BarbMarch58 asks:

I'm starting a reading hour for our apartment complex and need recommendations and advice.

I'm new to your site and feel bad starting out right off with a question, but I can tell I'm in a community that can help me.

I've recently been asked by the management of the large apartment complex I live in to develop "reading hour" for our tenant's children.  Well, considering we have approximately 3000 tenants, there's lots of little ones. I realize that children develop at a rapid rate, so I've propsed so far the following:

1.  We'll offer Reading Hours for Certain Ages.
     a.  2-3 year olds
     b.  3-4 year olds
     c.  4-5 year olds

    [this would give 3 and 4 year olds the chance to attend 2 different groups]

2. The "hour" would actually be more like 50 minutes - with plenty of singing, movement, marching
    stretching, etc. throughout the timeframe.  I believe that sitting for 50 minutes is much too much
    to ask of children of these ages.

3. We'll offer the groups most likely from 11 - 12 noon.

Now here are my questions:

1.  Is it inappropriate for 2 year olds to attend a reading group?

2.  Is pre-lunch a good time for these groups?  I figure that many take an after-lunch nap or rest, but maybe I'm simply crazy.  Would it be better to have them from 3 - 4 pm?

3.  MOST IMPORTANT, could any of you recommend your very favorite books (and give me an idea of the proper age of child it would appeal to).  The children's librarians around town are VERY helpful, but I want to hear from folks who work with kids daily and I believe your cumulative list will be invaluable.  If you do choose to make a recommendation, but see that an earlier poster already added that book, PLEASE REPEAT IT.  This will let me know how popular the books are.

Any ideas, criticisms, etc. WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.  Trust me, you can't hurt the feelings of a member of law enforcement - we've heard just about everything!!

Thanks to all of you,

In Topics: Recommended Books
> 60 days ago



Oct 13, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Barbara,

Sounds like you are off to a great start! Kudos to you for taking this very important job on. The children (and their parents) will very much appreciate your participation and involvement!

I think that Jodi has provided some great feedback, so I wanted to direct you to some great articles on book recommendations for children that are organized by age or topic: This section should help you find some developmentally appropriate books.

Good luck!

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychologist Reference Team

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Additional Answers (1)

jodi writes:
You have appropriate plans in place and should end up with a great reading hour.  Either you know children very well or are getting good advice!

Two year olds are mostly too young, but their parents are not.  And many of those parents will welcome a chance to be among other mothers or fathers of young children.  I would give this age a try but keep the reading brief and fun, then jump quickly to the more active play you have mentioned.  I would give them a reading HALF-hour, encourage parents to sit with the child and participate, and intersperse comments to the parents throughout.  The teacher needs to know these children will wander, will talk or stand up, and the teacher needs to be okay with this.  It is developmentally right where they are.  Some three year olds are similar.  The teacher should make eye contact with those children who are listening and be vibrant and dramatic.

An example of a good book for two year olds are the Biscuit books by Alyssa Satin Capucilli.  The teacher can read, then let the children play with balls saying "Biscuit liked his ball didn't he?" Then the teacher could give tips or booklists to the parents as children chased around.  Collect the balls and get each parent to bring his or her child back for your second and last story.

Other good books for all preschool ages are:

The Froggy books by Jonathan London
Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley (or any of the many Joy Cowley books)
Puppy Mudge, also Henry and Mudge, by Cynthia Rylant
Mrs. McNosh Hung up the Wash by Sarah Weeks
Jimmy's Boa books by (I believe) Steven Kellogg

Oversized books or Big books would be great  

Hope this helps.

> 60 days ago

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