"I don't remember the monster book," I replied.
"You read it to me and Callie last time."
Still not remembering, I asked, "Tell me what happens in the story."
She said, "I don't remember all of it, but it is a counting book, and at the end, the monsters were going to eat us up."
The light bulb went on, and I remembered Laura Numeroff's Monster Munchies. Numeroff is the author of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series.
This book is currently out of print, but copies are available at reasonable prices at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Hopefully at some point, with Laura Numeroff's fame, this book will be reprinted.
This book counts monsters from one to twenty.
One giant monster
wears a dress,
eats the couch,
and makes a mess.
Two happy monsters
clean the room.
When they're done,
they eat the broom.
This goes on with cute pictures to twenty.
"Twenty hungry monsters
with nothing left to chew.
Better close this book up tight . . .
Before they chew on you!"
I asked, "Can you find the rhyming words on each page?"
She struggled a bit, but then I said, "Let's look for a pattern."
We looked at how line one and three don't rhyme, but lines two and four of each page always rhyme. After she knew the pattern, it was "easy peasy" (as she says) for her to find the rhyme. After reading it twice, I covered the last line, and she used to the pictures to predict what line four would say. She got really brave, stood across the room from me, had me read the first three lines of each page, and she would recite the fourth line. She felt really smart - as she should.
Books with rhyme and rhythm give kids a big sense of accomplishment. They are easier to memorize, and help a child build fluency when reading. Kayana is in kindergarten, and loves books, and when she comes to see me, we read. This book is great for a lot of laughing, fun, and learning. She always gets up and runs away from the book when we get to the last line. She is not going to let the monsters chew on her.
Read to a child today, even if that child is you.