Born reading: bringing up bookworms in a digital age – from picture books to eBooks and everything in between
New York: TOUCHSTONE, a division of Simon & Schuster, 2014
In this wonderful new addition to our Shady Oaks Library's parenting collection, the author emphasizes the harmful effects upon young children which can be caused by too much screen time. Noting that some groups think that electronic devices and computers should be introduced AFTER elementary school, his recommendation is that at least until age two, electronic devices should NOT be used with children.
Sara Gillingham says, “As a mother, I’ve chosen to delay the use of digital books/apps with my kids as long as possible. I like the fact that paper books are something we need to do together. And also I find it easier to explain and enhance the contents when I’m directly engaged in it with them.”
Betsy Bird adds, "Try avoiding… ‘shiny glowing rectangles’ until the age of two. At that point, they’ve hit a stage in their development where they can handle the vast amount of information hitting them. And if you’ve managed to inculcate them with a love of books from the get-go, they may be more than happy to play in their playpens with a couple of board books strewn about them. Those beat electronics any day of the week.”
Each chapter ends with a list of recommended books, and there are valuable chapters for hints on reading with children from birth through school-age, including suggestions for preparing children for school.
Many wonderful websites are highlighted, such as www.startwithabook.org, where your child can pick from a long list of themes and get recommendations of great books around that theme which can be found at a library. The International Children’s Digital Library, http://en.childrenslibrary.org/ makes available more than 4,600 digital books in over 60 languages! Boog’s blog, http://www.born-reading.com/ ,is very valuable, too. He says, “If you follow the links on my blog you can build a massive children’s book library on whatever device you are using for reading.”
First-grade teacher Karen Lirenman reminds parents that YOUR personal reading habits are just as important as your child’s desire to read. “If you value reading and your kids see that you value reading, there’s a good chance that they’ll start to value it as well.” Boog adds “but don’t forget to model a balanced media diet by showing your child that you read print books, magazines, and digital books.”