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The Between the Lions (R) Book for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn to Read Hardcover – January 6, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Parents of preschoolers are probably familiar with the PBS children's series Between the Lions, which features a family of warm and fuzzy lion librarians and their cubs and friends. This book, by Between the Lions curriculum director Rath, and Kennedy, a journalist, is strictly for parents (despite the hokey lion cartoon illustrations sprinkled throughout the text). Part I focuses on the curriculum, but the real meat of the text is found in the following chapters, in which the authors provide an age-by-age guide to reading development, along with activity guides and book lists. While pointing out that each child is unique and follows his own path to literacy, the authors nevertheless offer parents a guideline for anticipated literacy and reading milestones from preschool to grade three. They outline the development of reading skills (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) and reveal what kids should be learning in school as well as what parents can do at home to add reinforcement. Storytelling, reading aloud and creating a print-rich environment are just a few of the many suggested methods the authors provide to encourage a love of reading and help kids find success. The book's format is especially appealing; readers can cut to the chase and find the chapter that covers their own child, or read ahead to find out what skills will be coming up in future years. This is a helpful resource for parents who want to enrich their child's reading experiences.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Animated librarians Theo and Cleo Lion and their cubs from the PBS television series Between the Lions form the centerpiece of this resourceful parents' guide to teaching children how to read and fostering a lifelong enjoyment of reading. Rath, curriculum director for the popular show, and Boston Globe reporter Kennedy look at the characters and the teaching methods used on the show and provide an overview of various theories of teaching reading to children. The second part of the book focuses on developing appropriate grade-level skills for reading and writing, offering parents suggested books, spelling lists, and other activities to encourage reading. A chapter is devoted to helping children who struggle with reading because of problems such as dyslexia or attention-deficit disorder. The final section offers activities for children of all ages and resources. Parents and teachers will enjoy this imaginative resource with tie-ins to the award-winning show. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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This book is packed with incredibly useful information you may never have known, but will know after reading it. For example, did you know that schools are required by federal law to screen children in regards to reading ability and learning disabilities even before they reach school age? Did you know that "invented spellings" are actually considered normal for preschool / early grade-school children and that they can be a useful window into a child's though processes. How about that complex dictionaries are not recommended for preschool / early grade-school children, as they generally can't understand them and find them confusing. It's true, and it's these are just three of the many useful things you'll find it this book. It covers a wide range of topics, from phonemic awareness to Readers' Theater. Everything is helpfully indexed and laid out, with various side-boxes providing additional information. The style is informative and useful, but with humor that will appeal directly to parents
This book focuses on step-by-step instruction in reading, but also includes a helpful chapter on learning disabilities and difficulties. And it offers an excellent list of resources to consult if you feel you or your child need more help.
I'm not personally a parent, so I can't claim I have any first-hand experience with applying any of the material in this book when it comes to teaching children. But I do know enough about the subject and the program to know that this is truly a valuable book. It would have been nice if something like this had been around when I was a kid. I think I turned out all right, and I'm a voracious reader, but this book definitely could have been useful to my parents. I hope somebody this book is readily available in all libraries, schools and reading-advocacy sites. Go between the lions and help a kid find out just how much fun reading can be!
The creators of BTL have created a companion book for parents. It has everything one needs to help a child discover, learn, and enjoy reading, beginning with preschool and ending with third grade.
An important section to read is "How to Use the Book." At first glance it seems almost too technical, but don't worry, the reasons will eventually become clear.
The authors' believe "children learn to read when they receive both instructions in reading skills and introduction to the value of understanding what they read." Their approach, in both the show and the book, is "practical, comprehensive, and fun."
In the series, the writers use wonderful, lively characters to keep the young ones' attention. In the book, the writers use various methods to keep the parents reading. The chapters are marked by grades and throughout the book are patterned pages with vital information and explanations about reading, writing, and sounding out words. The patterned pages make for quick access.
The book gives explanations of the five key areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. There are grade-by-grade guides for preschool through third grade, as well as information on reading and learning disabilities; also lists of resources, including books and web sites and a glossary. It's the most comprehensive companion book I have ever seen.
Parents, be sure to do your child's preschool or elementary teacher a favor and bring this book to their attention.