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Apr 11

Best Preschool Books – Dr. Seuss – Hop on Pop

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Reading is fun. Teaching reading skills to a preschooler is also fun – especially with Dr. Seuss.  Hop on Pop is a terrific teacher-recommended learning tool by Dr. Seuss.   As the proud and engaged father of a two-and-a-half year old, I have noticed that certain books really appeal to my daughter.  I should also note that I am also a teacher and that reading is a core of each and every day of my working life.

From a teacher perspective, here are a few observations, suggestions, and ideas for parents:

1)  Read, and read with your children, and have fun!

Number one, read.  Read books, magazines, weekly flyers (a weekly ritual with my daughter) and articles from the internet.  Read them in front of your child and engage them in a conversation.  Before reading the weekly flyers, for example, ask your son or daughter what it is that we need for our household. My daughter likes cheese and broccoli, for example, so when I speak with her about our shopping list, she will normally bring up these items.   Then set about perusing the flyers with these items in mind.  While reading a book, ask what a certain character might be feeling or what might happen next, before turning the page.  Add excitement and expression in your voice.  This helps children to make the link between ideas and text and that text has a purpose and that it can be engaging and purposeful.

2)  Read the Same Stuff Over and Over If Your Child Asks For It – Or Even If They Don’t

Children learn how to read by learning its importance and by looking for and noticing patterns.  If the same story sounds the same each and every time you read it, there must be something to all of those letters on the page.  If your child turns the page before you are finished, tell them that you can’t read it without seeing the words on the previous page you were reading.  It also makes a lot of sense to track the words with your finger as you read them.  This gives children a sense of directionality (or how words move on a page when reading them).  This is a fundamental reading skill.

With these points being said, there are a number of books that really support these preschool reading strategies.  While purely subjective, my daughter has shown me how these particular books have come to help her develop her reading skills.  As such, I recommend them as a guidepost or a potential starting point.

From a froogalist perspective, I borrow many of my books from the library with regular monthly visits with my daughter.  I let her pick most of her own books, but alos reserve a title or two for my own picking.  She also has her own library card, and I encourage her to hand her own card to the librarian for checkout each visit.  This is an early precursor for later responsibilities like having a credit card or a mortgage.  With that being said, I also have a large private library of books for her at home.

Here is my teacher, and daddy review, of Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. for a two-and-a-half year old preschooler:

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss – This book is terrific on many levels.  Preschoolers are looking for patterns.  Patterns can be found in the same thing happening on each page every time you read the story, and with word families.  Dr. Seuss does a brilliant job on both counts in Hop on Pop.  Caveat – resist the temptation to skip pages when putting your child to bed each night.  This could delay the recognition that patterns exist in stories (i.e. that the same thing happens based upon what the words say).  Rather, simply state that you will both end the story at this point and continue it later (if necessary).

Hop on Pop is a terrific preschooler book for a number of reasons.  First, it incorporates a very limited and predictable vocabulary that is based upon repetition and word families.  It cleverly incorporates pictures to show how changing word order impacts an income (i.e. the picture) on the following page.  While I am not a personal fan of the “Day Play”, “Night Fight” pages, they do serve a purpose by rhyming and reinforcing word families.

Empathy also plays a role here; the “All Fall” page where all of the things fall off the wall after ‘playing ball’, elicits a “I hope they’re okay” response from my daughter.  She is engaging in an empathetic dialogue with the characters in the story – a hugely important factor in reading comprehension and a love of reading.  My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter loves this book (she asks for it almost every night), and so do I as a daddy and a teacher.

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What are some other good preschool books that you would recommend?  Please leave a comment below.

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Author: Jason Milburn Google

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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