Monday, October 06, 2014

Just the Fingertips Touch

Yesterday I spent time looking up books to buy my neice for her birtday. When I look stuff up for her, I tend to look for two things: pictures and writing that's above her age group. She's only turning four, so she's not a great reader anyway, but I like to get her books above what's recommended for her age group because it helps push her a little and I expect that her parents will read with her at this age. I know that they do read with her because I've seen both of them read with her. Hell, she and her younger sister like to hand me things to read to them when I visit and the one turning four will correct me when I screw up. Reading at that age is a shared experience for their family as it was for my family while I was growing up.

I found things to get her, but I also make the mistake of reading the comments. Most of the comments were positive, four or five stars, but there were a few in the one or two star range, which I had to read. The common complaint was that these books were not really for "all ages readers." They complain that there's a lot of words and some are difficult, but maybe they could give it to a second grader rather than the kindergartener.

To me, this means they expect a child who is only five to read by his or herself. If something is out of the child's current range, shouldn't they be reading along with the kid? Shouldn't they use it to sneakily teach the kid? To push the child's abilities?

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