Why Use Children’s Literature for ESL Students?



Breakfast for a Prince uses good pictures and universal language for ESL Students

Good pictures are as close to universal language as the world is likely to get…picture books are an invaluable aid to communication across linguistic lines.

Here are the top reasons why Children’s books help ESL learn English:

• Engagement that’s not intimidating

• Children’s books have universal themes

• Simple language

• Manageable story length

• Illustrations make it fun and engaging

• Increase vocabulary in context

• Helps with skills and strategy development

• Integration of language skills: reading, listening, and speaking

• Creates heightened interest in books and reading

• Cultural knowledge (Western and other cultures)

• Multicultural stories – students see themselves, adds to connecting with story

• Exposure to literary terms and appreciation of literature

•Figurative language and cultural metaphors

• Visual art appreciation

• It’s FUN !





Tips for getting your kids to read more


There are a million good reasons to get your kids to read more.  The challenge however, is actually getting them to do it.

“Reading is one of those things that actually improves kids’ academic success in all subjects,” said Caroline Knorr, parenting editor for Common Sense Media.


The world is very different from the one children grew up in 30 years ago, with more distractions and arguably more homework vying for children’s attention.

Want to get your child to read more? Here are some tips:

Keep books in your home: Having books easily accessible is the first step in getting your child to read more. That includes both print books and e-books. According to Common Sense Media, recent studies say more than half of U.S. kids are reading digital books at least once a week.


Set aside time to read: According to the report, among children who are frequent readers, 57% of parents set aside time each day for their child to read, compared to 16% of parents of children who are infrequent readers.


Read yourself: By modeling good behavior, parents can encourage their own kids to read. “You’ve got to walk the walk,”!


Help kids connect: If you can find a story line that your child may relate to, in anything from classics to graphic novels to bilingual books, that may encourage them to read more. Kids will read what they’re interested in.


Tie in movies, music or video games:  If you plan on watching a movie, playing a video game, or listening to music that’s tied to a book –  have them read the books first — if they haven’t already. “You can then talk about the movie, music or game.  Ask them what they think.  Get their opinions.   A great source is Prince Garrett Reading Tool Kit.  Children can continue to connect reading the books by playing the FREE video Game, music, and the books.


Encourage “pocket reading”: There are forms of reading beyond books that can be of value. “If a full book is too daunting for your kid and they’re not going to read – look information that they are interested in and read it on line or print out the information and you can read it together.


Source of most information is from : Meredith Deliso



Reading is Going to the Dogs!

Reading is Going to the Dogs!


Early readers need encouragement and what’s more reassuring than a wagging tail, sweet puppy dog eyes, and a rapt audience that will never utter a discouraging word?

Having kids read to man’s best friend gives them an outlet for their newfound phonics, and the pooches — with their need for attention — Dogs and kids lap it up.

Give your children 15-minute stints to read to a dog. Your child has pet allergies? No problem, this method also works with stuff pets too!

Look for every possible way to motivate kids to love to read. For both kids and their pets, this approch will make the dog happy and the kids smile!

Source: Leader-Telegram
Image: Zuzu from Prince Garrett’s book series


Prince Garrett is excited about reading this summer!



As summer quickly approaches, many parents and teachers worry about the potential of learning loss, or a “summer slump.”  Reading at least five books over the summer can help prevent this loss and keep young people engaged as learners. However, finding a book that a kid is excited to read can be a major challenge, whether your child is a bookworm or a reluctant reader.

Introducing Bookopolis.com, a new, free tool to get kids excited about reading this summer. Bookopolis is a safe and fun online community made especially for young readers (ages 7-12) where they can connect with friends to share their favorite books and discover new ones.  In Bookopolis, kids earn points and badges for reading, rating, and reviewing books. They can easily see what books their friends recommend and are motivated to read more through healthy competition with friends.

Nine out of ten kids are more likely to finish a book they choose for themselves (Kids & Family Reading Report TM 4th edition.) But, where do they find out about new book ideas?  Friends! According to a recent study on children’s reading habits by Bowker® Market Research, friends have actually replaced teachers and librarians as the #1 source of new book ideas for kids today. 

Kari Riedel, an entrepreneur and mom of two elementary school-aged kids started Bookopolis based on her own experience seeing the power of book recommendations from friends. Ms. Riedel tried to help her eight-year-old Harry Potter obsessed son find a new book to read and suggested he would enjoy another fantasy adventure series, The Mysterious Benedict Society. He dismissed her suggestion until his friend recommended the exact same book a week later. Then, of course, he could not wait to read it.

“We wanted to create a fun and engaging online space for our tech-savvy kids to celebrate their reading accomplishments and also to motivate them to get off the computer and go read a book” says the founder, Ms. Riedel.

Bookopolis has been gaining traction in schools across Silicon Valley as a way to get elementary school-aged kids excited about reading and help them find peer approved books.

“My son actually asked me to go to the library today after playing on Bookopolis at school. He couldn’t wait to get new books that his friends had recommended so he could earn more points in Bookopolis” shared a parent of a fourth-grade reluctant reader who recently joined the site.

As the school year winds down and summer heats up, get your kid excited about reading by signing them up for a free account at www.bookopolis.com,and dont forget to add “Breakfast for a Prince” to their reading list.

Bookopolis is a COPPA-compliant social network and book discovery tool made specifically for young readers ages 7-12.  Kids can create virtual bookshelves of books they’ve read or want to read, earn points and badges every time they rate or review a book, connect to friends to see what they are reading, and explore the top book picks from other young readers. Parents must approve their child’s account and approve of any friends they connect to in Bookopolis.  


You Think He’s Spooky?

Jannie with frankenstein bitstrip

Halloween can be a fun time for the little ones.  I wanted to do something fun for the kids and share some information about my upcoming children’s book, The Beautiful Book of Possibilities.  To accomplish both, I created a video in tribute to Mr. Bullfrog, one of the characters in the Prince Garrett series of books.

Mr. Bullfrog is king of a pond in Milford Forrest, and he can be misunderstood.  My video, “Bullfrog’s Anthem” show’s Jeremiah (Mr. Bullfrog) in a new light.   Through a loved nursery rhyme, Mr. Bullfrog raps about the importance of school.  Don’t let his green skin and spooky voice fool you;  Jeremiah is a fun amphibian! Click here to check him out.


Mr. Bullfrog’s Anthem

Mr. Bullfrog
Mr. Bullfrog


Just in Time for Halloween! The Bullfrog Anthem is a fun song from the Prince Garrett series, The Beautiful Book of Possibilities. Mr. Bullfrog instills the love of learning through an updated version of a children’s classic. Check out Mr. Bullfrog’s Song and find out what’s possible http://ow.ly/qgL6w !