My middle boy, the Noodle, is in Kindergarten this year. It’s the beginning of May, which means it’s PARP time! PARP- Parents As Reading Partners- is designed to build a love of reading in children by engaging parents to spend 15 minutes a day reading to their children. Designed in New York State in the late 1970’s, the PARP program is an idea that I can really get behind. I think if we can teach children that reading can be fun we’ve given them a powerful tool to spur lifelong learning.
The Noodle and the Goon have just been tucked into bed but right before that we spent about 20 minutes reading tonight. The selection tonight was a series that is an old favorite in our house, going back to when my 13 year old was starting Kindergarten. We read our entire series of the “Black Lagoon” books. Have you heard of them? On the reading list tonight:
- The Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The Principal From the Black Lagoon
- The Gym Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The Librarian From the Black Lagoon
- The School Nurse From the Black Lagoon
- The Custodian From the Black Lagoon
- The Music Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The School Bus Driver From the Black Lagoon
If you’ve got young school-age children, I really recommend these books. (The Goon, at 3, loves them as well!) We originally bought them before my oldest son began school. He had been a little nervous about the idea of starting school and these books got right to the core of that. In a funny and ridiculous manner they imagine the worst-case scenarios associated with all of these roles- the teacher that is a nightmare, the gym teacher that is a hulking brute, the principal that makes trophies out of bad students, etc.
These are really age-appropriate books that will also make Mom and Dad laugh. The idea is that the books are stating what our kids are thinking before they start a new phase of their lives. The books exaggerate to show how ridiculous these fears of the unknown really are. In each story, as the young protagonist confronts the titular role, we learn that the reality of all of these interactions is exciting, positive, and fun. In the end, the situation is never as bad as we think it might be. In fact, trying a new thing in life- like getting on a school bus for the first time- can be a doorway to a new adventure.
The books are written by Mike Thaler and are illustrated by Jared Lee. The books are available at the author’s website, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. The retail price is under $4 and your children will want you to read them time and again. Check them out and maybe pick one up. Your children will love them!
So- I’ve shared one of my family’s favorite children’s series- what about you? Do you have books in your house that your kids want to hear all the time? What are they? Share with the group! 🙂