The word is out-parents can help their little ones learn to read and like it, if they heed a few hints:
• Show them you like to read. Point out articles of interest to kids in this publication or others you may have. Let them see you read books for pleasure.
• Read aloud to your children long before they understand what you’re saying. Point to the words on the page as you say them. Follow the sentence with your finger so that children begin to recognize how words appear on the page. When they can read a little themselves, read together. Begin by reading in unison. Then, read alternate pages or paragraphs.
• When shopping, cooking or riding in the car, show them how useful reading can be. Let them read lists or recipes or road signs to you.
• It may come as a surprise to some, but parents could encourage their youngsters to read more if they sat down with them and watched more DVDs.
Not just any DVDs, though. Start with those that are not only based on popular and classic children’s books, but that engage the youngster’s interest and perhaps teach a few useful life lessons along the way.
One DVD in the increasingly trendy genre of children’s fantasy involves an unlikely band of friends in the adventure of a lifetime. Called “The Thief Lord,” this modern-day fairy tale in the spellbinding tradition of the Harry Potter series brings to life the beloved characters from the acclaimed novel by The New York Times best-selling author Cornelia Funke (“Dragon Rider,” “Inkspell”). It features a remarkable cast including academy award-winner Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Carter, Caroline Goodall and a talented young cast of newcomers.
This fun-filled family adventure tells the story of two boys who escape from a mean aunt to the city of Venice where they encounter The Thief Lord and his gang of ragamuffin child runaways, leading to an adventure that will leave them all changed forever. Children who watch it can further develop their own sense of empowerment and independence.
Funke’s book was honored with the Book Sense Book of the Year Award from the American Booksellers Association among several other prizes. An internationally renowned children’s author, Funke has written over 40 books.