"Mom, look what I found!"
In front of my face--so close I had to back up for my eyes to refocus--a familiar cover. Laura smiled contently at her beloved rag doll. I instantly knew the exhilaration of my young reader. I felt the same way forty years ago!
"Mom, I was looking for another Little House book and found this!"
A 8 1/2 x 11 hardcover large print version of a book loved for generations.
Large print books serve well. Though often considered solely for readers who are visually impaired, large print books hold great promise for building reading interest and fluency.
Consider large print books for
- Early Emergent Readers. When reading aloud to early emergent readers--knows some letters, understands writing has meaning and therefore uses scribbles to create a "message", recognizes high frequency words in the environment--large print books provide big inviting font and extra line space for running a finger under words while reading (another important skill for emergent readers). Early emergent readers often find larger illustrations more appealing, too.
- Emergent Readers. Using an engaging large print chapter book as a read aloud offers more print per page and introduces complex sentence structures to budding readers, building auditory skills (when heard during read aloud) and creating templates for growing language development. The large print warmly invited my reader to a familiar prairie setting with characters she had come to love. Another WIN!
- Early Fluent Readers. Readers at this stage rely less on colorful illustrations (yet the still welcome a few), appreciate descriptive, new vocabulary and delight in varied sentence structure. These readers often look for books with more text on a page, hence the larger print provides the illusion of more words without compromising eyes to fine print. Large print chapter books, especially classics like the Little House series, offer all this and more.
- Fluent Readers. When a younger child becomes a fluent reader desiring richer vocabulary, complex action-packed plots, and greater character development, he or she is often faced with chapter books in fine font and void of illustration. Not so with large print editions. Large print editions offer all the story elements young fluent readers crave in a font which is easier on young eyes.
My young budding fluent reader appreciates the large font and over-sized illustrations of this large print edition of Little House in the Big Woods. All 8 1/2 x 11 --2 1/2 inches thick--has become a fast, clutched-to-the-chest friend, a welcomed companion for one building independent fluency. Since being discovered on the library shelf, the book has rode in the car for errands, traveled to Grandma's house, and helped pass time at an appointment. And perhaps the most precious gift this new friend has given is the nightly you-read-to-me-I-read-to-you moments on the couch: a team effort of enjoyment.