How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
Madame Esme is a personal hero of mine, for not only is she a brilliant novelist and picture book maven, she is a champion for teachers, librarians, and readers of all ages. This book has EVERYTHING you will possibly need to get kids reading. It is a work of literary genius. You can also check out the Planet Esme Book-a-Day Plan for more wonderful resources and titles.
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
And while Esme is a hero of mine, her hero is the magnificent Jim Trelease. This literacy guru has been telling it like it is for six editions of his Handbook, which frankly may as well be called The Read-Aloud Bible. Packed with information and tips for making parents and teachers better readers for the children in their lives, Mr. Trelease keeps it entirely readable and entirely wonderful.
A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play by Vivian Gussin Paley
This oldie-but-goodie gets into the research of why fantasy play is so important for kids...and what we as parents and teachers should be doing to foster this important work. Filled with anecdotes from Paley's own years as a preschool teacher, this book is a very enjoyable read. I wrote a paper on it in college and though that was some years ago, I still often think of this book as a great resource for fostering pretend play in the kids in my life.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
Peggy Orenstein's handy guide to raising strong, independent daughters exposes the dangers of the princess culture we live in and what parents need to know about the unethical ways marketers are targeting young girls. A feminist from the start, I read this book when L was just a baby (thankfully AFTER I had politely exchanged all of the pink stuff we were gifted for baby showers) and it has really changed the way I look at media culture and advertising. I recommend this book for everyone with a daughter (it makes a great baby shower gift!) for learning about how corporations are selling sex to four-year-olds and what we parents can do to fight back.
Hope you find something here worth checking out! What parenting books, traditional or otherwise, have you found helpful?