book recommendations, this carefully curated handbook is a great aid for cultivating a love of reading when you don’t know where to start. 

If you’re nearing the end of our program, and are wondering: what’s next? Try Living Literacy at Home by Margaret Mary Policastro, a guide for parents to aid in continuing literacy development that is aimed at parents of children from kindergarten to eighth grade (although their tips can be adapted for any grade level!). 

Library updates

There are so many fun in-person programs and events going on at your library! Check out our events page to find out what kind of Early Childhood programs we have planned, we can’t wait to see you! 

Happy reading!