Although the focus may be on teaching our school aged children, reading to our younger children is vital to their development. Take the time to focus one-on-one, by reading a story to them. Their response will be physical rather than verbal, but they are still learning and ultimately, and enjoying having you all to themselves.  Encourage your other children to read to their younger siblings - they will be practicing a variety of skills from language development, reading comprehension, self-discipline and confidence.

Reading to babies as young as six months of age leads to stronger vocabularies and better early literacy skills four years later, just as the children are getting ready to go to school. - Pediatric Academy Society:

Our Staff Picks include some of our favourite picture book reads that are also available on Hoopla and Overdrive:

Amy suggests:

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins – “Most marshmallows are born into marshmallow families, play with marshmallow friends, and go to marshmallow school where they learn to be squishy. Most marshmallows read a book before bed and then fall asleep to dream ordinary marshmallow dreams. Is this book about most marshmallows? It isn't. Because Rowboat Watkins knows that just like you, some marshmallows have big dreams, and just like you, these marshmallows can do anything they set their minds to. This sweet and silly book is an inspiring reminder that by being true to ourselves each of us can be truly extraordinary.”

Kate suggests:

A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith -  “Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in  hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.”

Coleen suggests:

The Day the Crayons Quit – “Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?”

Make the story interactive with crafts – get out the marshmallows, paper and child-friendly scissors, and crayons!

To search books designed to be read aloud – select Digital Library Items LA – Select Advanced SearchFind Items that have – type Juvenile Picture Book and Advanced Search at the bottom corner. You can also search your favourite authors, illustrators or topic like “dogs.”