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My Daughter's Favorite Book by Dr. Seuss
on August 27, 2000
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish was her pick as the best of the books by Dr. Seuss.
One of the appeals of this book is that it is relatively easy to learn to read, yet has much more variety than most other early readers. So your child will feel like she or he has accomplished a lot with reading this book, which is correct.
The title gives the key to why this book works well as an early reader. One word is changed at a time, with a clear illustration next to it. Most children will read the illustrations like a rebus and later associate the words with the sounds of the name for the pictures. At some point, they begin reading from the words. Very nice!
Here's another sequence: "black fish blue fish old fish new fish."
Then, when he moves on, he uses simple rhymes: "This one has a little star. This one has a little car."
Next, he progresses to substituting "some" for "fish" and adding a single verb to make a sentence as in "Some are read . . . . Some are old."
So almost any child can soon begin to read along with few errors in the first 2 or 3 pages. Whenever the child can go no more, you can just keep going. With repetition, more of the book becomes memorized and the process continues.
There is another reward for you and your child: The book also previews many of the wonderful characters and rhyming schemes that appear in other Dr. Seuss books. As a result, it will be easier to get started reading those books. You will feel like you are seeing an old friend again.
You can also use each rhyme to take off on your own speculations. Our daughter used to love to come up with alternative rhymes that fit the pictures.
Books like this one make it great fun to be either a parent or a child. In some cases, this book will be there for you in both roles over 20 to 40 years!
Overcome your mistaken beliefs about how children can start to learn to read by seeing your child start naturally by associating the words with the pictures as you read this wonderful book to him or her!