Thursday, January 7, 2010

"What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Read-Alouds to Get Ready for Kindergarten" Edited by E.D. Hirsh, Jr. and Linda Bevilacqua

My rating 4.5 out of 5
How I aquired the book: purchased at bookstore

Product Details:
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Delta (March 25, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385341989
ISBN-13: 978-0385341981

Synopsis from
Prepare your child for a lifetime of learning and wonder.

Designed for parents to enjoy with children, filled with opportunities for reading aloud and fostering curiosity, this beautifully illustrated read-aloud anthology offers preschoolers the fundamentals they need to prepare for a happy, productive time in school—and for the rest of their lives. Millions of children have benefited from the acclaimed Core Knowledge Series, developed in consultation with parents, educators, and the most distinguished developmental psychologists. In addition to valuable advice to parents, including what it means for a child to be ready for kindergarten, special sidebars throughout the book help parents make reading aloud fun and interactive, suggesting questions to ask, connections to make, and games to play to enrich their preschooler’s learning experience.


Favorite Poems and Rhymes—all beautifully illustrated. Read and recite together— from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “At the Seaside” to limericks by Edward Lear and tongue twisters by Jack Prelutsky, plus fun “clap along!” and “fingerplay” verses that parents and children can act out together.

Beloved Stories and Fables—read aloud from stories like “The Three Little Pigs” and the African folktale “Why Flies Buzz” —and open whole new worlds of learning and discovery.

Visual Arts—help your child appreciate and talk about art. Beautiful full-color reproductions of great works of art will foster early appreciation of art history while igniting discussions about shapes, colors, and different styles and media.

Music—dozens of songs to sing and dance to, including “move around” songs like “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and “The Wheels on the Bus”

History—a delightful introduction to American history—from the first Thanksgiving to Martin Luther King, Jr., —with activities and stories parents and children can enjoy together

Science—from the wonder of animals to exploring physical properties of light, air, and water—fun activities that will let children observe, experience, and enjoy the natural world

My thoughts:
While I was browsing in the bookstore at our local mall that is going out of business this book jumped out at me. I already have two children in school and prior to being a stay at home mom I taught first and second grade for a number of years. I know what we were expecting for children to be ready for those grades and feel like I have a pretty good idea of what is expected to enter kindergarten, but I thought this might be a handy reference guide for fun activities to do with my three year old. I read through it last night and for the most part I like it. It has some fun poems and songs, most of which are familiar, with pictures and fingerplays to go with them. My three year old is love with the idea of school, but doesn't start going to preschool until the fall so we have been doing "school" at home. He asks to do "school" all the time so I thought having a few more ideas of would help me when I can't think of something. My daughter came home yesterday saying that they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. at school and we flipped to the history section of the book to read what it said about him and discussed his life a little more. We have other books on our shelf about his life, but this was easier to find and flip through than searching for the other picture books. Especially for parents who aren't sure what schools are looking for in terms of readiness I can see this being a good guide. It has companiion workbooks but I didn't buy those, I may go back to see if they still have any but it isn't really a priority right now. I like that we can sing a silly song or read a poem and work on rhyming and motions and I can see my son having fun while learning some of the skills he will need to be a reader.

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