If you haven’t seen the delightful and often hilarious kids show Between The Lions, you are missing out on a fun and educational show sophisticated enough to make this forty-two-year-old laugh out loud. But the funniness of the show is not what is important, rather it is the show’s ability to help kids learn to read. This award-winning PBS series is noted for using techniques that encourage literacy and promote reading skills that work. Now those techniques and skills are available to parents everywhere in this information-packed book. The subtitle says it all; “Everything You Need to Know About How Children Learn to Read – And What You Can Do to Help,” and this book truly does cover it all.
Filled with the latest research on reading and learning strategies, and grade-by-grade explanations of reading skills parents should help their kids strive for, The Between The Lions Book for Parents offers a comprehensive plan geared towards children ages four to seven. Using the popular characters from the Emmy-winning show, which was also voted “Best Children’s Program of the Year” in both 2000 and 2001 by the Television Critics Association, the book is based upon the research and curriculum put together by author Linda K. Rath, a Harvard University Ph.D. who serves as curriculum director for the show itself.
Starting with some basics on reading, the book covers reading and writing skills for pre-schoolers, kindergarteners, and first through third-graders, with a chapter that emphasizes ways to work with a child struggling to learn to read. Each chapter includes tons of information, ideas, exercises, milestone charts, building blocks and starter questions, all geared towards getting children to phonetically understand words. The Between The Lions characters assist the process, with sidebars filled with techniques parents can use to bring out the best in their children while also entertaining them. There is also an extensive resource and glossary section, with plenty of additional resources for parents of developing readers. Each chapter also ends with a priceless list of thirty good books appropriate for that age, taking much of the legwork out of finding other resources for busy parents.
Finally, the book ends with some awesomely creative activities for kids to increase their abilities and sharpen their skills. The fun, educational and creative activities in this book make it a comprehensive guide to reading that is unequalled, one that parallels the success of the television series in getting kids to learn to and love to read. I highly recommend parents start watching the television series with their children and get a hold of this empowering and imaginative book. It is sure to make a happy reader out of any child, for even in this day of video games, computers and instant information, reading truly is fundamental to success later in life.