10 Ways to Explore a Book: Hooray for Hat

Hooray for Hat by Brian Won (Photo source: brianwon.com)

Hooray for Hat by Brian Won (Photo source: brianwon.com)

Earlier this summer I ordered a book that has quickly become a storytime favorite for sharing with both preschoolers and toddlers. Hooray for Hat (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) author/illustrator Brian Won offers a book experience that is successful in many ways.

  • The well-drawn, familiar animals are easy to recognize and identify which often increases the engagement of young readers,
  • The right amount of white space allows the book to be shared with larger groups or with young children,
  • The book’s concept, played out with expressive characters, addresses the emotional and social development of children and
  • The repeated text and vocabulary boost the early literacy skills of our storytime crowd
  • The story is fun and heart-warming.

I liked this book so much that I decided to add it to the collection of 10 Ways to Explore a Book posters I’ve been making for families. The other posters I’ve made can be found on our community’s early literacy site here.Explore Hat Book

Check out Brian’s site for other activity ideas that may be a great fit for your library or for sharing with families to do at home.

10 Ways to Explore a Book: Alaska’s Dog Heroes


Earlier this winter I posted the first in a series of flyers, 10 Ways to Explore a Book,  designed to help families explore a book together. The idea behind the poster was to encourage families to enjoy books in different ways and even to extend the experience beyond the book, bringing in their own knowledge and fostering the early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, playing and talking.

Here is the second poster in the series which features the book Alaska’s Dog Heroes (Sasquatch Books, 2014) by Shelley Gill. The book highlights the stories of several Alaskan dogs that lived a remarkable life. It’s just in time to celebrate the start of Alaska’s Iditarod, the annual 1,000 mile sled dog race between Anchorage and Nome that was established by Dorothy Page and Joe Redington, Sr.  “to save the sled dog culture and Alaskan huskies, which were being phased out of existence due to the introduction of snowmobiles in Alaska; and to preserve the historical Iditarod Trail between Seward and Nome.” (Iditarod.com) You may also find the idea behind the poster useful if you’re library will be participating in the 2015 CSLP summer reading program, Every Hero Has a Story. Explore Book: Alaska Dog Heroes

10 Ways to Explore a Book: “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” Alternative

At a recent regional early literacy workshop, a few of us we’re tossing around the idea of starting a “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at our individual libraries. There so many librarians out there who have successfully adopted the idea that it seemed like a no-brainer. More reading = higher literacy rates.

As we talked though, I decided not to do the program. We couldn’t get away from the idea that numbers can be intimidating, especially for families that aren’t regular storytime attendees or adults that are not confident readers themselves. We were also a bit intimidated by the numbers. By that I mean we were worried about committing to more record keeping since many of us work in libraries with few staff. We agreed that we ultimately wanted the focus to be on the story experience not the number of stories. So I came up with this as an alternative that works for our library.

This is the first in a series of posters called “10 Ways to Explore a Book” that will feature Alaskan children’s books and ten ways families can extend their experience with a story at home, while they read it or afterwards. It’s loosely based on the ECRR2 Practices: Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play. (Photo used with permission of the creators.)

Have any thoughts about the design? Let me know!

Blueberry Shoe by Ann Dixon and Evon Zerbetz (Alaska Northwest Books, 1999)10 Ways to Explore a Book- Blueberry Shoe