Issue 5

What is Early Literacy? Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. There are six early literacy skills that parents can incorporate into their children's daily life. These six skills are: Vocabulary, Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Narrative Skills, Phonological Awareness, and Letter Knowledge. More detailed information about these six skills is available at

You can help your baby, toddler and preschooler learn important skills now so they can become good readers. There are many simple and fun ways to do this. We invite you to bring your child to Library storytimes, which utilize research-based techniques to build early literacy skills. This newsletter will help you extend storytime benefits by including book-related fingerplays, crafts, and other activities.

This issue features the literacy skill known as narrative skills. Narrative skills include the ability to describe things, tell events in sequence and retell stories. The ability to talk about what happens in a story helps a child understand the meaning of what was read.

Choose books that have repeated phrases, tell a cumulative tale or have a cause and effect that your child may be able to predict. wordless books that allow the child to narrate the story. Here are some titles that promote narrative skills.


good day

wheres tumpty bark george
maybe bear ate it wombat walkabout ask mr bear
what will fat cat sit on muriels red sweater what cried granny
Fingerplays for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Ten galloping horses (hold up ten fingers)

Came through the town (slap hands on legs)

Five were white ( hold up 5 fingers)

Five were brown (hold up 5 fingers other hand)

They galloped up (slap on thighs)

They galloped down (slap knees)

Ten galloping horses (hold up ten fingers)

Came through the town (slap legs one more time)

My fingers can wiggle.

My fingers can tickle.

My fingers can clap.

My fingers can tap.

My fingers can count.

My fingers can bounce.

My fingers can wave -

through the air they go.

My fingers can fold gently

in my lap just so.

Storytelling Fun

three bears

Reserve this book



Retelling stories helps children understand what they read. Pick a favorite or familiar book and ask your child to tell you the story.

Craft:   Make a Paper Bag Puppet
paper bag puppet To further encourage your child's interest in storytelling and narrative skills, make an easy and fun paper bag puppet. Use the supplies you have at home. All you need is a paper bag, some glue and scissors. Look around your house for buttons, yarn, ribbons, feathers and even bottle caps for eyes. You can also use construction paper, and give your puppet some ears, or arms. Don't forget the markers for the final touches. Once the puppet is finished, encourage your child to use his or her imagination and become the storyteller, while you sit back and enjoy the show.
Use wordless books to encourage your child to narrate a story.
For Babies
eyes nose

Talk to your baby about what you are doing during the day. Read board books and ask questions about the illustrations.

Play with your baby using silly rhymes like this one:

Mommy tickles tummy

Daddy tickles nose

Grandma tickles under the chin

and grandpa tickles the toes!


Books for Babies

The Library offers a special bag, containing new children's cardboard books and a parenting book, for parents of newborns.  These Books for Babies bags are for babies from birth to six months old and for Lake Oswego Residents only.  Funding for Books for Babies is provided by the Friends of the Library.  Parents can request a bag at the Library check out desk.  For information, please call 503-675-2538.
books for babies photo