Why You Should Read to Children

Make Reading Books with Children a New Year’s Resolution

Welcome to 1/1/11. Be the Best Nanny Newsletter recommends nannies and au pairs read more with children. This is a new year resolution that any parent and child would love for you to do.

Studies prove that the most important thing adults can do in preparing young children for success in school and reading is to read aloud with them.

Many doctors believe that a child that has never had the experience of being read to is not a fully healthy child. The American Medical Association has suggested that all doctors prescribe reading to children.

Reading aloud with children regularly is an extremely effective medium to build relationships and communicate with children.

The Some of the Many Benefits of Reading Aloud with Children:
• Children’s self-esteem grows as they experience the security of having a parent or other caring person read aloud with them.
• Children are introduced to new concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and alphabet, in a fun, age-appropriate way.
• Children build listening skills, vocabulary, memory and language skills.
• Children develop imagination and creativity.
• Children learn positive behavior patterns and social values.
• Children learn the love of reading that helps them succeed in school.

Since it is the first day of the new year first we recommend two books for children about New Year’s Resolutions. Then we recommend two books on the topic for adults.
Children’s Books about New Year’s Resolutions:
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller

Most holiday books are centered around Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas but here’s one that takes kids into the New Year. Squirrel doesn’t know what a resolution is — happily, Bear the librarian explains it quite well, both to her and to the book’s audience.

Squirrel then visits her forest friends to see what resolutions they have planned and hopes she’ll be able to think of one for herself. Skunk, Turtle, and Mole all have ideas, but they can’t seem to get started until Squirrel gives them a push. She comes away disappointed that nothing’s come to her, but when she meets her friends later at the diner, they point out that her involvement has led to a resolution “to help someone every day.”

The happy pictures and the new knowledge that a resolution is an important, attainable goal carry the day. Ages 4 to 8. Review by Ilene Cooper

Amelia’s Must-Keep Resolutions for the Best Year Ever! by Marissa Moss

This book is the format of a journal or diary and is penned in a black and white composition notebook. The author, Marissa Moss, says that she loves this format that she stumbled upon because it allows her to explore the world through a child’s eyes. The notebook is full of New Year ideas and ways to make resolutions that will really stick. The book is only 40 pages so it’s a quick read. Ages 9 to 12.

Books for Adults About Making New Year’s Resolutions:

The Art of The Fresh Start: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for a lifetime by Glenna Salsbury

Most New Year’s resolutions, no matter how well-intented, are doomed to fail for one often overlooked reason: they are incongruent with our dreams and values. In The Art of the Fresh Start, Glenna Salsbury provides you with the tools to uncover the values that guide you, leading you to discover what you want to achieve and how to get there through internal motivation. This includes Book One: The Foundation for Your Fresh Start and Book Two: The “How” of Maintaining Your Fresh Start.

This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M.J. Ryan

This book takes you through the adventure of living your dreams by first showing you how to prepare for change, then by showing you how to get into action, how to keep going and also includes twelve tips for keeping your promise to yourself about your intentions.

Ryan tackles the obstacles that keep readers from their goals and provides helpful tools and language to quell negative, self-defeating thoughts. Championing affirmation and cognitive therapy strategies, Ryan urges readers to switch from “why” thinking to “what could be possible” thinking, using “right brain” skills to achieve success: “The right brain is future oriented. It’s where our aspirations, our dreams, our longings reside.” Ryan’s handy self-help will prove welcome for anyone seeking gentle but solid help in achieving personal change.

Stop by tomorrow for our Sunday Product Review for nannies and au pairs.
What are your favorite books to read to children?


  1. Green Eggs and Ham. (It addresses picky eating. Trying new things. And on and on.)However asking me to name what comes in second is like asking me to name my favorite child or charge. It feels like I have created an infinite playlist at time of music children should head. Likewise I think there is an infinite Booklist that children should have in libraries. A big thing I will do with my charges though is say the name of author and illustrator, and we will talk about other books we know them from.

  2. I love all Dr Seuss books too Lisa. I think this concept of reading to kids is all very important. But you neglect to mention the fact that most nannies probably can't read English. Obviously the ladies that comment on this blog and read your newsletter can read English. But the majority of nannies in this country are illegal aliens from Spanish speaking countries or haven't graduated from high school from the Carribean. Can you expect non-English speaking or illiterate nannies to read to children?

