Author: Jessica St. Luis

4-Year-Olds ConceptPoetry/Songs

Written by a mother whose children have multiple food allergies, Mangos for Max is a fun, colorful, educational book that follows cheerful Max as he goes about his day. He is very much like all the other monkeys except in one important way: at snack time, he must eat mangos instead of bananas.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Read aloud the title of the book. Sweep your finger under the words as you read the title and the author. Explain what the author does. Talk about the picture of Max on the cover. Ask your child about what he is wearing on his head. Point out that he is also holding a mango. Explain to your child what a mango is, if she does not know.

Letter Knowledge

In the title, point out the letter ‘M’ in the word “Mangos.” Ask your child, “Where else do you see that letter ‘M’?” Help her see that Max also starts with that letter M. Ask your child to think of any other words that begin with M. Some examples include: me, monkey, mommy and Monday.

Letter Knowledge

Point out the letter M on Max’s outfit and ask your child what she thinks that M could stand for.

Oral Language

Talk about the illustrations as you read the book. Ask your child what she sees with questions like:

What is Max doing on this page?

Do we have tails like Max and his friends?

Talk about the classroom snack time routine described in the story and how things they do at school, like washing hands, are also done at home.

Phonological Awareness

As you read, point out that the last words of the sentences rhyme, meaning that they sound alike. For example, on the second page it says, “Max the monkey loves to play. He jumps and runs every day.” Emphasize the words play and day after reading the sentence by saying the words together as a pair: play/day. Explain that words that sound the same at the end are words that rhyme.

Oral Language

In this story, you learn that Max has “food allergies” and cannot eat bananas. Talk to your child about what that means for Max, his family, his teacher and his friends. Discuss how Max’s teacher and friends seem to like him very much and accept him just as he is. Ask your child if she knows anyone like Max who can’t eat the same food that others eat. Make sure to explain that some children, like Max, can only eat certain foods to stay safe and healthy.

Explore more easy at-home activities designed to build pre-reading skills in your four-year-old, or 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.