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Kids Stuff

Early Literacy


The Northbrook Public Library can give you the tools you need to support and develop your child's skills on the road to reading! We can help you choose books that are developmentally appropriate for your child, and learn how to nurture his developing language skills.

Reading Aloud

Did you know that reading aloud to your child is the single most important activity you can do to promote literacy and a love of books? Children's author Mem Fox suggests parents should spend “at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.” Research shows that twenty minutes a day is ideal. 

Here are some tips to make the most of your twenty minutes a day:

  • Your child loves to spend time with you. Make read-aloud time a special part of your day. 
  • It is okay to stop if it is not going well. If your child becomes fussy or bored, close the book and try again later.  Remember, it should be fun. 
  • Engage your child when reading aloud. Read with expression, use silly voices, sing — all of these techniques will make your child’s experience that much more enjoyable.
  • Visit your library and ask for help in selecting books for reading aloud. The library has a wealth of resources and handbooks on reading aloud. We can help you select books and recommend authors.

What is Early Literacy?

Early literacy is what a child knows about reading and writing before he can actually read or write. Just as the child must learn to crawl and then to walk before she can learn to run, certain "baby steps" must be taken in order for the child to have success in learning to read. It is important to note that early literacy is not teaching a baby or toddler to read. Rather, it is providing a foundation so that a child will have success when he is ready to learn to read.

There are six essential early literacy skills:

As always, the Youth Services staff will be delighted to help answer any questions and provide book suggestions.


Our most important advice:

Enjoy this special time with your child! 
Sharing books with your child will provide you with many happy memories as well as contributing to your child’s early literacy.  

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