CHICAGO — Since children develop the critical language and early reading skills necessary to enter kindergarten between birth and age 5, reading aloud is one of the most influential steps librarians, teachers, parents and caregivers can take to foster preschoolers’ literacy skills. Early exposure to books heavily influences vocabulary knowledge, which in turn improves later reading skills and helps foster lifelong literacy. In “Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers,” published by ALA Editions, Alan R. Bailey highlights more than 300 birth-kindergarten titles, offering:
- a hand-picked selection of quality books adeptly chosen to help develop crucial literacy skills such as expressive and receptive language, expanded vocabularies, narrative skills, print awareness, the ability to understand written language, awareness of story structure, alphabetic knowledge and phonological sensitivity;
- thorough annotation of each title, including a full bibliographic record, a short summary and journal reviews;
- chapters organized by type of book, from primary skills books, wordless picture books and rhyming books to toy and movable books;
- a list of additional resources helpful for building a core collection.
Over his 29-year career as a professional librarian, Bailey has served as a public school librarian and a branch manager of a public library and has worked in community college and university libraries. For more than 17 of those years, he has been directly responsible for developing collections for young children. He currently serves as associate professor and education curriculum librarian in the Teaching Resources Center at East Carolina University’s J. Y. Joyner Library. He has served multiple terms as a member of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury and has reviewed books for the “Children’s Literature Review” column in Language Arts, the journal of the Elementary Section of the National Council of Teachers of English.
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