Friday, October 23, 2015

Tips for Starting a Book Discussion with your Child.

Starting a discussion about the book your child has read is an excellent way to support, your child's literacy.

The questioning skills used in the discussion are what your child needs to succeed in school—and in life. But because you're probably not reading the books that your children are reading for pleasure or for school, it's sometimes hard to have a discussion about them.

Here are some tips on how to start and sustain a book discussion with your child. In general, avoid dead-end, yes/no questions such as "Did you like it?"

Before your child reads a book, ask:
•         Why did you select this book?
•         What makes you think this book is going to be interesting?
•         What do you think the book is going to be about?
•         Does this book remind you of anything you've already read or seen?
•         What kind of characters do you think will be in the book?
•         What do you think is going to happen?

While your child is reading a book, try asking:
•         Will you catch me up on the story? What's happened so far?
•         What do you think will happen next?
•         If you were that character, what would you have done differently in that situation?
•         If the book was a TV show, which actors would you cast in it?
•         Where is the book set?
•         If the main character in that story lived next door, would you guys be friends?
•         What does the place look like in your head as you read? Would you want to visit there?
•         Did you learn any new words or facts so far?

After your child has finished a book, ask questions like:
•         What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
•         Who was your favorite character? Why?
•         What was the most interesting thing you learned from the book?
•         Why do you think the author wrote this book?
•         Would you have ended the book differently? Did it end the way you       thought it would?
•         Did the problem of the book's plot get solved?
•         If you could change one thing in the book, what would you change?
What is a good children's book?

A good children's book shares quality with its reader.

Quality writing is never boring. Good children's books, no matter how simple or complex they may be, have a sense of joy. They can make us laugh, and also cry. Regardless of how young the reader may be.

The story needs to have strong characters that you can relate to, and you actually care about what happens to them in the story.

A good book also teaches children a moral in a very subtle way, while still telling a great story.

For example, the very famous and still very popular children’s book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar,’ which was first published in 1969. Children learn about numbers, fruit and days of the week, but it's hardly noticed because they have fallen in love with the illustrations and their newly discovered ability to predict what is going to happen next.

Good children’s stories, and good books in general, allow the reader to explore with their imagination other worlds, and experience life through the eyes of the author using their written words on paper. The reader can travel the world, go on adventures, but the key to good writing is making sure the reader can relate themselves to the characters and feel what they are feeling emotionally.

The best way to know if it is a good book for your child, is through your child.
One of the greatest complements a reviewer can bestow on a children’s story book is to call it a “great read aloud book.” But how does a story come to merit such praise? The secret is rhythm-rhythm in language and rhythm in structure. That was my primary goal with Pete’s Monster. Encourage your child to want to read the words out aloud, while subtly learning a moral. Not to be a bully. That bullying is wrong.   

Allow your child to reject the books they dislike, and encourage them to tell you what it is that they did not like about that particular book.

What Must a Good Book Contain?
A good book has several characteristics. These include being:
·        Authentic – Pete’s Monster deals with the issue of bullying, and a child’s fear of the dark.
·        Credible – Bullying and being afraid of the dark are issues many parents have to go through with their child, whether they are a boy, or a girl.
·        Captivating – Pete’s Monster, keeps your child captivated as your child will want to know what Pete does with the Monster after he found him in his bedroom.

·        Exciting – Pete and the Monster both scare each other when they bump into one another. The challenge is, what is Pete, going to do with a Monster in his bedroom?

I’m excited about the release of the second Pete’s Monster book in late October 2015. If you’d like to be notified when Pete’s Monster is available for purchase, please contact us. Thank you!