TV Christmas book giftsYesterday I was interviewed by Gillian Neff at News12 CT on choosing those last minute books for Christmas gifts. I shared the following books for their rich language learning potential:

  • Up! Tall! and High! by Ethan Long: This is a wonderful early reader that manages to have a fun, engaging story with very few words for the new reader to master. A flap book, it’s fun for preschoolers too as they master the opposites of up/down, tall/small and high/low.
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley: Filled with rich vocabulary as well as bright, bold collage illustrations that invite conversation, this book is beautifully written. A little ant is dragging his piece of watermelon to share with his family colony and growing tired. Grasshopper’s buggy band inspires him to move on with their music. “With a heavy sigh, she persevered, though each blade of grass seemed to thwart her on this hot and humid day” includes so many strong words to build a child’s vocabulary that eventually positively impacts reading comprehension.
  • Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon: Sometimes a simple story and illustrations invite language as there are opportunities to talk about what is inferred in the story and drawings. This is the case with this story of friendship between a penguin and his little pinecone. Kids have pointed out details in the drawings that further the story that I didn’t even see!
  • Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamilton Ray: A delightful early reader with lots of zip and rhythm as the story unfolds about a town taken over by skiing squirrels. With plenty of fun words to swish and swoop through, the reader also gets cues from the lively, detailed cartoons that accompany the story.