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Worth & Soul of Words
A newsletter by Ken Baker,
author for young readers
March 2024

Proven benefits of parent‐to‐child reading

Gift your child a glorious future. Read to them.

Did you know?

Daily reading to children gives them a rock‐solid advantage in life

Research is clear. Spending daily reading time with your children early on and through their teen years can have a major impact on multiple facets of their lives. While significant improvements in literacy and cognitive abilities are high on the list, it can positively influence emotional and social skills, result in greater future career success, and facilitate learning in other educational subjects. Additionally, some research indicates that spending only six minutes a day reading to a child can potentially have an immense positive impact.1

Here's what research and various sources say about the benefits ofparent‐to‐child reading:

  • Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and is linked with literacy development and future achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school.2
  • The specific experience of being read to during the early years has long-term educational benefits that traverse the academic lifespan.2
  • Parents and caregivers are crucial to providing our students with the best possible education… Research shows that when families and communities are involved in their children's education, students attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and perform at higher levels.3
  • Exposure to words is the single most important thing that you can do to help build the language pathways in your child's brain.4
  • Reading and exposure to words helps kids maximize their language and cognitive capacity.4
  • A few minutes of reading together gives both you and your child a chance to slow down, connect with each other, and share an enjoyable activity.4
  • Reading books with relatable themes can lead to meaningful conversations about what’s happening in their lives.4
  • Parental involvement in your child's literacy practices is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education.5
  • Parental involvement in their child's reading has been found to be the most important determinant of language and emergent literacy.5
  • Books that reflect different cultures and family experiences give children a window into the diverse world we live in.6
  • Reading aloud can help children develop social‐emotional skills, such as empathy, understanding big emotions, and problem-solving.6
  • Reading aloud is a great way to bond with your child.6

Reading Rockets logo


Shout out! - Helps for parent‐to‐child reading

Reading Rockets is a national public media literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. Here are a few resources they offer to help you in your efforts to read to your children:

Book business and life - Building a love of reading in children's lives

One of the main reasons I write stories for young readers is to create books that will build a love of reading in children's lives. When it comes to picture books, that's becoming harder and harder if you're not an illustrator as well. So, my quest to become a children's book illustrator continues.

Creating art is a work of love for me and hope to continue in it for the rest of my life. As part of this work, I've started creating my first picture book dummy. A picture book dummy. give agents and editors a visual glimpse into the story and the quality of the illustrator's art. The dummy I'm working on will likely have finished art for two of the book's pages and sketches for the other pages. While I create the dummy, I'll continue to build up my art portfolio as well.
Family in library

Heart image by Ken Baker

What I love - Reading time

Reading my books and other books to my grandchildren is one of my favorite activities. When my own children were younger, reading to them was a pleasure too.
Reading time was often part of our family's bedtime rituals. But I also read to them at other times too just for fun. When Harry Potter first came out, I read that to my preteens during vacation drives and other spare moments. To create anticipation for each reading, we had a strict rule that none of us could read ahead on our own.

P.S. - Take time for parent‐to‐child reading.

If you know someone who might enjoy or benefit from this newsletter issue, please forward or share it with them.

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Thank you

Thank You image by Ken Baker

Thank you to all the parents who already spend time each day reading to their children.

1. "Texas Public Libraries: Economic Benefits and Return on Investment," Texas State Library and Archives Commission, January 2017, www.tsl.texas.gov/roi
2. "The Value of California's Public Libraries," California State Library, August 2021, www.library.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Value-of-Libraries.pdf
3. Ibid.
4. "The Power of School Libraries: Why Every Student Deserves Access," Oakland Literacy Coalition, February 2023, https://oaklandliteracycoalition.org/the-power-of-school-libraries-why-every-student-deserves-access/
5. Benjamin Barbour, "3 Key Roles of School Librarians," edutopia, May 2022, www.edutopia.org/article/3-key-roles-school-librarians/
6. "The Essential Leadership of School Librarians," International Literacy Association, 2022, www.literacyworldwide.org/docs/default-source/where-we-stand/the-essential-leadership-of-school-librarians.pdf
7. "ALA Library Fact Sheet 1," American Library Association, www.ala.org/ala/alalibrary/libraryfactsheet/alalibraryfactsheet1.htm

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How to Care for Your T-Rex
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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