Author: Kate Banks

5-Year-Olds Storybooks

The recommended children's book Max’s Words captures how exciting learning new words can actually be. Max’s two older brothers, Benjamin and Karl, have amazing collections. Benjamin collects stamps and Karl collects coins. Neither brother will share their collections with Max. So Max decides to start his own collection. He collects words. He cuts them out of magazines and newspapers. He finds words that are big and little and words that make him feel good. Max soon realizes that words can help him tell stories.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the story. Before reading the story of Max’s Words, talk about what this book may be about. Talk about the author and illustrator and what they both do. Turn the book over and talk about the picture on the back cover. It is a picture of a brown worm surrounded by small words such as but, on, a, and the. The illustrations provide many opportunities to discuss what might be happening in the book.  

Oral Language

As you read the story, talk about the words that your child may not know. Help your child collect or cut out these words from a magazine or newspaper and put them into a box. Over time, you and your child will be able to see how much her vocabulary grows. Another way to increase your child’s vocabulary and oral language skills is to talk about the illustrations and the characters’ facial expressions. The story shows that words describe the world, can make a person feel good and can form sentences and thoughts.

Letter Knowledge

Talk about the beginning letter of your child’s name and go on a letter hunt. Like Max, have your child look through magazines and cut out her beginning letter.  

Phonological Awareness

Blending and breaking apart syllables in words is a skill necessary in learning to read. Clapping and counting syllables are fun ways to learn this skill. Some examples of long words in Max’s story are:  collection, magazines, hungry, alligator, crocodile, baseball, bananas and iguana.  

Beginning Writing

Have your child pick out a favorite word from the book and write and draw that word. The illustrator, Boris Kulikov, made Max’s Words come alive by drawing the words to look like pictures. The word “hissed” was written and drawn using snakes as the letter s. The word “hungry” has a bite taken out of it, and the word “park” is surrounded by trees. The cut-out words with the illustrations help your child to make a connection to match the word they hear to the word they see.  

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.