It really never dawned on me to test out my book on my household members, whom happen to be exactly my target audience. My older daughter (7.5-yrs old) likes it, thought it was cute, but my 5-year old son *loves* it. It’s his favorite book now. When I got my proof copy a couple weeks ago, he had me read it to him 4 times straight. Then that night in bed. I gave my original copy to his teachers the following day which was his last day of school but promised him he’d have a copy of his own soon. I can manage that, right?
My order came in last week and every night since, he wants me to read it to him in bed. Last night, he decided he wanted to read it. While he does have a very good memory, I can tell he’s actually working through the letter sounds and sounding them out. This is where consistency & reinforcement are so important. While we, as adults, don’t think about this when reading, long and short vowel sounds are very confusing to little people, especially at the very beginning. That’s why I made almost all the words in the book have short vowel sounds and avoided all vowel blends. The sounds that kids learn from the alphabet (short vowels) carry forward to the next book. This helps them tremendously to make sense of the letters in front of them and particularly in processing common consonant blends. Other children’s books don’t do this, and thus a young child can get stuck or not understand why a long vowel is used in a word rather than a short vowel.
For example: The sentence “I read a red book yesterday, I will read the red book tomorrow.” Here, simply the use of different tense (past/future) changes the sound of the word ‘read’. Dude, no early reader can make sense of that!
In The Magic Forest Alphabet: Introducing Consonant Blends, with sound consistency, he is able to correctly read the entire book which boosts his confidence tremendously. He was incredibly proud of himself last night and keeps wanting to go back for more.
It’s a proud Mama moment on many fronts. It’s a unique and glorious feeling that my son’s favorite book is the book I created. And that he can read it all the way through. He sure will be ready for kindergarten come August! <3