T-Rex animation
Picture book animation
Worth & Soul of Words
A newsletter by Ken Baker,
author for young readers
August 2023

Power of reading aloud to newborns and older

Baby with ABCs

1.4 M+ words
from newborn
to age 5.

Did you know?

Reading aloud increases children's vocabulary and school preparation

A study conducted by the Ohio State Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy found that Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school. I'm not surprised by the study's finding Reading has made a significant impact on the lives of my children. The study also found that if parents or caregivers read aloud five books a day to children from the time they're newborns to age five, they will have heard approximately 1,483,300 words. Other experts indicate that reading aloud to your baby:

  • Fosters emotional connections
  • Boosts brain power
  • Improves language skills
  • Prepares kids to read on their own2
  1. Jeff Grabmeier, Ohio State University, The importance of reading to kids daily, April 09, 2019, ehe.osu.edu/news/listing/importance-reading-kids-daily-0
  2. Linda DiProperzio and Alison Fox, Parents, The Benefits of Reading to Your Baby, September 15, 2022, parents.com/baby/development/intellectual/benefits-of-reading-to-your-newborn/

Megaphone - Reading to children

Shout out! - Mem Fox and reading to children

From Mem Fox: When I say to a parent, "Read to a Child," I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. I love this quote for many reasons. I always loved reading to my children. Now I love reading to my grandchildren. And of course, I love chocolate. Learn more about Mem Fox at memfox.com.

Note: This issue's Did you know? and Shout out! were inspired by an interview with Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature of the University of Minnesota.

Book business and life - YA fantasy progress

In addition to picture books I also write chapter books to YA. About a week ago, I finished the first draft of a new YA fantasy. Next steps for this story include making needed revisions by fixing known problems, finding problems to fix, enhancing plot, character and setting aspects, and cutting about 10,000 words. Ugh! But still fun.

typewriter - YA fantasty progress
heart showing love for family and grandchild

What I love - My family

Of all things on this earth, family is most important to me. Incredible joy comes from spending time, playing games, and going on adventures with my wife, five children, and grandchildren. In fact, grandchild number three was born last month. Yay! She's an adorable baby girl, who has already won a soft spot in Papa's heart.


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T-Rex animation
How to Care for Your T-Rex
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound
Old MacDonald had a Dragon
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Cow Can't Sleep
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Indie Bound
Brave Little Monster
Picture book collection

Copyright 2001-2023 by Ken Baker

How to Care for your T-Rex pictures by Dave Coverly
Old MacDonald had a Dragon pictures by Christopher Santoro
Brave Little Monster pictures by Geoffrey Hayes
Cow Can't Sleep pictures by Steve Gray