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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

The Story Behind Everyone’s Favorite Little Yellow Puppy, Biscuit

Guest post by author Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I always dreamed of having a puppy. Through weekly trips to the public library, my puppy existed in the many books and stories I read voraciously. But with one story the librarian pressed into my hands, I felt closer to my dream than ever before.
When Henry found his beloved dog Ribsy and carried him home in a cardboard box, it gave me hope as a reader that I might one day have a real puppy, too. Henry became my soulmate, and his dog, Ribsy, became my favorite puppy. If only I could find a dog — a dog who followed at my heels, a dog who listened to my every word, a dog to share my adventures with!
Fast forward about twenty-five years and I am happily hosting a “puppy sleepover” with my young daughter. Our guest of honor is a neighbor’s large, tawny dog who is too excited to settle down and go to sleep. My daughter brings a bedtime snack, a blanket, and a doll to our rambunctious guest. She bestows hugs and kisses and…more hugs and kisses. She offers to read him a bedtime story. Most importantly, she converses with the dog as if he understands every word she is saying. And when he finally pads into the bedroom at her heels…woosh – I am whisked back to my childhood bedroom where I pore over my worn copy of Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary again and again.
Henry and Ribsy Cover
It is at this very juncture of time that the seeds of Biscuit are created. When I sit down the following morning to put pen to paper, it is my daughter’s gentle voice and patient actions that guide the story. It is my childhood dream of having a dog, perhaps a somewhat universal dream, that fuels the emotional life of the young child that cares so lovingly for Biscuit. And knowing that the fluid imagination of a child believes a beloved pet can understand every word spoken to them, the words “woof, woof“ not only become the voice of a small yellow puppy, but of every reader’s invention as well. Indeed, those woofs can mean anything and everything!
Biscuit
Pat Schories, illustrator extraordinaire, created a young girl as Biscuit’s loving owner, but in my mind, that character could have been any boy, any girl; anyone who is a puppy lover. For that reason, the “little girl” remains unnamed. To me, she is every child.
Twenty years later, I pinch myself that I am still happily creating new tales for “everyone’s favorite little yellow puppy.” We did eventually get a puppy of our own. With each story I write, I recall the sleepover, I remember the character that nurtured my imagination, and hopefully I share the joy I feel when our puppy follows at my heels.
Author Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Benefits of Reading Aloud: How Storytime Can Teach Early Literacy

Reading aloud with your child has a ton of benefits. Some developmental experts even suggest that it sets them up for success later in life. Among other things, reading aloud can help improve vocabulary, encourage empathy, and aid in social and emotional development. It can also help prepare them to tackle reading by themselves. I Can Read books are the perfect storytime picks to give early readers a jumpstart. Here are just a few ways in which books can teach early literacy:

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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Why Amelia Bedelia is Still So Iconic After Five Decades

Did you know that the first Amelia Bedelia books were published over fifty years ago? That means the eccentric housekeeper has been teaching children and adults the original use of the word “literally” for half of a century! While the original books are still just as relevant and popular as ever, the series has expanded to include stories about Amelia Bedelia’s childhood. Spoiler alert: she has always been very literal, which is just one of her many admirable traits. Here are four more reasons why Amelia Bedelia is still so iconic after five decades:

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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

The 5 Flowers Pinkalicious Would Give on Valentine’s Day & Their Meanings

If there’s one thing Pinkalicious loves (besides the color pink), it’s her garden! In a brand new I Can Read book for early readers, Pinkalicious and the Flower Fairy, Pinkalicious is absolutely positive that a flower fairy will visit her garden. After all, flower fairies love pink, and so does Pinkalicious. When she transforms her garden into a pink wonderland, will it entice the flower fairy to visit?

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and so is spring! So, in honor of Pinkalicious’ garden and all things love-related, we’ve rounded up five types of flowers that she would love to give on Valentine’s Day, and why. (more…)

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Why Danny the Dinosaur is One of the Best Dinosaur Books for Kids

There are a lot of dinosaur books out there. One of our absolute favorites is Danny and the Dinosaur, which has been popular for more than fifty years! The duo has definitely earned their spot on the list of classic children’s books. Here are four reasons why we think that Danny and his dinosaur friend have stood the test of time and their books remain one of the best dinosaur books for kids:

The books teach kids how to be a good friend.

From the moment Danny enters the museum in the original story and thinks, “It would be nice to play with a dinosaur,” the two are fast friends. The newest book in the series, Danny and the Dinosaur: The Big Sneeze, is no exception. Danny and his friend get caught in the rain, and both come down with a cold. The story shows the parallels of their sick day. Despite the efforts of Danny’s mom and the museum director, Danny and the Dinosaur are both bored. Fortunately, they talk on the phone, empathize with one another, and reunite the next day. Kids catch a glimpse of the pair’s similar interests and how much they care about one another.

Cover of Danny and the Dinosaur: The Big Sneeze

Danny and the Dinosaur are includers.

We all know what it feels like to be left out. But Danny and the Dinosaur always make room for everyone to play. Though they are clearly BFFs, the dinosaur gives rides to everyone and is always up for meeting Danny’s other friends. They’re also empathetic. When Danny and his friends first play hide-and-seek with the dinosaur, and the dinosaur struggles to find a good hiding spot, the children understand his upset. They even let him win a round to cheer him up. In every story, Danny and the Dinosaur show kids how to treat others with kindness and respect.

They embrace one another’s differences.

Let’s face it: Danny doesn’t have a ton in common with his best friend. And sometimes the dinosaur feels different. As we mentioned earlier, games like hide-and-seek aren’t easy for him. But Danny is always quick to suggest ways to include his friend. And when the Dinosaur feels self-conscious, both Danny and the supporting characters try to put him at ease and show him that his differences are what make him so special.

Cover of Danny and the Dinosaur: Too Tall

They are perfect for early readers.

Like all of the I Can Read books, the Danny and the Dinosaur series is written with early readers in mind. With simple words and accessible language, the books are ideal for younger readers who are just beginning to sound out words on their own. However, the plot is complex enough that they are also great for adults to read to children. And regardless of who is reading, there are plenty of talking points at the end of each story.

What do you love about Danny and the Dinosaur? We’d love to know. And if you’re looking for talking points or book-related games for your child, be sure to check out the activities here!