This resource offers tips for choosing culturally responsive books for children and how to check for stereotyping and bias.  There is a worksheet included that can be used when evaluating a children’s book and links to other helpful resources.  Check out the Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness for more information and resources.

Selecting Culturally Appropriate Books Resource

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Read books to infants while you are holding them on your lap or be sure he/she can see the book. Any book with pictures will do, but board books work well for infants who often want to grab the pages or put the book in their mouth. Read for as long as the infant seems interested and don’t worry if you don’t make it all the way through the book. Allow the infant to touch and hold the book and read the same books many times. As infants gain more motor control allow them to turn the pages.

For a list of books by age click here.

Goal: To begin supporting infant’s language development and book knowledge.

Dr. Katie Paciga, Fred Rogers Fellow and Assistant Professor of Education, shares some things to consider when choosing e-books or storytelling apps.

When looking for e-books consider if there are different types of menu options such as “read to me”, “read and play”, “read by myself” which will offer flexibility for different ages and reading levels.  Print tracking is another option that is excellent for emergent or beginning readers to draw attention to the words as they are being read.  Check to see that any interactive elements relate to the story line and aren’t arbitrary, such that they draw attention away from the story or cause confusion.  An option to record narration of the story can also be great for supporting children’s creativity.

Features of storytelling apps that are important to look for include the option to import images from the camera roll and the ability to use the keyboard or a finger for adding writing/text.  The option to audio record so that the story can be told by the child’s voice rather than only by printed or written text makes a storytelling app more appropriate for a broad range of ages.

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Several Chicago Public Library branches are offering a program for children birth to age five. story hour sessions are  for children ages birth to 5. Enjoy reading, singing, nursery rhymes and fun activities designed to help support children’s language and literacy development. You can find out more about which branches are participating and dates and times for story hours at the Chicago Public Library Events page here: Library Events Link

If you are not located in the Chicago area you should check out your local library for activities and programs if you haven’t already. The library can be a great regular field trip destination for family child care to participate in story hour or just to browse and check out books.

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