Our English and Spanish Baby Readers use simple language to educate parents about the importance of reading to their babies. The Readers reinforce the messages of educators and help
to establish reading traditions in new families.
The Readers use traditional rhymes because parents are often familiar with them and they help babies learn to distinguish between different sounds as they acquire language skills.
Why were the Baby Readers created?
The Baby Reader project was initiated and supported by the Rock County (MN) Friends of the Library and Rock County's Collaborative. This effort was undertaken because, although medical and educational research consistently demonstrate the importance of reading to infants, that information wasn't reaching the people who needed to hear it most -- the young moms and dads who aren't likely to study parenting books or to read well-meant pamphlets. On our Baby Reader pages, the recent findings of developmental research are presented in simple, encouraging sentences alongside the read-aloud rhymes.
What is the message of the Baby Readers?
The Baby Readers stress family involvement. Their pages combine brightly illustrated classic nursery rhymes with short Parent Notes about the important "first and best teacher" role of parents in the educational development of their children. Photographs of real parents reading to babies reinforce this theme of family involvement. The Baby Readers, started as a project of Rock County Friends of the Library, also endorse library use and encourage families to visit libraries and continue to read together.
A Spanish-language Reader-- does Humpty Dumpty translate well?
Because Despertar a la lectura's audience is new parents who are most comfortable reading in Spanish, its Parent Notes are in Spanish. We've used traditional poems of
Spanish-language cultures (e.g., Tortillitas, Un elefante se balanceaba) as the read-aloud material for parents to share with babies. Fun, rhyming English-language
translations of the poems are also presented to allow parents to read aloud to their babies in Spanish and/or English.