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Tips for Reluctant Readers

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

“Argggggh!  I have to read again?!”  Many kids out there would rather eat spinach than read. Even kids with strong reading skills may promise to pop a Brussels sprout in their mouth, if it means they don’t have to sit down and read.

What can you do to encourage your little reluctant reader?  Here are some ideas for getting even the most recalcitrant reader to delve into reading material:

• Tell your child a joke or a riddle you found in a book. Once the giggling subsides, your little jokester is sure to ask for more.  So, keep your Joke or riddle books handy and have junior pick out one to tell you.

• Show your child that books can open doors to developing a new skill or hobby.  Does she want to make some extra special cupcakes or bedazzle her t-shirt?  Find books with step-by-step instructions, then watch the creativity flow!

Looking for some good reads this month? Check out these titles:

AGES 3-6

Chick ‘n’ Pug Meet the Dude by Jennifer Sattler (Bloomsbury, 2013), $16.99. Fun illustrations bring to life this heart-warming story of unlikely heroes.  Chick and Pug are on the prowl for exciting adventures.  They found one the day they woke up to find their favorite toy of all, Squeaky Hamburger, was gone.  The duo sprang into action looking everywhere for their missing toy.  Then, they caught the beast who stole it red-handed.  Can they retrieve their toy from a monster with evil eyes and sharp fangs?  

AGES 3-8

Jo MacDonald Hiked in the Woods

by Mary Quattlebaum (Dawn Publications, 2013), $8.95.  Jo MacDonald loves exploring the woods on Grandpa’s farm.  She loves hearing the rat-tat of the woodpeckers, gobble-gobbles of the turkeys, and flutter-flutters of the butterflies.  Young readers will love learning about the creatures and trees in the woods, as they take a walk with Jo and her grandpa.

AGES 5-8

Squirrel’s Fun Day
by Lisa Moser (Candlewick Press, 2013), $14.99. Squirrel had his mind set on having a fun day.  But, Mouse was too busy cleaning.  Rabbit said it was time for him to eat grass at the big oak tree.  And, Turtle was too sleepy to leave his log.  Those excuses didn’t stop tireless Squirrel from having a good time.  He helped Mouse by sweep, sweep, sweeping his house (and made more of a mess). He talked Rabbit into having fun, fun, fun on the way to the meadow.  And, he got Turtle to run, run, run.  But, did his friends really have fun, fun, fun?

Magical Mix-ups: Pets and Parties

by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson (Nosy Crow, 2013), $6.99.
  In the land of Mixtopia, things are a little strange.  For instance, princesses and witches are best friends and love to play games like Spiders & Ladders. One day, as Princess Sapphire watched Emerald the Witch with her faithful companion, Boris the toad, Sapphire sighed wistfully saying, “I wish I had a pet.”  Emerald suggested that Sapphire could get one for her birthday, which was coming up in two days.  “Mom won’t let me,” Sapphire replied glumly.  Emerald decides on the next best thing.  She’d take Sapphire to an amazing pet show.  But, things got really mixed up when the star, a magical cat, mysteriously disappears.  A sweet story about friendship that engages young readers by encouraging them to doodle, design, and draw while they read.

AGES 8-12

The Quirks: Welcome to Normal
by Erin Soderberg (Bloomsbury, 2013), $13.99.  Warning!  This might look like a normal book about normal people in a normal place…but prepare to meet the Quirks!  They are an odd family, the Quirks.  Maybe that’s why they have to move around so much.  Penelope has a wild imagination; Grandpa twists time; Mom can control minds; and Finn is invisible.  The only normal one in the bunch is Molly, and she just wants her family to be normal.  Molly thinks she’s found the perfect spot for her family to become normal – Normal, Michigan.    It seems like a perfect place for a perfectly normal family.  But, can the Quirks do normal?


While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
by Wendy Wax (Penguin Group, 2013), $15.00.  One of the hottest shows on television is the backdrop for this intriguing tale of three women with very different backgrounds.   When Claire Walker left the world of the suburbs for a mid-town Atlanta apartment to write the great American novel, she didn’t know how lonely she’d be.  Brooke MacKenzie, divorcee and mother of two, was living a life far different from the fairy-tale life she expected when she married Dr. Not-So-Right.  The polished, seemingly icy Samantha Davis was beginning to realize she’s falling in love, which really complicates her marriage.  The three women form bonds they never knew they could in this funny yet touching story of friendship.

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Tags: Education, Featured Story

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