1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Here is our October 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

It’s never too early to read with your baby – really! Here are some tips and encouragement for reading with babies who are only months, weeks, or even days old.

The experts at ZERO TO THREE write, “Literacy starts with a love of, and interest in, books. The goal at this age is for your [child] to have pleasurable and positive experiences with books so that [they want] to keep learning about them.” There are so many benefits babies get out of reading in their first days, weeks, and months of life: check out ZERO TO THREE’s full article here!

How can you make the most of reading with your baby?

  • Choose durable books like board books, cloth books, or waterproof books that are easier for babies to hold and better suited for their curious handling.
  • Be patient when your baby seems more interested in touching, grabbing, or even chewing on a book than they do listening to you read it. This is an important step as babies learn to love books!
  • Repetition and routines are soothing to babies, so lean in to reading favorite books and singing favorite songs over and over again.
  • For more tips, see Reading Rockets’ list of best practices.

Most importantly, reading with your very young child communicates that you love them and cherish spending time with them. You can hold and cuddle your baby while you read, and they get to hear and connect with their favorite people: you, their parents and caretakers! That positive association strengthens their bond with you and with the act of reading itself. It’s something they’ll want to do again and again as they grow into toddlers and beyond!

Book Recommendations

Kisses, Kisses, Head to Toe! by Karen Katz is fun for everyone to read with its peek-a-boo flaps and shiny mirror.

I See You, Baby! by Flowerpot Press is full of eye-catching photographs of babies, one of young children’s favorite things to look at.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Garden Friends by Eric Carle is one of dozens of books inspired by the author’s classics - his signature bright colors and chunky shapes are perfect for reading with a baby!

Peek-a-you! by Andrea Davis Pinkney celebrates the sweetness and joy of Black and brown baby faces and is a delightful book every family can enjoy. Peek-a-who? Peek-a-you!

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton is a fun, rhyming romp around the barnyard. You and your baby will love reading, bouncing, and dancing along with the animals!

For Caregivers

The Read Aloud Factor by Rehka S. Rajan highlights the benefits of reading aloud for brain growth, language acquisition, and social-emotional health. There are also in-depth chapters that go into specific periods of a baby's first year: pregnancy to 2 months (“the Listener”), 2 months to 4 months (“the Observer”), and so on up to 3 to 5 years (“the Storyteller”). She also explores how to incorporate music, art, and technology into reading aloud.

Library Updates

Many of our branches offer programs specifically tailored to the needs and skills of babies and young toddlers, from storytimes and sensory-friendly playtime to baby sign language. Two of our branches, Central and Julia Davis, distribute diapers on a regular schedule. Check out our calendar of events for babies, toddlers, and their families here!

For preschool-age children, we are excited to introduce you to two new system programs this fall! Music and Movement is perfect for playing, dancing, and singing along, and Real Play gives kids a unique play environment for engagement, cooperation, creativity, and risk-taking. We would also love to see you at our family-friendly Live at SLPL series of dance, music, and theater performances!

Happy reading!