These are the first books that helped us get Amare interested in books.

1. Point at the words as you read them. I made this bold because this may have been the key to her learning that those squiggly lines in her books represent words. Because children when they are young, love getting read to again and again, especially with their favorite books. It's like drilling them what the letters in the book represent. When that idea clicks they will learn to sight-read. This advice was given to us by our friend (Gemma) we just thought that it was a good idea and did it with Amare.

2. You should read the books with feelings. There are 2 reasons why you should read their early books with as much expression as you can. The first reason is you will not capture their imaginations if you don't. 2 reading it with expression will pay off later. This will prime their mind to think the words in the books are exciting and full of emotions. A third bonus is when she starts to read she will (try to) read this way and not like a "robot". (At age 6 Amare does not read aloud monotonously)

These 3 books were standouts. Of course, they are not the only books we read to her but these were the books we read the most times.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was the first book she wanted us to read repeatedly. It holds the attention of really young children because this caterpillar eats the stuff they love to eat and they love the journey and transformation that that caterpillar makes in the book. I recommend this book because this is the book I think made her notice that the words I was pointing to meant the words I was saying. This is a very easy book to read slowly and with lots of expression. I recommend this video for pacing and how it should be read https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75NQK-Sm1YY  "slow and methodological". The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the best "Point at the Words" book.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown:

Goodnight Moon is a very interesting book. It's also one of those books where you can point at the words very easily. It is very special for its unique features. Outside of being a very good book, it hides a game that keeps children interested in the book. Amare loves listening to the book but her favorite thing to do when we are snuggled and reading it is, looking for the little mouse that is "hiding" in its illustrations. She loves the challenge of finding the mouse on every page and it became one of the reasons she looks forward to reading Goodnight Moon with me. I also enjoy this book so much for this reason. The memory of the fun we had with this book is a treasure. 

Little Bear:

We found this book in a Playground in June of 2019 in Willacoochee Georgia on our way to Jekyll Island to celebrate my wife's birthday. This playground is just one of those public playgrounds on the side of the highway. I think we stopped because Amare was at that stage where she loves playgrounds and would ask us to stop and if she could play when she saw one on the side of the road. We just picked it up from a "Public Book Box"

692.83 KB

This book is very special to Amare's reading journey. It is a book that you can still point at the words but this time there are more words on the page than images and the images take a back seat and reading the story becomes the central idea. Now you have progressed to dragging your finger across the sentences. At age 2, she was now more interested in looking at the written words that make up the story. I think this was when we realized that she could read quicker than me "reading" it with the expressions. She would now correct my mistakes because I have memorized the sentences at this point and would forget the exact words in some sentences.

I share this story now because, at the age of 6 and a half, she underwent official testing in her school and gained entry into Georgia's "Gifted Children Program," largely due to her reading ability (her reading was at the 99th percentile). However, in grade one, Amare was not a proficient speller. We discussed this concern with her first-grade phonics teacher, Ms. McRee, thinking it might be a problem. Ms. McRee reassured us that it was normal for kids her age. Ms McRee played a crucial role in our daughter's understanding of spelling rules. In her class, Amare learned exactly what she was missing—the basic rules of spelling and reading phonetically. Within a few months of first grade, she did improve her spelling and phonetic reading skills, thanks to Ms. McRee.

I believe these books and Gemma Lumogdang's advice to point at the words when reading to your child made all the difference. Thanks to all the teachers, children's book authors, illustrators, libraries, and the people who are behind those "mini library book boxes" and especially to Gemma for the "point at the words" advice.


This is Amare when we got the book Little Bear: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Yb56bFAtw6q4Xpt69

6  10
Created: Updated:

| | Amare Files | Gifted Program Information | ZK Topic share buttons | Your stories | Amare Information


Accelerated Reader Story (first big book)