Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a book I am thankful for. My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago. I had wanted it so bad and was so excited to get it! Mary Englebreit is one of my favorite illustrators and her huge book of nursery rhymes is amazing! This book sits on one of my end tables in my front room so I see it everyday and we read from it regularly. When I was in college and taking classes about teaching children to read, I remember hearing about how important nursery rhymes were in helping young children develop pre-reading skills. Professors stressed that nursery rhymes were something that society was failing to teach their children and it made reading much more difficult. I thought that was silly. Nursery rhymes seemed so lame, there was so much other great literature, why waste time on nursery rhymes. Several things have changed my mind. I have discovered that there are amazing nursery rhyme collections available that make reading nursery rhymes much more exciting. More importantly, I have seen how reading and re-reading nursery rhymes helps my children. Unlike other stories, nursery rhymes are quick, uncomplicated and easy to remember. Young children love the singsong beat and rhymes. As you read them aloud, children listen and then as they become more familiar, chant right along with you. It makes reading aloud so fun. Later, the ability they have developed to recognize rhymes, helps them learn to read. I am thankful for my big red book of Mary Englebreit nursery rhymes and the way it sits in a very visible place in my front room and reminds me daily to take advantage of the little minutes here or there in my day and read a nursery rhyme or two to my kids.

P.S. I just discovered that there is now a Mary Englebreit Nursery Stories book that is full of fairy tales like "The Three Little Pigs". Guess what I plan on adding to my Christmas list!

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