Allen & Unwin
RRP $24.99 Au
Louise Park is not only a highly regarded writer of over 250 books including popular series, with a career spanning 30 years, but also a recognised literacy expert and educational consultant with a passion for supporting Indigenous children, ESL students and at-risk learners.
Now Louise has lent us the benefit of her wide experience and knowledge and provided parents a ‘primer’ so to speak for establishing successful reading routines with children from the earliest age upwards. This is no dry text book but is written with a conversational tone and packed with easy to digest tips and strategies for all who pick it up. Whether new to this notion of setting a child on the reading path or with some experience any reader will find antidotes for this hitherto uncharted territory of a generation of children who are often more familiar with swiping, pinching, tapping of devices than page-turning. Not that Louise ignores the potential of digital reading but rather illustrates the ways to make the most of all forms of reading to give children the foundation for literacy success and enjoyment.
As educators we already know that the boundaries have shifted and most of us see this on a daily basis. Those of us of a certain age who have been teaching for quite a long time definitely recognise the changes in our youngest students coming into Prep and the ensuing and often compounding difficulties faced by some as they make their way upwards throughout their year levels.
Rather than despairing over this, many of us are determined to do all we can to ensure that our students have every opportunity of success not only at the point in time but in the future. As readers of this blog will know, my own young person has had a rocky road in conquering her difficulties in reading and the joy in seeing her now not only confidently reading but enjoying it is a reward in itself. I believe that we, as teachers of literacy, want this for every single one of our charges and certainly, in my role as teacher-librarian, this is always the goal in mind for my library users. It’s not always easy but Louise’s book addresses the issues for children with difficulties as well which is a real bonus for those raising kiddos who struggle.
The chapter headings will give you a good sense of the outline and the topics covered address all aspects:
Introduction: Generation Alpha
That reading thing
Step 1: Talking their way to literacy
Step 2: Reading their way to literacy
Step 3: Linking writing and reading
Step 4: Taming the tech and making it count
Step 5: Harnessing the power of book ownership
Step 6: Embracing two reading philosophies
Step 7: Finding just-right books for any age
Difficulty learning to read, write and spell
This is a book that should be promoted to parents with vigour and copies should be available from all school libraries. I have already shared that promotion with our school community and know that there will be many parents who take it up in order to offer their own children the best start possible.
I cannot endorse this book enough. In my opinion it’s a must not only for your library but as a down-to-earth reference for all parents of growing readers.