Mo Willems’ Advice on Raising Readers

August 21st, 2012 by melissa g

Is there a trick to getting our kids to love books?
Mo Willems, author of so many exceptional books including the Elephant and Piggie series, City Dog, Country Frog, and Knuffle Bunny, reveals his “Secrets For Raising a Reader” in a Scholastic article by Andrea Barbalich.

1. Scream and yell: Make some noise and be silly. “If your child sees that you’re enjoying the book, she will think reading is cool.”

2. Get it wrong: Purposely use the wrong word and give your child a chance to jump in with the right one.

3. Forget your instincts: Encourage your reader to try a different genre and change things up every once in a while.

4. Read anything!: It doesn’t matter if it’s a comic book, a magazine or the back of a cereal box, as long as they’re reading.

5. Pass the torch: If you’re reading comics with your kids, someone else in the family can share another style of writing with them.

6. Show some respect: Don’t talk down to your kids. They’re people too, right?

7. Don’t tell kids it’s good for them: “Forget about reading being healthy. It’s not broccoli. In fact, most children’s books are lies. And the bigger the lie, the better the book — as long as it’s emotionally true.”

I love each and every one of these suggestions, and I honestly believe they work. Try them out in your house, and let us know how it goes for you!


Posted in Parenting & Reading


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