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THE FIRST FIVE YEARS: by Karen M. and Carol A. Ohanesian Houghton

THE FIRST FIVE YEARS:

Time Flies When You¿re Having Fun¿

By Karen M. and Carol A. Ohanesian Houghton

ISBN: 978-1-413-48919-4

Experienced teachers set out to build the next generation of readers.

Together, Houghton and Ohanesian have more than 50 years of teaching experience–specifically in reading. In this short guide targeted at children up to the age of five, they seek to provide parents with some basic knowledge to build eager and confident young readers. The authors, never condescending and always encouraging, provide developmental benchmarks and offer advice for fostering early reading skills. Part parenting manual, part tutorial, the book doesn’t get bogged down in preachy language. Simple advice and bullet points make up the bulk of the text, which is divided into six segments based on age (0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc.). After each segment, the authors provide blank pages for journal entries, but no further instructions about how to use the white space. Is this meant to be a spot to record favorite books? A place to write milestones, such as first steps? The authors do clearly offer suggested reading lists for each age group. While the books they have selected are excellent choices for any child’s library, their lists lack imagination; families who are already dedicated readers won’t find much inspiration here. Still, for those lacking sophisticated libraries or the time or willingness to experiment with children’s literature, the information might prove helpful.

A good starting point for new or less-experienced parents hoping to put their children on a solid educational path.