Friday, March 22, 2013

Toronto Public Library launches new #ReadyForReading guide

When Hannah was born I dusted off all my favourite childhood books in preparation of them starting their second life - belonging to my child. To be honest, some of said books were still proudly on my bookshelf (notably The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, my favourite book of all time) but hadn't been read aloud in ages.

When Hannah was a few weeks old I started reading to her, and reading books daily has become a part of our routine ever since.

But how do you teach a child to read? And how do you make reading fun?

The Toronto Public Library is launching their first ever Ready for Reading Resource Guide - Let’s Get Ready for Reading: A fun and easy guide to becoming readersThis fun and interactive publication was developed by the library, with the support of the Toronto Public Library Foundation and an anonymous donor, to provide parents and caregivers with an early literacy learning resource to assist children in developing the skills needed to become a reader.

The guide contains:

  • Tips on how to build early literacy skills
  • Tricks and resources to help get your child “ready for reading”
  • Suggestions for fun, easy, every day family activities
  • Recommended reading booklists
  • Literacy games and activities
  • And much more!
You can borrow it, browse it or even purchase it at every Toronto Public Library branch.

Hannah pretending to read books is a sign she
is interested in language, books and reading.
I was sent a copy - and I'm in love.  

The Developmental Milestones grouped for babies, toddlers and preschoolers are super helpful. Knowing that toddlers "may enjoy looking at one book over and over" (as mentioned in the Narrative Skills section) lets me know it's OK to read Hannah's favourite book Fa La La (a Christmas story by Leslie Patricelli) every day, even if it's not Christmas and we are almost celebrating Easter. 

A definite highlight for me are the many rhymes and songs in the guide. I love interacting with Hannah in this way, and now she'll get to learn more than "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and "This Little Piggy Went to Market".

The layout of the guide makes it easy to read straight through or to use as a reference when needed. Seeing some of the book covers on the recommend lists made put quite a few books on hold (and brought back some amazing childhood memories).

As mentioned in previous posts, when I was on mat leave Hannah and I were regulars at Baby Time and Baby Sign at our local library branch. These free classes are part of Ready for Reading - a set of programs, services and resources for children from birth to five years of age. Now that I'm back at work I miss going to these classes but with this new guide I can implement skills at home.

And those funny voices I use to differentiate characters in each book? Chris can stop giving me weird looks, because that's a tip the library recommends to bring adventure to reading.

This guide has definitely earned its place next to The Monster at the End of This Book on my shelf and will be read and referenced over and over again in the years to come.

Is reading with your child part of your daily routine? What's your favourite book to read together?

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.


  1. What a fantastic program! I love reading to my boys. There favorites are anything about trains, or cars, or fire trucks, my favorite is "Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball" :)

  2. It always surprises me how many cool programs local libraries have and for free too.

    We love reading to our kids (daily, sometimes several books a day). They love to read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" right now to practice their alphabet but I kind of want them to choose anything Berenstain Bears. LOL!

  3. Always surprises me the amazing programs local libraries have.

    We read daily and their current favourite is "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" - practicing there alphabet!

  4. The library is such a great resource for families. My kids and I have a regular date there weekly. What a gift to be able to go and choose new stories every week. In fact, we had to replace our library bag because it was so overworked. This looks like another great resource from the TPL.

  5. I love the library! I did some programs with Princess Peach when she was little and they were great. What an amazing resource they have created for parents to make the love of reading and learning optimal for their kids in a fun and interactive way.
    We have lots of favourite books in our house. Princess Peach particularly loves Dear Zoo and Where's Spot and she likes to make all the animal sounds!


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