Five-a-Day Books

Our Kumareng Mommy E and Kumpareng Daddy B has been very instrumental in our pursuit to expose Little Cat to the wonderful world of books and reading.  Once they gave their beautiful daughter E bookshelves on her 1st birthday.  It inspired me and Hubby to build Little Cat his own library.  On E’s 2nd birthday, they gave away Eric Carle lapbooks as souvenirs.  That was when we were introduced to Eric Carle and when we first held one of his books – From Head to Toe.  Prior to that they gave us Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon to welcome Little Cat on his birth, and a children’s book of prayers when he was baptized.  Little Cat’s collection of books started from those two.

Then last Monday, Mommy E mentioned about them starting the 5-a-Day Books with E.  I was minding something else that time that I did not bother asking her what it was.  I just assumed it was reading 5 books everyday.

Getting books from his bookshelf

Little Cat getting a book from his bookshelf. This was taken five months ago. Now his books are overflowing and envading my bookshelf.

We read to Little Cat at any time of the day and as often as we could since he was 5 months old.  He grew to like books and reading so much that I can say he’s one voracious reader now.  Often it’s us who plead not to read another book.  So I knew without doubt that reading five books and a lot more everyday will be as easy as a pie.  Today, I consciously counted how many books we were able to read.  Here’s what we had for the day:

  1. Meet My Superdad by Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan / Isa Natividad
  2. Mess Monsters by Beth Shoshan / Piers Harper
  3. The Feelings Book by Todd Parr – This and #4 are his favorites nowadays.
  4. Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman  – Yes, we read bedtime stories in the morning.  We let Little Cat choose which books to read so bedtime stories upon waking up is a normal thing for us.
  5. Life Cycles from Caterpillar to Butterfly by Sally Hewitt
  6. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – This and Are You My Mother were his favorites before I brought home #3 and #4.  Yes, we read Green Eggs and Ham and other “lengthy” stories to our 19 month old.  We still have his attention up to the last page and sometimes he asks to read the same book for the second time or more right after.  These are the full versions mind you, not the shortened ones for the board book edition.  And we read them in full with animated voices and gestures.  We seldom para-phrase.  Yup!  Proud to say our 1 year old’s got the attention span to sit and listen for that long. =) 
  7. Time for Bed by Mem Fox / Jane Dyer
  8. 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle – Thanks Mommy E and Daddy B for this gift.  We used to read this countless of times everyday.
  9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. / Eric Carle
  10. Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. / Eric Carle
  11. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr. / Eric Carle
  12. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney / Anita Jeram

The first seven books we read before having breakfast.  #8  to #11 we read after lunch time.  And the last one we read on the playdate with Mommy R and playmate A.   A total of twelve books today!  Repetitions not counted.  Five books a day is a no challenge for Little Cat.

Before I retired to bed I thought there must be something else to it.  So I googled and links led me to The Imagination Tree.  Apparently, we were to read the same five books everyday for a week.  Anna of The Imagination Tree elaborates,

The idea is that you choose 5 titles from among your usual books (or from the library) and read them every single day for at least a week. They suggest choosing short picture books which feature strong rhythm and/ or repeated refrain so that the children can quickly memorise the words and join in with the story-telling. This empowers them to be able to “read” and re-tell stories from a young age, and also makes them very fluent in a range of text types and literature styles.

I came to memorize several of Little Cat’s books due to his insistent request for the same stories over and over.  But what’s surprising is Little Cat knows his books.  He knows them even when he was less than a year old!  That I discovered when one day I recited one of the stories.   I was on the third or so line when he looked at me meaningfully and then went to his bookshelves.  Amazingly, he picked out the book I was reciting!  I recited another story to check if it was just luck, but he picked the right book again!  I recited another one and for the third time he got the right book again.  He never fails to impress!  🙂 So I guess 5-A-Day will have a promising turnout for Little Cat.  Although I’m not sure if Little Cat will eventually join in with the storytelling soon but, I’m really seeing this activity as a way to encourage him to talk more.

I think this 5-a-Day idea is really nice.  We’ll take on the “challenge” with more zest from here on.  Thanks, yet again, to Mommy E and family for being an inspiration and for sharing with us great books and reading experiences! 🙂

As I choose which 5 we’ll start with, I leave with you pictures of us reading.  These were taken months ago when he was still very much into 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Dr. Seuss’ The Foot Book (board book edition). 😉

10 Little Rubber Ducks and Little Cat quacking

Papa Cat and Little Cat with The Foot Book

Little Cat reading 10 Little Rubber Ducks

Little Cat reading 10 Little Rubber Ducks

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