Parents, elementary school teachers and young readers alike are going to love this free picture book scavenger hunt printable! Get kids diving into their favorite books and hunting the pages for animals, modes of transportation, household objects and more with this fun, engaging and colorful free printable. Also includes tips for raising a reader from a former children’s book publicist!
Hi crafty friends! One thing that you may not know about me is that before I ran Hello Creative Family full time I worked in the book industry.
I have loved books for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I was constantly reading. Bookstores were my happy place. During the summer on “errand day” my mom would take my sister and I to the Salvation Army to let us shop for books. It was something we looked forward to each week. The books at our Salvation Army were a dime a piece and my mom would let us fill a brown paper grocery bag with books. It was something I always looked forward to.
When I grew up, I moved to Vancouver to go to school and found an apartment in downtown Vancouver above Chapters on Robson. The day that we signed the rental agreement my mom said to me “I bet you anything that you end up working at that bookstore.” Sure enough, the following summer I applied for a job there and was hired for 1 month to hand out coupons for their new website. At the end of my shift the general manager called me into her office and asked me if I would like to stay on permanently. Ummm yes! It was the dream job for a 19 year old me!
I worked my way up at Chapters over the next few years to become Regional Marketing Manager. This was also where I met my husband who is also a huge book lover! I eventually left to work for the event planning company that planned the TED conference, and from there went on to manage an independent bookstore, and eventually landed my dream job as Children’s Book Publicist at the Canadian publisher of Harry Potter.
Working as a Children’s Book Publicist
Working as a children’s book publicist was so much fun. My list consisted of books marketed for infants to 18 year olds. My job was to shop the books around and get publicity for them. That entailed everything from getting traditional review coverage in magazines and newspapers, to getting placement of books on movie sets to arranging author tours and events.
Working with authors was my very favorite part of my job, and I got to meet some of the most amazing authors for my job. A few of my favorites were Rainbow Rowell the author of Eleanor and Park. Marissa Meyers the author of The Lunar Chronicles. And Annie Barrows the author of the Ivy and Bean series.
Another perk of being a children’s book publicist? SO MANY BOOKS! My kids honestly had one of the best children’s book collections in the whole entire world, which I like to think led to them being big book lovers, but I also know it isn’t the only thing that played a role in it.
5 Tips For Raising Readers
My kids (ages 13 and 9) are both huge lovers just like their mom and dad are. I get asked all the time how we got so lucky to have not only one child who loves to read, but two. Here are my top tips for raising readers.
- Read to your kids– This is probably a pretty obvious one, but read to your kids from the day they are first born (maybe even before that) and don’t stop. Children enjoy being read to long past when most parents stop reading to their kids. One of my very favorite things about the relationship between my two children, is that my oldest reads to my youngest all the time. They have worked their way through the Percy Jackson series together. Once your kids are past the picture book stage, move onto chapter books. Reading together not only encourages a love of reading, it also prompts great conversations and is such a great way to stay connected to your child. Many parents think that once a child can read themselves that reading to a child should end, but that’s not the case at all. People of all ages can benefit from being read to.
- Read yourself and model the behaviour you’d like to see- This is the tip that I think most parents neglect. I have so many friends who tell me that their kids hate reading and ask for advice of how to get their kids reading. One of my first questions is always “What kind of books do you like to read?” More often than not the answer I get back is “Oh I don’t read. I hate reading/don’t have time to read/haven’t read a book in years.” Modelling the behaviour you would like to see is so important. If your kids see you enjoying a book, they will be more likely to pick up a book themselves the next time they are bored. If they see you reaching for a book instead of a device when you have some downtime, they are more likely to do the same as well.
- Provide “gateway” books- I’ve had many parents tell me that they don’t like their children’s reading choices. One reading choice I hear about all the time that parent’s don’t seem to love is graphic novels. Parents, I can not tell you how much I LOVE graphic novels for kids, in fact I often refer to them as gateway books because so often they will open that door to a love of reading. My kids went from reading picture books to graphic novels to chapter books. Many kids feel so intimidated when they open a chapter book and see a sea of words in front of their eyes. They find graphic novels with lots of pictures much less scary and it helps them build their confidence and enjoy the process of reading. In my experience you just want to get a book in that child’s hands that they will actually read and that is the first step towards raising a reader. If your child “doesn’t like books”, then reading any book is a great first step. Find a book that appeals to your child whether that’s a graphic novel, the Guinness Book of World Records, or a book based on their favorite cartoon character or TV show. Continue to tend to that flame and you’ll be surprised to see how it grows!
- Incorporate books into your daily schedule- I have a lot of parents tell me that they don’t have time to read themselves or to their kids or simply that they forget. My advice to this is make it a part of your daily schedule. Set an alarm for each night, turn off Netflix half an hour earlier than usual and incorporate some family reading time into your day. Keep a stack of books near the table and encourage reading at breakfast. Take books rather than devices when you go to an appointment. Heck, read in the bathroom! Making reading a part of your family’s regular schedule will help turn reading into a habit and when it comes to raising readers that’s a very good thing.
- Have books available and encourage independent book time- Whether you get your books at the bookstore, online, at a secondhand store or at the library I highly encourage you to always have books around for your kids and encourage them to incorporate books into their independent activity time. Which brings me to today’s free printable– Our picture book scavenger hunt printable!
Picture Book Scavenger Hunt Printable
This printable is just as cute as can be, and can be done as a family, amongst siblings, as part of a birthday party or library visit, or solo! Want to grab it?
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Tell me… What are your tips for raising a reader?
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