  3. I am going to write what I am about to based on what I have observed in the many metropolitian areas of our country in regards to literacy, immigrants, and childcare. Not being non-English speaking or illiterate nannies should not be the excuse to never read. (And well, who says it has to be English – pictures in books can help tell the story too.)Reading plus writing (and given we are in the United States) English should be the absolute requirement of being nanny. Or that nanny should have the desire to learn the language and make strides in if they are going to care for children in this nation. Parents who don't ask this are failing their own children.I have gone by conference rooms in libraries, churches, and community centers where I have seen volunteers work with immigrants (And Americans) on how to read and write English. Help is available.I have seen non-American English as a second language caregivers read to charges in libraries. Sometimes in English, and sometimes some libraries have books in Spanish, French, Italian, etc.I have lived in places where there are bilingual storytimes.A family can check out stories on tapes from libraries and that caregiver can sit that little child on their lap and listen to the story together. The adult can learn the basic sight words that appear in many children's books.That's the thing with children's books it's often easy language (Hello Dr. Seuss) so they can learn together. It's not like reading rocket ship manual. 🙂

  4. Well the 2nd comment by anonymous is biggoted. Can I ask you Stephanie the publisher of this newsletter to re-publish an article you printed that shows that Spanish speaking nannies should read to English speaking children even if they read Spanish books to kids!!You published about a study that showed that kids learn language naturally when young and will understand a Spanish book being read to them by their Spanish speaking caregiver! The study showed kids do benefit from anyone reading to them!I really hope you can re-publish that article or post a link to the article because "anonymous" is wrong!Many parents prefer hiring bi-lingual nannies for the fact a Spanish speaking nanny can help teach the children both English and Spanish!!!

  5. Whoa commenter #2 I disagree.Thousands of American families hire aupairs and welcome the cultural exchange! A nanny or aupair that speaks Spanish fluently is a benefit in the eyes of many parents, not a problem. Reading books in any language is great. I know a mom in town reads French books to her kids and everyone thinks that is great. There are many parents prefer hiring bilingual nannies and aupairs. Why not have a German speaking aupair teach your child some German? Kids learn Spanish in school anyway, so why not learn even more when your nanny or aupair can share even more of their culture of favorite foods and music with the children? It's great to learn about other cultures and promote diversity in kids. I think Anonymous you are bitter about illegal aliens and I think and are confusing the blessings families have when hiring nannies and aupairs from different countries, cultures, language and so on…

  6. I love this post too! I think reading is a great New Years Resolution for kids and nannies! Love the books too! But the comments about most nannies being unable to read is just nonesense.Infants love touchy books, lift flap books, noisy books, there are millions of choices and anyone can read with kids!

  7. Wel, I am anonymous from above and even our cleaning lady from Peru is great with kids and when I ask her why she doesn't work as a nanny she says she can't speak or read English well enough or know the nursery rhymes children sing in America. She speaks English fine, we communicate fine, yet she says it herself!!I'm not a biggot. I do NOT think Americans should hire illegals in this country. Too many Americans unemployed, aren't working, yet hire an illegal? I don't think an illiterate or Spanish speaking nanny can read English books – period! Show me that study because that's just ridiculous. If you don't graduate high school or can't read the language how you going to read to a school aged child? You can't help them with homework? The reason parents hire bilingual nannies and au pairs is because they are cheaper! Are you kidding? They don't hire them becasue they can teach their kid a second language. What host parent welcomes an au pair to teach them their culture? They hire them because they are cheaper.If you could afford an American educated college grad to help raise your kids vs a lady that hasn't graduated high school and doesn't know the language who'd you hire? Of course you'd hire the more pricey nanny if you could afford it.Face facts. A Spanish speaking nanny isn't reading as many English books to your kids as an English speaking nanny! Most nannies aren't American born or English as a second language in this country!

  8. Darn anonymous, you kind of ruined this nice concept of a new year's resolution of reading to kids into a nasty political debate. I love interactive books with kids. Depending on the age, I like puppet books, flip books, touchy feely books, and then READ ALONG books, and then chapter books as they get older. Kids do love when you read to them! It's true!

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