Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Using the Web to Raise a Reader

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

Does your kid turn on his computer more than he picks up a book?  Try using the worldwide web to pique his interest in books by suggesting he visit the web sites of authors and illustrators in whom you think he may be interested.

Most authors and illustrators have sites packed with fun activities and tidbits of trivia about their books along with reviews and synopses of their writings. Some publishers such as Scholastic have some pretty impressive and interactive sites about their most popular publications; for instance, Harry Potter.

It’s a great way to combine today’s technology with good, old-fashioned reading.  So, think about giving it a try.

Looking for titles to check out this month?  Consider these:


Whoa Baby Whoa! by Grace Nichols (Bloomsbury 2011), $15.99.  A fun book to read with a busy toddler whose always being told, “Hot things in the kitchen can burn you,” or “Newspapers are for reading, not eating.”  What’s a busy baby to do when exploring and putting things in your mouth is so much fun?  Then, one day, he tried something new all by himself and everybody was saying “Yea, Baby, Yea!”


Over in the Forest:  Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes (Dawn Publications, 2012), $8.95.  Every page has a surprise in this clever rhyming book about animals in a woodland habitat.  From grazing fawns to dunking raccoon kits, young readers will learn the names for each woodland baby and a fun fact about it, as they count the young animals in each inventive illustration.  The end of the book gives a few more facts about forest creatures and challenges readers to learn more about all woodland creatures by becoming wildlife detectives.

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden by Mary Quattlebaum (Dawn Publications, 2012), $8.95.  With a glow-glow here and a glow-glow there, Jo MacDonald...  Adults and kids will get grooving, as they sing this remixed favorite.  Young readers will also be amazed at what happens within the ecosystem of a garden, as Jo and her friends plant seeds, watch wiggly worms, and enjoy the fruits of their labors.


Too Princessy! by Jean Reidy (Bloomsbury, 2012), $12.99.  For cooped-up kids everywhere, this book shows what lengths a bored little girl will go to as she looks for just the right activity.  The backhoe truck in the toy chest was “too diggy;” the puzzles were “too piecey;” and the clown costume was “too clowny.”  It wasn’t until she had gone through the whole box of playthings that she found just the right something to play with.

AGES 4 TO 10

Molly’s Organic Farm by Carol L. Mainor and Trina Hunner (Dawn Publications, 2012), $8.95.  Based on a true story about a homeless cat named Molly, this sweet tale will enthrall young readers, as they watch Molly stroll through an organic farm.  As readers see the garden through Molly’s eyes, they learn the important role every insect, bug, and bat plays in an organic farm.  Watching Molly frolic, sleep, and hunt through the rows of vegetables will bring a soft smile to any reader’s face just as it did with the farmers who found her.

AGES 8 TO 12

Vanishing Acts:  A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery by Leslie Margolis (Bloomsbury, 2012), $15.99.  Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair is quickly becoming the Nancy Drew of the new century in this second book in the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series.  Maggie and her twin brother set out to find why tween heartthrob Seth Ryan has suddenly disappeared.  He was there filming in Park Slope and had actually looked for Maggie to talk to her at the Pizza Den before he vanished.  Everyone thinks Seth was kidnapped, but Maggie and her super-sleuth sense tell her that everyone is wrong.


A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen (Random House, 2000), $12.95.  The perfect read for those days it feels like your life is crushing the life out of you.  This short (I swear I read it in 20 minutes) book will have you counting your blessings and looking for ways to “show up, listen, and try to laugh” everyday.  A great gift for a friend who needs a little pick-me-up.

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Tags: Education, Enrichment, Featured Story

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