Book love is contagious. Kids catch it from their parents, siblings, teachers and friends.
Goodnight Moon was my daughter’s favorite book. Before she could speak she would grab a copy of it and climb up into my lap for me to read it to her. A while back my husband gifted me this t-shirt. No matter where I go while wearing it someone, from toddlers to millennials to perennials, stops me to say how much they love the book – and the shirt! Goodnight Moon is not just one of my favorite books. It’s a classic that is loved by generations.
Ever since my daughter shared her love of this book with me, I have read it to countless students and gifted it to many soon-to-be-moms and little ones. Sharing our love of something is a natural thing to do.
Reading books we love to our students can be very powerful in so many ways – too many to list. But… sometimes we love so many books that we forget to find new ones we may love just as much and that our students might love and connect to even more.
It’s important to remember that our job is only partly to share our love of books. We must remember that we need to find and read books in which our students can see themselves, their world, their hopes and dreams. We must help them find the books they love and will share with others.
As we begin this new school year, instead of planning each book we will read aloud we might consider having students help us select what we read. If you find yourself thinking, “I always use this book,” try asking yourself, “Which books will my current students respond to, connect with, and learn most from in this unit?”
Now is the perfect time to reevaluate the books we choose and the way in which we choose them in order to find the perfect blend of old and new to build our classroom community. If we do this well, we just might end up developing a love of reading in each of our students.