Michelle Sterling is a speech-language pathologist, photographer and mother to Avery (7) and Nate (5). You can find her sharing books she loves on Instagram and on her blog Avery and Augustine. Here are some of her thoughts on reading:
“There’s something so magical about finding a book or book series that you click with as a child. It makes reading enjoyable, which is so integral to contributing to a lifelong love of reading and learning. When they can’t wait to find out what happens next in a book, children are motivated to learn how to decode words that are new them (even if they’re difficult), and understand their meanings. As adults, while we read aloud a story to our children, we can bring to light the nuanced meanings of those new words, help our children understand the plot of the story and really teach them to think beyond the story, and relate it with their own life experiences. This is a huge part of the learning process: connecting new experiences with old. This is what happens when we’re there reading aloud books to our kids or are even just present while they’re reading aloud on their own.
According to so many books (The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease comes to mind) and many recent articles, as our kids get older, they lose interest in reading. Compared to other countries, our kids read less and less on their own as they become teenagers. And time devoted to reading decreases with each new generation. Yet, lifelong reading is so essential to a well-rounded education, understanding the world, making learning connections and ultimately, helping our children discover who they’re going to be in life and what their mission will be. So, this is why it is so, so important from a very young age and all throughout childhood to build a library of books that children will enjoy and treasure.
So, with this in mind, I carefully look for a variety of books—fresh, new works and old, beloved classics—but most importantly, I look for stories that my kids will engage with, laugh at, be amazed by, be in awe of and thoroughly enjoy. And I am always on the lookout for books that instill a sense of wonder in my kids, ones that they can go back to over and over, get lost in, and reflect on later. Because childhood is about nothing if not wonder. It is my hope that in doing all this, they’ll become lifelong readers, explorers and dreamers.”
Here are ten of her favorite recent picture books, which she loves for their story as much as their artistry.
Rapido’s Next Stop by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet
Home by Carson Ellis
Henri’s Walk to Paris by Leonore Klein and Saul Bass
Little Pear Tree by Rachel Williams and Jenny Bowers
How To by Julie Morstad
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Arrow to Alaska by Hannah Viano
Chloe, Instead by Micah Player
When I Was Born by Isabel Minhós Martins and Madalena Matoso
Float by Daniel Miyares