Author: Vera B. Williams

5-Year-Olds Storybooks

After a fire destroys their home, a little girl and her family work hard to save enough money to buy a big, comfortable chair. This is a heartwarming story about overcoming hardship. If you think your child might be frightened by reading about a tragedy in a family, you may want to prepare him by telling him what the story will be about before you read it.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the story. Talk about the title and author of the book. Tell your child that the family in this book had a tragedy. Their house caught on fire and many of their things burned up. But their family and friends were helpful in many ways. Talk with your child about your own extended family and how you help each other out.  


Oral Language

Relate the story to your child’s experiences. As you read, relate the story to your child’s experiences.  For example, on the first page, Rosa helps her mother in the diner. Talk with your child about jobs he does around your house to help the family. Rosa and her family are saving money in a jar to buy a new chair. What are some little things your child wants? Can you get a jar and start saving coins? The neighbors in the story are very charitable. They bring pizza, cake and ice cream when the family moves into a new apartment. They also bring some furniture. Talk with your child about ways he can be charitable to others.  

Oral Language

Talk with your child about fire safety. Talk about the firefighters and how they help to keep us safe. In addition, talk with your child about things he can do to prevent fires and stay safe. For example, teach your child to never play with matches, candles or lighters. Practice Stop, Drop and Roll if clothes catch on fire. Develop an escape plan and practice it with your child.  

Beginning Writing

Ask your child to draw a picture. Look at the pictures in the book again with your child. Talk about the creative borders around each page. For example, on the page where the family is sitting in the kitchen, the border has cups, saucers, and teapots. How do the borders on other pages relate to the words on the page? Ask your child to draw a picture and to add a creative border around it.  

Explore more beginning writing and oral language activities for five-year-olds, or browse recommended books

You might also take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener, which can help you measure your five-year-olds progress on the path to reading readiness. You'll get instant results and a free plan for moving forward.