Is it really August already? So many new books have been published this month and we are excited to share our finds through a speech pathology lens. As speech pathologists, we are on the hunt for books with robust vocabulary, strong story structure, and captivating illustrations. As parents too, we want books to sound good when read aloud so that they can be enjoyed time and time again.
Here are our top 3 recommendations this month:
1. Noodle Bear by Mark Gravas
This debut picture book from Australian animator and director Mark Gravas ticked all the boxes for us! Follow the story of a bear whose obsession with noodles makes him skip his friend’s party and onto a TV game show “Noodle Knockout”! But he learns that no amount of noodes, fame and fortune can replace home and friends. As speech pathologists, we love the selection of ‘cognitive verbs’ that are in this story. Cognitive verbs are ones that label a process that happens in the mind. Examples of these in the book ‘Noodle Bear’ include ‘thought’, ‘decided’, ‘remembered’, ‘forgot’. Cognitive verbs help children to understand and evaluate the thoughts and intentions of the characters. This allows your child to have deeper understanding of the story beyond the surface details of ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘when’ but getting into the ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Reading tips: Give a child-friendly definition of the cognitive verb e.g. “decide” – when you decide something, you make a choice.”
2. Not So Quiet Mouse by Ruth Waters
Not so Quiet Mouse celebrates the joy of reading and the enduring acceptance of true friendship. The vocabulary is a highlight of this book, in particular the range of Tier 2 words she uses in place of ‘said’ including shouts, squeals, booms, shrieks and bellows. Talking about how these words give information about HOW the mouse is speaking and this helps with comprehending the story! Another fun language element to explore in this story is comparatives and superlatives. What we mean by this are words like “loud, louder and loudest”. At the start of the story, the animals complain that Mouse is too loud, but by the end, they encourage him with a chant, “Louder! Louder! Louder!” You can playfully explore what how the words ‘loud’, ‘louder’ and ‘loudest’ compare and see how many more you can come up with together!
Reading tips: Make Print Pop – point out where there is ‘print’ in the illustrations, reading it and explain its purpose. For example, “These books have words on the side, it’s the title or the name of the book.”
3. Mr Gumpy’s Rhino by John Burningham
This is the last book to be published by the late John Burningham who passed away in January this year. Famous for his many children’s books including Mr Gumpy’s Outing and Avocado Baby, we were delighted to see this book published this month. Charlie the rhino and Mr Gumpy may sound like an odd pair but if you are familiar with any of the other books in the Mr Gumpy series, you would know that a real adventure is in store.
Reading tips: Problem solve together by stating the problem in clear language – “The problem is the story is that Charlie the rhino is lost AND hungry.” What could we do to fix the problem?
Well that’s a wrap on the new titles we are excited about this month. Let us know in the comments if you enjoy these books!
If you love the reading tips, you will enjoy other posts on our blog (check out here. here and here) and you can see if our book boxes are right for you. Each book boxes comes with two fantastic picture books and six activities that can be enjoyed by all 3-6 year olds. Go to our SHOP page to see more.
Thanks for hearing our call,
Your Little Birdies