Eight Tips for Helping Young Readers Bloom

Spring is here, so many people are planning and prepping to work in their gardens. In many places, spring flowers are already blooming or daffodils and other spring bulbs are poking up out of the warming soil. Given the right conditions and care, gardens can be thriving, vibrant places full of life. And the same is true for young readers! So, to celebrate spring and gardens and reading, here are ten tips to help your young readers bloom and thrive, along with some garden photos for some garden inspiration. 1. Just like flowers, budding readers blossom in their own time. Encourage them, but let them grow at their own pace. 2. Gardens need the right nutrients to grow, and this can vary depending on the plant. The same is true for young readers. Fertilize young readers minds with consistent, nutrient-rich mind food. In other words, offer a variety of books! But remember, not all growing readers will respond to the same books the same way.  Cone flowers and black-eyed Susans in Rebecca'

Review and Activity: Pairing Books with Stuffed Critters

by Trine Grillo

Do you ever wonder what books animals would check out of the library?

Would a giraffe choose tall books?

Would hyenas search for jokes?

What if otter needs one that is waterproof and geckos could only read stick-to-the-wall books?

In the delightful Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown, a librarian accidentally drives the bookmobile into the zoo.  To make the best of the situation, she decides to open the door and begin reading.

“In a flash, every beast in the zoo was stampeding, 

to learn all about this new something called reading.”

The more the animals read, the more they loved books. They read to each other and laughed and solved mysteries. Soon they began writing their own stories!

What about you? Do you have a zoo of stuffed animals in your room or a real live pet?

READ: Wild About Books


  • Can you think of stories your animal friends would like to hear?
  • What stories might be good for a stuffed bear? A stuffed frog?
  • What would your bunnies learn from Peter Rabbit?
  • Could Rocket teach your puppy to read?
  • Would your piglet fall in love with Charlotte?
  • Perhaps your tabby could write a book with Mr. Putter?


Gather up your animal friends. Try to match each one with a book they might enjoy. Find books from your shelf or take a trip to the library. Your stuffed friends are welcome there. Let them choose! Here are some matches I came up with:

Once you've paired your books and pets, find a cozy spot and read together. Laugh out loud. Solve mysteries. Discover secrets!


Read:  Mr. Putty and Tabby Write the Book by Cynthia Rylant. 

Discuss: How do you write a book? Could you do it?

DO: Think of a story you would like to tell. Write it down! Draw colorful pictures to go with it.


  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
  • Peter Rabbit (and all of his friends) by Beatrix Potter
  • The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


Mindy Baker said…
So fun! I love this idea!