Grow a Reader

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”—Emilie Buchwald

Rodent holes! Hidden beneath the snow cover, those sneaking little thieves were on a crunch, munch, and destroy mission, filling themselves with savory bulbs I had hastily planted. I guess if I had taken the time to send those critters packing, to fertilize the bulbs, and to plant them at the right depth, I would have a bloomin’ good garden. I’m not known for my green thumb. That’s why I have a stash of artificial flowers that I can shove into the ground just in case the real ones don’t come up!

Growing a garden is a lot like growing a reader. You need to take the time to nurture and cultivate both of them. As a teacher and author, I believe in growing readers. Start fertilizing your reader’s garden with a few of these tips.

In the beginning, cuddle that bundle of joy in your arms and share a fun board book.

Make the library your second home.

As children grow older, continue to read to them. Secretly, they love it!

Read outside the book. Encourage reading newspapers, magazines, and other nonfiction materials.

Read the same book your child is reading and talk about it.

Instead of an iPod on a road trip, check out an audio book from the library for everyone to enjoy.

Dish up a dinner discussion about an interesting newspaper article.

Stop the back talk and start a book talk.

Have a variety of books around the house so there’s something to please everyone.

Read every day.

You’re a role model. Let your kids see you read, and you’ll be planting the seeds for some bloomin’ good readers!


A garden of books My First Garden  by Wendy Lewison (Little Simon, 2009), My Garden by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 2010),  The Curious Garden by Peter Brown (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009),  Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2007), The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Candlewick, 2008)           

Coming Soon! Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds (Walker Books Ltd., May 2010)     

Explore posts in the same categories: Life, Middle-grade Books, Picture Books

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