Picking a "Just Right" Book

Reading "Just Right Books"

Goldilocks tried the Three Bears' porridge, chairs, and beds. She found the ones that were "just right" for her. The books your child reads can be thought of in the same way. A book that is "just right" is one that your child can read independently. It is not too hard and it is not too easy. It's a good fit - it's "just right".

Here is one way to help your child choose such a book. Teachers call it the


While reading the first page of a book, count the unknown words (using fingers to keep track is fine). If there are five or more, the book is too hard for now. Read that book together!

Another important consideration - some first graders have learned to read many words. They even may be reading "chapter books". However they might not be understanding what's been read.

Ask your child lots of questions about the story in general and about specific pages to see if he really understands what was read. It also is important to monitor your child's choices for appropriate content.