Some books are timeless. When your child says “Read to me,” parents often reach for their own favorites. What is the #1 favorite, across generations, children’s book being pulled from book shelves? To find out, Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine first asked literacy experts, educators, and parents for suggestions, then used factors such as literary and/or illustrative excellence, popularity, and longevity or innovative freshness to narrow the selection down from 500 titles to the 100 Great Children’s Book List. Topping the newly announced, March 2012 Scholastic listing as #1 was Charlotte’s Web written by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams.
The top three
The Scholastic Parent & Child’s 100 Great Children’s Books describes E.B. White’s timeless favorite in these words: “Of the more than 500 titles we considered for our 100 Greatest, Charlotte’s Web seemed to have touched the most readers. Its whimsical brand of fantasy, coupled with the message of a little girl’s unconditional love and a noble spider’s resourcefulness, make it not only a treasured must of childhood (and a perennial Top Ten best-seller), but a Number One inspiration. Children love it and for adults who last read it as children, it’s a treat to pick up again.”
But, not to worry, your personal or your child’s favorite likely is on that interactive, 100 Great Children’s Books list, too. The #2 spot is held by Good Night Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. The #3 spot is held by A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, a fantasy favorite that has been in continuous print since 1962.
Reading with understanding is a key building block of success
Reading development is one of the essential, learning and thinking tasks of childhood. Its fundamental nature shows that reading, thinking, and comprehension skills undergird lifetime success. Through support from the by sharing books and educational activities, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Library of Education, and the US Department of Education, research-based guidelines information from A Developmental Path to Reading is offered in PDF form, without cost and for free download. The guide is an excellent 52 page issue of ERIC Review that focuses on the developmental path that children typically take when learning to read. Additionally, it provides insight into the steps that parents can take to ensure that children make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
Basic tips to help parents build reading success skills
ERIC’s A Developmental Path to Reading highlights that by sharing books and educational activities, parents can be an essential part of a child’s discovery of the joys of reading. Key tips to parents on building the fundamental skills of reading success are offered:
- Spend 30 minutes a day reading to your child or listening to him or her read.
- Give your child books as gifts.
- Pick out books on topics that interest your child.
- Help your child use the local library and the school library.
- Learn about how reading is taught in your child’s school. Look for evidence that your child is receiving age-appropriate instruction and has access to interesting, appealing children’s books.
- Monitor your child’s progress by discussing what he or she is learning and by reviewing homework.
- Keep in touch with your child’s teachers. Ask how your child is progressing and what you can do at home to support reading instruction.
- Encourage your child to practice literacy skills in the same way that you would encourage him or her to practice basketball or the piano.
- Applaud the practice. Build on both small and large successes.
- Let your child see you and other important adults reading and writing for practical purposes and for pleasure.
Share your favorites
Scholastic Parent & Child’s 100 Great Children’s Books is a wonderful way to ensure that “I love that book!” is echoed throughout the generations in your family. In their March, 2012, issue or on Scholastic’s 100 Great Children’s Book’s online book shelf, you can discover the grand favorites of all time.
Parents, grandparents, and young learners will not be disappointed. You’ll find favorites like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (recommended for ages 11+ and at #6 on that list), Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Don Freeman’s Corduroy, Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, and Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
Scholastic Book Clubs and the Scholastic Store
Parents can register at Scholastic Book Clubs to learn more about children’s books and to order through Scholastic’s book clubs. To learn how Scholastic’s book clubs work for parents, a step-by-step guide is offered online. Or, alternatively, simply enter a book’s title into the Scholastic Book Search, and the option to order directly online from the Scholastic Store will be offered. For bargain hunters, the Scholastic Store has a Sales and Bargains link.
Express your opinion on Facebook
Was your favorite children’s book named in that short list? If it’s not on the full 100 listing of the 100 Great Children’s Books, Scholastic suggests, “We know that each person’s personal list is different — everyone has an opinion! To share your thoughts about our choices, go to our 100 Greatest Books for Kids Facebook album.” You’ll get a chance at that social media site to shout out your personal thoughts, share your own memories, or check for a reading strategy or book opinion offered by others.
Reading is empowerment
To underscore the importance of reading to better prepare children who will need strong literacy skills to survive and succeed in the 21st century, Scholastic has a global literacy campaign entitled Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. Its Reading Bill of Rights affirms that every child has the right to read and access books and great stories to build essential abilities to analyze, interpret and understand information in the digital age. Richard Robinson, CEO of Scholastic, states from The Reading Bill of Rights that “Today we live in a world of digital information. Yet reading has never been more important.”
In the 21st century’s Knowledge Era, reading truly is essential. Parental influence brings a pivotal impact to early literacy development, and parental interaction, early and sustained, paves the way and walks hand-in-hand with academic, school, and career successes. Each parent builds the future while sharing in a child’s active discovery of the fundamental treasures in the timeless books of the Scholastic Parent & Child’s 100 Great Children’s Book List.
Find the take in this article to be helpful? The writer is a former US National Technology and Learning Teacher of the Year, a former US Web-based Education Commissioner during the Clinton administration, former Vice President of Global Knowledge Exchange, and a published poet and photojournalist, now writing on National Education issues. To keep current on similar articles, view the suggested links below and click the free, “subscribe to get instant updates” link at the top of this article to get a conveniently customized news delivery.