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AETN KIDS Club Booklist: Animals + Reading = Fun

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How can you make reading even more fun for kids? If you already know that they love their furry, feathered or even scaly friends, we have some great ideas! From reading about to reading to pets, there are all sorts of ways to incorporate kids’ best pals into their reading worlds.

Arkansas Author Feature:

David M. Sargent Jr. likes to write children’s books about his pets. He also likes to share his stories. Sargent spent his school age years on a dairy farm in the small town of West Fork, Arkansas. He went to college at the University of Arkansas and now lives in Prairie Grove, a small town in Northwest Arkansas. His four dogs Tatum, Emma, Daphne and Spike live with him there. 

Along with writing children’s books, Mr. Sargent and his four-legged friends travel across the country to speak with school children. He shares center stage with his canine friends, who like to perform tricks, while he shares about his experiences being a responsible dog lover. Mr. Sargent’s fun lessons also teach kids about how important reading and writing are. He shows students that anyone can be an author!

Reading Idea for Kids:

Have you ever though about reading to a friends? What about reading to an animal? You can even read to your favorite pet. Putting two great things together does something magical — it makes reading more fun! 

Reading Idea for Parents:

While it might sound a little off the wall at first, reading to a dog (or other favorite pet) can help boost a child’s reading skills. Why is that? Dogs are nonjudgmental — they don’t criticize or correct — and that helps kids feel safe reading aloud to them. If you don’t have a pet of your own, see if a friend or family member’s pet would like a visit, or check to see if your local library offers a program where kids can read to specially trained therapy dogs, like the Kibbles & Books program at the Springdale Public Library, or the Therapy Dogs International Tail-Wagging Tutors initiative.

Let’s Read Together!

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst
Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And, it got worse ... his best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner! People everywhere have bad days, but looking back, was his day all that bad?

“The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash” by Trinka Hakes Noble
When Jimmy’s class goes on a trip to a farm, he takes along his pet boa constrictor. But, before long, eggs are thrown, pigs are brought onto the bus, a cow cries, and the boa eats the laundry off the line.
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff
If you give a mouse a cookie, he's bound to ask for a glass of milk, and he'll certainly need a straw, not to mention a napkin. What would happen if you gave a mouse a cookie?

“The Rain Came Down” by David Shannon
On Saturday morning, the rain came down. It made the chickens squawk. An entire neighborhood is in a crabby uproar, and the whole block was honking, yelling, bickering and barking ... until the rain stops, the sun comes out, and a rainbow appears.

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