Walking with Words

September 29, 2017 | Katherine McG

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A good walk can help you explore new places or experience the familiar in a different way. A good book can do that too when you venture just beyond its pages. Not sure what I mean? Let me walk you through it (pun intended).

  Book Cover: On My Walk

On My Walk is a delightful Canadian picture book written by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Christina Leist. At first glance, this might be a simple, preschool read-aloud but there's a lot more to explore within its covers and beyond its 28 pages.

Get Ready for Reading

Toronto Public Library celebrates "easy, everyday, early literacy support" through its Ready for Reading initiative and this book perfectly illustrates some of the skills that can be developed along a child's reading journey. Hearing words by doing things like listening for rhymes and repeated patterns (both of which abound in this book) help children sound out written words. And the clear beginning, middle and end illustrated in this book (and the walk that takes place within it) will lead children to an understanding of telling a story.

Don't Just Read It

Of course all books are meant to be read but sometimes a book can be acted out in a one person performance or a reader's theatre type show. I had the pleasure of seeing author Kari-Lynn Winters present this book at a conference using simple props and costumes, including a very cool ice cream cone hat (pun not intended) and she ended up taking us all on an imaginary walk with her. Puppets, pictures or audience participation could all be used to bring this book to life in so many different ways. Or why not use it as an inspiration for a draw-and-tell story (with a cute surprise ending) as illustrated on Winters' website?

Go for a Word Walk

Words can be found not only in books but also in everyday life like when, for example, you go for a simple walk. And you can even collect words: all you need is a pencil, some paper and to pay attention to what you might find as you go. Just take a look or listen to what’s around you and write down the things you find. It's that easy! (And this might even bring a whole new meaning to the title On My Walk.)

So walk, read and discover what there might be waiting for you just beyond the next corner.

Disclaimer: On My Walk is about a summer walk but you can go for a word walk in any season. And if you are looking for a book for this coming season, check out one of Winters and Leist's follow-up story, On My Bike, which takes the child and their caregiver on "an autumn ride". 

Book Cover: On My Bike