Early Literacy Newsletter

Issue 9

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 activites, fingerplays and crafts.


In this issue we highlight pairs of fiction and nonfiction picture books. Reading these books together provides a seamless way to encourage and satisfy your child’s natural curiosity. Nonfiction books introduce new vocabulary and open the door to your child’s ever expanding world.  



Picture Book Pairs for Preschoolers

im dirty

Reserve this book


Reserve this book


Reserve the book


F is for firefighting

Reserve this book



Reserve this book


Reserve this book

I'm the biggest thing in the ocean

Reserve this book

life in a coral reef

Reserve this book

Take me for a walk

Reserve this book

May I pet your dog

Reserve this book

cow that laid an egg

Reserve this book

an egg is quiet

Reserve this book


     Fingerplays for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Here is the bee hive

Fist closed with thumb inside

But where are the bees?

Hiding away where nobody sees...

Now here they come, creeping out of the hive

Let's count them  1,2,3,4,5

Unfold one finger at a time


Move all five fingers about

Back in the hive!

Zoom hand into other fist


Leaves are floating softly down

Float hands down, turning them side to side

They make a carpet on the ground

Put hands flat on floor

Then swish, the wind comes whistling by

And sends them dancing to the sky

Hands flutter up into the air

Snake Craft

Make a springy spiral snake with supplies you probably already have at home.  Take a paper plate, paint it green, or any other color you would like your snake to be.  Cut the plate into a coil and decorate.  You can put a hole in the end, attach a string, and make a face on the other end.  Hang it from the ceiling

and enjoy!



After you make your snake, read some snake books. Two of our favorites are:

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh

To Bathe a Boa by C. Imbior Kudrna

spiral snake


Jim Gill CDs
modern times di re mi


 Exposing your young child to music has many wonderful benefits, and it’s fun besides.  Music and song enhance brain development in general and language development in particular.  Read this fascinating article for more information on the topic:  http://www.songsforteaching.com/lb/literacymusic.htm.

To get started, why not check out the CD’s of musician, author, and child development specialist Jim Gill?  We love to use his music in storytimes. His songs are fresh, witty, and inspire enthusiasm in kids.




Extend your Reading Experience on an Outing
i went walking A fun way to pair a good book and an outing with your child, is to find a book with a common refrain, and repeat it as you and your child explore. For example, read I Went Walking by Sue Williams, then go for a walk in your neighborhood. You can say to your child, "I went walking, what did you see?" Then look around for an animal or a garbage truck, or anything at all, and say "I see a garbage truck following me," or " I see a black bird following me." Children enjoy the repetition, and the possibilities are limitless!


Action Rhymes For Babies   (Especially fun at diaper changing time)

Easy peasy nice and easy

(clap baby's hands)

Stretch your arms

Gently spread baby's arms wide

And bend your kneesies

Bend baby's knees

Round about there

Swirl your index finger around palm of baby's hand

Sat a little hare

A cat came and chased him

Walk finger up baby's arm

Right about there!

Tickle baby's underarm

Books for Babies
what on my head baby faces baby food
Babies love to look at faces. Share some board books that have playful close-up photographs of facial expressions of babies. These books help develop your baby's self-awareness.


Books for Babies Gift Bags
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