Every September, for the past several years, The Library of Michigan has partnered with Target to "provide librarians, early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers with ideas to help children develop literacy skills through play-based activities" (Michigan.gov/mde), via the Michigan Reads! program and this year is no exception.
The Michigan Reads! program is targeted to reach children from preschool to early elementary, and to show parents just how important (and rewarding) it is to read to small children. But if you're not from Michigan, don't worry, you can participate too! All you have to do is pick up a copy of the book and read it, it's that easy to get involved.
For September 2011, The Library of Michigan has selected Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devon Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers. Memoirs of a Goldfish is "written as a diary. A goldfish takes the reader through his passage from a quiet life in solitude to each addition to the fishbowl and the changes his life undergoes. As the bowl becomes more crowded, the goldfish must confront his feelings about each of his new neighbors until finally he is alone again, which presents a new set of feelings."
Memoirs of a Goldfish holds many opportunies for parents to turn the the simple act of reading with thier child into a learning experience. Given that Memoirs of a Goldfish, is a book centered around feelings, this may be the perfect time for you and children to discuss different feelings, and when those feelings occur. This conversation may assist parents and children in bringing up the topic of bullying, or other situations in which feelings can get hurt, and how to deal with them.
The story also is a fun way to showcase the importance of writing things down, in a diary or otherwise, as a way to cope with different emotions, and even as historical record. You might want to take the time to craft a journal with your child, or encourage your child to tell you about or write a story about their day.
Photo from maryinhb.blogspot.com
And if niether of those topics seem to peaque your interest, there's always the allure of the different aquatic creatures. It might inspire a trip to the local pet store, or even a nature preserve to investigate the types of fish and other aquatic creatures that live all around us, both in tanks, and outdoors.
The Michigan Reads! program has an entire (printable PDF) handbook, to go along with Memoirs of a Goldfish. It contains everything from tips and tricks for parents, to activity sheets and suggestions for the kiddos. So be sure to check it out.
To obtain a copy of Memiors of a Goldfish, check out your local library, and if it becomes a favorite pick up a copy at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.com.