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- 3 Reasons Kids Need Early Reader Books With Characters They Love
True or false? It’s okay to give kids early reader books featuring characters they love.
Kids may like books with their favorite characters, but do they need them?
Will early reading series — Step into Reading or I Can Read books — that feature popular characters from tv or popular media actually help young readers?
I’m talking the whole crew: Disney princesses, Pixar characters, PAW Patrol pups, Blues Clues guys, Barbies, Mickey Mouse, Lightning McQueen, Pikachu, Superman, or Peppa Pig. Everyone. All those famous characters.
The answer is true, true, TRUE. Yes, yes, YES.
It’s absolutely okay–actually, it’s SUPER!–to give kids early reader books featuring their favorite characters.
Here’s the skinny. . .
3 Reasons Kids Need Early Reader Books With Characters They Love
It’s funny that some folks feel so strongly opposed to handing kids books that feature the characters they so love, but I do understand it.
Often characters from popular media don’t always demonstrate the behaviors we want our children to mirror. Sometimes the language or words they use are tricky. Other times the characters may not treat others very kindly.
That makes sense to me.
But I think you can use those elements as learning opportunities, talking to your children about the words or behavior we don’t approve of and what behavior we expect instead. Talk to them about kindness and generosity.
Because honestly? The benefits of using these books truly outweigh the downside.
Popular Characters in Early Reader Texts are SUPER High-Interest
High-Interest Reading is text that is interesting to kids. We want to provide our kids with as much high-interest reading as possible–that way kids will want to read!
So when we give emerging readers texts that feature their favorite tv-buddies, they will want crack open those books.
And honestly, these are the books that are often read over and over and over and over again. That’s okay–in fact, that’s wonderful. Re-reading fave books has so many benefits!
Books With Familiar Characters are Filled With Learning Opportunities
I could go on and on about how to capitalize on learning opportunities when kids are engaged and interested, but here are a few ways:
- Focus on text features — point to the title, author, illustrator, table of contents, where text begins and ends, etc.
- Play with names — just like children love to learn their own names, they will also love to learn their favorite characters’ names.
- Encourage kids to help you figure out the story — kids love to be ‘experts’ so let them help you figure out what might happen next, which character might be hiding behind that door, or how a person may react in a certain situation.
Early ReaderTexts Featuring Fave Characters Build Kids’ Reading Confidence
The more often these favorite books are read, the more likely our emerging readers are going to take risks and try to read words on their own.
That’s what we want–that’s what we are aiming for, friends. We’re not focused on perfection here; rather, we’re focused on creating a safe environment where our kids are comfortable enough to take risks and try their hand at reading!
So whether your child “reads” the book title to you or whether she can points to the name “Elsa” each time she sees it, we’re building confidence.
Where to Find Early Readers With Characters Kids Love
You can find these books just about anywhere, especially once you start keeping your eyes open for them.
Check yard sales, book fairs, ask your Facebook friends, or your neighborhood listserve.
Find them on Zulily during the BOGO sale, and know that you are making a difference with each and every book you purchase. For example:
- Trolls: Tiny Diamond’s First Day of School
- Disney’s Stitch Goes to School
- Frozen: A Tale of Two Sisters
- Disney Princess: Palace Pets Ariel’s Brave Kitten Paperback
- Barbie: On Your Toes Book
What do you think?
Do you have strong feelings about giving your children–or students–books that feature characters they love? I’d love to hear it!
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.