Thursday, December 20, 2012

Names & Things

Photo by Bryan Kennedy
Knowing the names of things is a critical skill that influences a child’s future reading success.  We call this skill Vocabulary. 

There are 171,476 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, including an additional 47,156 out-dated words.  That’s nearly a quarter of a million words!  Whoa!!  It can be very humbling for parents and caregivers to reflect on the massive amount of knowledge that kids require before they can become proficient readers.

I recently came across a charming little book that celebrates the vocabulary words that surround us each and every day of our lives.

Title: Picture My Day
Author: Séverine Cordier
Illustrator: Cynthia Lacroix
Publisher: Owlkids Books (2012)
Find this book at your library

This beautifully constructed book takes readers through a day in the life of a child.  From sunrise to sunset, objects abound and each is given its own name and label.  There is something very comforting about seeing names attached to things.  Learning vocabulary has never been so delightful!  (Bonus: Listing the name beneath the image reinforces how the printed word works, another skill kids will need to master before learning to read).

This book is tailor-made for sharing with a young person one-on-one.  It is cram-jammed with opportunities for curious children to ask "what's that?"  For every object that is labeled, there are dozens that aren't.

I am tempted to get my hands on a label maker and start sticking names all over my home!

Here are a few additional fun titles that are very similar:

Title: The Big Book of Words and Pictures
Author: Ole Könnecke
Publisher: Gecko Press (2012)
Find this book at your library

This title is jumbo-sized and covers quite a bit of ground, from counting and the alphabet to parts of the body, shapes and colors.



Title: First 100 Words
Publisher: Priddy Books (2005)
Find this book at your library

This title is geared squarely toward toddlers, focusing on familiar objects the permeate baby's world.
Title: Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
Author: Richard Scarry
Publisher: Golden Press (1980)
Find this book at your library

I couldn't resist including this book.  Originally published in 1963, this ranks as one of my first book crushes.  Richard Scarry's Busytown animals make great guides for this "best word book ever."  Every bit as popular today as it was 50 years ago!

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