Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers by Stephanie Zvirin is reviewed by Krista Jefferies.
In her book, Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers ($18.95, Huron Street Press), Stephanie Zvirin offers parents numerous helpful tips to encourage their children to read, along with a comprehensive catalog of kid-friendly books. Zvirin, an editor for the American Library Association (ALA), provides insight about the types of books that are appropriate for each age group and how to share the experience of reading with children at the various stages of their early lives.
This book is logically organized, each chapter building on the previous one like adding train cars to a locomotive on this journey to literacy. Each list of suggested reading is alphabetically ordered, and filled with a variety of books for both boys and girls. Among Zvirin’s recommendations for infants and toddlers are books that include bright colors and vibrant pictures, subjects that include everything from animals to sports, stories that teach anything from opposites to counting (in English and Spanish), and multi-cultural characters that expand a child’s scope of the world. Her lists for older children, ages 4-8, include books that adhere to a child’s growing sense of the world, offering themes like family, friendship, nature, and make believe.
This book is a great tool for parents, but it’s also useful for family members, friends, daycare providers, and anyone else with an opportunity to read to kids. I recognized strategies I’ve used with my nieces and nephews, and even my students while reading aloud with them, such as changing inflection to capture characters’ voices or to show enthusiasm. There are also plenty more to try out in the future, simple tips that make reading a constant fixture in a child’s life. I plan to pass this book along to a friend who has recently mentioned he’d like to read more with his children but doesn’t really know where to start. This is a terrific starting point for any parent, and Zvirin’s advices don’t stop here—the final pages offer an array of reputable resources for reading guides and book blogs that will connect anyone to the wide world of words.