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Notes from Storytime

Environmental Print

Go! Go! Go!In some books, you can find text in the pictures, showing examples of environmental print, like the signs and labels we see around us every day. Pointing these out to your kids, and asking them to help you find them, helps to reinforce the early literacy skill of print awareness. In Go! Go! Go! by Roxie Munro, each scene has two spreads. The first is just an illustration, but there is a sign or label within the picture that you can point to or that your child can help you find. The second spread has text you can read aloud as part of the story, as well as a flap you can fold out to show the action that’s happening.

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By eemerick on January 23, 2012 Categories: Print Awareness

Blue Goose

Blue GooseNinety-five percent of children’s attention goes to the pictures in the book, rather than the text. You can help children notice the print by pointing to a few words as you read. Before you read Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri, ask your child to pick a color from the back cover of the book. Then as you read the story, trace the word for that color with your finger. See SimonSaysKids for fun coloring sheets that go along with the book.

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By eemerick on October 31, 2011 Categories: Print Awareness


Poof!Some books incorporate the text into the pictures, which is a good way to help children become aware of the words on the page. This helps build the early literacy skill of print awareness. In the book, Poof! by John O’Brien, sometimes characters have speech bubbles showing what sound they are making. Also, the word, “Poof!” is shown in a cloud on many of the pages throughout the story. So when you see this word, you can wave your pretend magic wand in the air and say, “Poof!” And then turn the page and see what happens!

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator 

By MPPL on August 29, 2011 Categories: Print Awareness

Pictures of the Familiar

ApplesWhen you are choosing books for young children, they like ones that have pictures of things that are familiar to them, for example, a picture of an apple. You can talk about how it tastes (sweet), how it feels (round and smooth), how it feels when you bite it (crunchy). By showing children the real object, you are helping them realize that pictures represent real things. Later, they will also understand that printed words represent real things. This helps build print awareness.

–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By MPPL on June 8, 2011 Categories: Print Awareness

Learning How to Handle Books

A Red TrainThe early literacy skill of print awareness means learning about books and print. You and your baby can look at a book together. Baby can look at the pictures while you read or talk about the pictures. Baby will probably turn the pages for you at some point, sometimes just for the fun of seeing how the pages work. Baby will play with the pages back and forth, and sometimes hold the book upside down or backwards. You can gently show baby how the book should be right-side-up. These experiences of learning how to handle books will help your child develop print awareness.


–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Child Care Liaison


By MPPL on March 21, 2011 Categories: Print Awareness

Speech Bubbles!

The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep by Mircea Catusanu and Superheroes by Maxwell Eaton III are two stories that use speech bubbles when the characters talk. Speech bubbles are a way of showing that the writing has meaning to the story, which helps children develop print awareness. When you read with your child, you can point out these words and explain how they show what is being said in the story.  See if you can find other stories that include writing as part of the story!

–Tip by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist

By MPPL on December 27, 2010 Categories: Print Awareness

Point to the Words

Hurry! Hurry!To increase your child’s print awareness, run your finger under the words of the title as you say it. This helps children understand that you are reading the text, not the pictures. If you choose a book with only a few words on each page, you can point to the words as you say them. Try these books with minimal words and large text: Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting, Lunch by Denise Fleming and City Street by Douglas Florian.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By MPPL on November 2, 2010 Categories: Print Awareness

Environmental Print

stop signThroughout the day, you can help your children see the relationship between written and spoken words by pointing out environmental print, such as signs and labels. For example, even if your children can’t read the word “STOP,” they can associate the symbol of the sign with the meaning of the word. This is a way of developing print awareness—one of the six early literacy skills that help children get ready to read.

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian

By MPPL on August 10, 2010 Categories: Print Awareness

Learning About Books and Print

Exactly the OppositeWhen you’re picking out books to read with your child, try choosing one with pictures of real things, like an apple or a ball.  Show your child the picture of the object and then show the real thing.  This will help your child develop the concept that pictures represent real things, and, later on, the concept that written words represent real things.  This is all part of print awareness

By MPPL on May 24, 2010 Categories: Print Awareness

Print Awareness

My Book BoxPrint Awareness means learning about books and print.  When children are young, they treat books as they would any other toy.  This means they put them in their mouths, explore them by pushing and pulling, and become interested in the pictures.  Keep some books in your child’s toy box.  Let your child handle the books and talk about what you see in the pictures.  This will help your child develop print awareness. 

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on March 1, 2010 Categories: Print Awareness