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  • Ms. Urban Educator

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Rich Language for Your Little One's Ears!

Let me just start by screaming that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I hope the people in the back caught that!

I love this book. Not because it has the best pictures, although the pictures are pretty detailed; not because it tells the best story, although the theme of listen to your parents when they give you clear rules to protect you from harm is important; and not because I love rabbits (I find rabbits to be rather gross, but that's another story). I love this book because of its language.

Every single time I read this book to my daughter (she hears this in the morning after her first meal) I know that she is hearing what I call "juicy words." The words are considered "juicy" because they are not your normal everyday words like "cat" or "car." They are words that would make a person stop and say, "What's that?" or "I wonder what that means?" Oh how I love filling my little one's ears with juicy words. It's helping to build her vocabulary which will ultimately support her academics in the future.

My first post discusses the importance of reading to your little one from the womb. Today I just want to highlight that some books are "juicier" than others. For example, books in the Baby's First series are great and I use them daily, but they feature 1 word per page. First 100 Words is awesome as well, but it features about 4 words per page. Goodnight Moon is one of my favorites, but The Tale of Peter Rabbit is my daughter's "juiciest" board book (most of her books are board books).

One of the words in the book is sieve (pronounced siv). I read that word several times to my child and even though there is a picture to go with the word, I didn't make the connection for a few days (silly me). So I googled it to make sure that I was pronouncing it correctly and to see an image of this mystery object. Google it now to see a picture of it. Go ahead, I'll wait...In fact, just click this link.


Now, I have had one of those in my home all of my life and all of my life I have called that thing a strainer. The thing is, I was correct then and I am correct now when I call it a strainer, but I now have a synonym for it. Even my vocabulary has increased from reading a children's book. And more importantly, my child will learn both words early on and hopefully be able to use both words with ease in her future. Do you see what I'm staying? Some books are "juicier" than others.

I'm not saying go around counting the words in books or throwing out your one word books. Just make sure that there are a variety of books in your child's library and that some of those books have "juicy word."

Below are other words in The Tale of Peter Rabbit that I considered "juicy" because they are not used in my household in normal discussion:

sandbank root fir tree fields lane garden mischief currant buns

blackberries naughty radishes parsley frame rake dreadfully

frightened unfortunately gooseberry net brass sparrows excitement

implored exert intended toolshed underneath presently

trembling damp puzzled twitched wheelbarrow scarecrow black birds

tablespoonful beloved adventures tale supper camomile fortnight

OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK! Just listing those words makes me want to grab my lil one and read it again. In fact, I'm going to do just that.

Until Next Time,


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