Author: Soyung Pak

5-Year-Olds Storybooks

This recommended children’s book is about Juno and his grandmother, who is Korean. Juno’s grandmother sends him a letter, but Juno can’t read Korean. Juno decides to write back to his grandmother in drawings. Soon grandmother and Juno are sharing words and pictures with each other. Grandmother sends a miniature plane in an envelope to convey to Juno that she is coming for a visit.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Talk about the author and illustrator and what they both do. Look at the front cover of the book and read the title. Ask your child who the little boy on the cover might be.

Make a prediction about the story. You might say, We begin a letter with the word, Dear. In this story someone wrote Juno a letter starting, “Dear Juno.” I wonder who sent a letter to Juno?

Oral Language

Introduce and define words that your child may not be familiar with. Some interesting words from the story include: starry, crisp, soared, announced and crackle. Use a dictionary or look online to find simple definitions to share with your child as you introduce the new words. For your own ease, you can write short definitions on sticky notes and place them in the book on the same page as the vocabulary words.

Letter Knowledge

As you read the story, sweep your finger from left to right and top to bottom. Touch Juno’s name and identify the letters that spell his name. As you continue to read, invite your child to look for Juno’s name in the text. Provide clues by directing your child to the line where the word may appear. To make it easier, just look for the uppercase J.  

Phonological Awareness

Play “I Spy” using letter sounds and word parts. Say the beginning sound of something found in the illustration. See if your child can find something that begins with the same sound. You might say, I see something that begins with the sound /l/. Can you find it? It begins with /l/ and ends with /r/. Do you see it? I’m going to say it slowly: let … ter. Can you say it fast? Now, find it in the picture.

Beginning Writing

After reading, talk about the idea that, even though Juno and his grandmother lived in different places and spoke different languages, they were able to communicate. They told each other stories through drawings, photographs and objects in their letters. Have your child draw/write a letter to someone in a different city, state or country.  

Explore other recommended children’s books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.