In honor of National Reading Month, Children’s Aid is celebrating the most critical time for children to develop strong reading and literacy skills: early childhood. Children’s vocabulary as early as age 3 can predict their third-grade reading achievement. However, many children from lower-income households can hear 30 million fewer words by age 3 than those from higher-income households. A simple and fun way intervention to keep children engaged at home happens to be story time.
We have teamed up with prominent, award-winning children’s authors for our annual “Reading on the Rug” series throughout March. Nine authors will read their original works to the 3-5 year olds in our early childhood classes to celebrate the importance of story time and reading to children regularly. Chosen books will also explore identity, diversity, and community—themes that will create strong foundations for our little ones’ ever-growing intellectual curiosity and help cement their love of reading early.
We’ve listed the authors and their works below, and we will be posting pictures of their readings at our sites throughout March. You can also join us at home by following our “Reading on the Rug” series on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Show us what you’re reading with your young ones: post pictures or video of story time and tag us @childrensaidnyc #ReadingOnTheRug.
We look forward to reading on the rug with you!
Ruth Chan is an illustrator and author who spent her childhood tobogganing in Canada, her teens in China, a number of years studying art and education, and a decade working with youth and families in underserved communities. She now writes and illustrates full-time in Brooklyn NY.
Misa Saburi was born in Sleepy Hollow, NY and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY. All images are made in Photoshop, often while watching soccer and silly Japanese TV shows.
Katka Levi is a writer, actress, and model living in New York City with her two Siberian huskies Sky & Moochi. Katka was born in Slovakia and has been living in NYC for almost 9 years. She is the author of The Adventures of Sky & Moochi which is an interactive children’s book about her Siberian huskies and their adventures. This book is the first of many and Katka made it her life goal to bring the passion for reading back to children’s books.
Naomi Danis is the author of five picture books, most recently, While Grandpa Naps, (2019) illustrated by Junghwa Park, narrated by a little boy whose grandpa asks him to sit and watch so no flies disturb his rest in the backyard hammock. I Hate Everyone (2018), illustrated by Cinta Arribas, is narrated by a little girl who is a hot mess of feelings, wants everyone at her birthday to go away and leave her alone, and then changes her mind. Pow Kids Books will also publish My Best Friend, Sometimes, illustrated by Cinta Arribas, in spring 2020.
Erin McGill was born and raised in New York. She spent much of her childhood at the Bronx Zoo drawing and studying the wildlife. She received BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute where see discovered her love for patterns and textures. She is the author and illustrator of I Do Not Like Al’s Hat, I Do Not Like That Name, and Matchy Matchy. Her first non-fiction book, If You Want a Friend in Washington, comes out in July 2020. Erin lives in Harlem with her husband.
Carlos Aponte was born in New York but raised in Puerto Rico since he was only two years old. He has been many things during his career in the arts, a fashion designer, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, political cartoonist, and now a children’s books writer and illustrator. His first book, “A Season to Bee,” teaches to love diversity and appreciate all kinds of colors but, most importantly, to be themselves. “Across the Bay,” his latest is a semi-autobiographical tale is set in his native island. The story is about the value and meaning of family. Carlos is a faculty member at FIT and represented by Art Dept in New York.
Megan Reid works in books and television. After receiving her M.A. in English literature, she was a book editor and literary scout, and now works in development for FX Networks. Meg is the author of three children’s books about trailblazing icons, as well as one book of humorous self-help for adult readers. Her next title, WHO DID IT FIRST?: 50 Icons, Luminaries, and Legends Who Revolutionized the World, will be published in fall 2020. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Luna.
James Yang was born in Oklahoma and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA degree in communication arts and design. James has won over 250 awards for design and illustration excellence including best of show from 3×3 Magazine. James currently lives in Brooklyn where he happily works for a variety of clients worldwide, both book publishers and animators.
John Parra is an award winning illustrator of books for young readers including Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, which was named a NY Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, and Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner, which won the SCBWI Golden Kite for Picture Book Illustration. Other awards include the ALA Pura Belpré Honors, and The Christophers Award. In 2015 John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY to present a special event about his career and illustrations. John’s designs can also be seen on six Forever U.S. Postage Stamps titled: Delicioso. His recent picture books are: Little Libraries, Big Heroes and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel Payne. To learn more visit: https://www.johnparraart.com/