Shelagh Robinson Mirror Read Blog 35: Where Do BookWorms Come From?

Do they emerge fully formed, ready to read, and equipped with extra flashlight batteries?

Or are they nurtured and encouraged into genuinely enjoying books?

As to the origins of BookWorms, I hold out hope that any child can love to immerse themselves in stories.  It’s a matter of getting them tuned in to the adventure.

What I love to do is make reading into a game that is so interesting, so extraordinary, that children don’t even notice that they are learning.
This is what taking storybooks into reflections does. This is what Mirror Read Books are all about.

Especially on indoor days, making room for the ridiculous can go a long way to inspiring energy and creativity. Step through the looking glass: Bookworm Heaven!

On a recent series of reading-visits to schools in New Jersey, I put Mirror Read books to the BookWorm Test. I do admit: facing batches of 20 critical and energetic new readers can be a daunting task.

I wanted to be able to look into the mirror, read the words, catch all their eyes…And still play referee.

No worries! These 5 to 7 year olds were typically curious and attentive, enthusiastic and immersed. In all, very Budding BookWorms. Plus, they totally thought Mr Peeve was cuterer than Mr Puff.
I recently received in the mail the most adorable packet of backwords handmade thank you notes I have ever seen! Thank YOU! :)

Now that school’s ending and longer days loom, parents and caregivers are looking for innovative ways to spend time with their children at home. Something active, interactive and educational. BookWorm-inspiring.

As I continue my adventures, let me share with you a recent recipe for reading success: Take 10 minutes and 1 Budding BookWorm (BB).  Add:

- 1 Mirror Read book (eBooks on iPads are great too)
- 1 Full-length mirror
- 1 cushion
- 1 Bell (optional), Blankie (optional)

Notify your BB that you are going to be doing something very silly. Sit on the cushion with your BB wrapped in their blankie on your lap, both of you facing the mirror. Begin by looking at the Mirror Read book without the mirror – notice that the words are backwards. Then, holding the book up to the reflection, yell “KOWABUNGA, I CAN READ IT!” (or some variation)

In other words: Get their attention. Their eyes will find yours with magnetic precision when you go for a big silly smile. The letters are now easy to decode.

Depending on  their reading level, trace the letters with your finger. Sound out sentences your BookWorm recognizes. You read a word, they read a word…

Bells and whistles are musical ways to add to the chaos.  If your BB holds the book, ring the chime to signal page-turning time.  Hold it near your eyes and wink at them.  Guaranteed: You’ll catch them!  And inspire a laugh.

This is what they will remember when, years later, you ask them why they love to read so much: Magical time with you.

Other ideas?  Let me know and I’ll be glad to add them to our upcoming Mirror Read Resource page.

shelagh@mirrorread.com

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