As parents we want our kids to grow up with certain character traits. We want them to go through school and into adulthood as caring, respectful, and responsible people. In addition, we want them to learn how to function in today’s world.
This all begins at a young age. And, it begins with reading. It is the foundation for young children as they start in school and at home and then continue on in their lives. Parents read to young kids, teaching them about animals, sounds, noises, people, things, and life. Teachers continue to read as kids enter Kindergarten, teaching them about school and its rules, how to act in class, what to do in certain situations, and more about life.
Along with reading comes teaching. Teaching at home may mean learning how to clean your room, tie your shoes, or put away your toys. Teaching in school may mean learning new words and how to use them in sentences, learning how to treat others, or what it means to be a good citizen.
Fast forward reading and teaching to those kids and they become productive, conscientious adults who contribute positively to society.
With that in mind, recently another author, Dave Kryder, and I decided to write a series of children’s books aimed at helping kids read. This series is our contribution to starting kids out with a book in their hands. We incorporated reading, good citizenship, and learning all into fun stories about a boy and his cat.
Our MAX and MYRON series of books are for young readers just learning to read as well as for a little more advanced readers who learn how to put sentences together. Taking it a step further, the more advanced readers can figure out how a book is created and start one of their own.
All MAX and MYRON books include a young boy, Max, who comes home from school each day and tells his cat, Myron, what he learned. Concepts used in all the books are simple teaching tools and the words encourage kids to learn to read. There are teaching exercises included in each book. We have an amazing illustrator in Corie Barloggi who captured the essence of the boy and his cat.
Before we started writing, we put together a focus group of elementary teachers, special education teachers, and parents. We compiled their ideas and suggestions as we developed our characters and our theme for each book.
Teachers have reviewed the first ones. They tell us they want more copies and that these would be great Christmas gifts from parents and grandparents. That’s encouraging.
Following is from the preface in our first book:
Max and Myron Learn Please and Thank You
by Wendy VanHatten and R David Kryder
Illustrated by Corie Barloggi
Dear Parents, Educators, and Children:
Welcome to the Max and Myron series. These books are about a boy and his cat. The authors have written them in a manner to teach both reading and social skills for young children.
The Max and Myron series is designed for young readers who:
are learning to read in a left to right progression
are recognizing sight words are recognizing beginning and ending sounds are discovering new words by using pictures as clues are learning by interacting in the conversations as Max talks to Myron
The Teaching Guides for Children provides sentence frames. These sentence frames can be used to extend the reader’s vocabulary and sentence usage capability.
A High Frequency Word List is included in every book. This high frequency word list facilitates the young reader’s word recognition and serves as a ready review tool after the book is finished.
Our books have recently been sent to England and to Australia, after we made sure the proper language and terminology was used! Spanish is next, with a teacher using them in Guatemala.
We can’t wait for you and your kids to read them and give us feedback. If you have some ideas…send them our way. They might just end up as a subject for our next book.
Reading with a child is a great beginning…enjoy