I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success {Review, Giveaway, & a FREEBIE!}

Recently I shared some information about the relationship between early language skills and literacy skills development in young children. The research is very clear: children with strong early language skills tend to have higher literacy skills later on. Specifically researchers Hart & Risley found the quantity of words spoken to a child in the first three years of life were strongly associated with a child’s language skills, vocabulary size and IQ later in life. So we know how very important those early language skills are, even before age three!

But what about those preschool years? How can we help build literacy and language skills before we send our kids off to kindergarten and beyond? Today, I am going to share with you a new book, I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success which can help parents (and professionals!) build early literacy and language skills in young children.

Disclosure: I was provided this book by the lovely people at The Hanen Centre in exchange for my honest review. As usual, all opinions are mine and are not influenced by the free product. In addition, there are Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience. When you order through my Amazon links I earn a small commission at no cost to you that helps fund the upkeep of this website and fuels my coffee addiction. Thank you! 

I'm Ready Giveaway Image

About “I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success”

I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success was written by Janice Greenberg, B.Sc., D.S.P & Elaine Weitzman, M.Ed. both speech-language pathologists from The Hanen Centre. This compact book (just 75 pages including references) is jam-packed with tons of research-based  practical ideas, checklists, and and easy-to-use tips and strategies to build early literacy skills in young children.  Parents, caregivers and other early childhood educators will love using these strategies to embed literacy-learning within everyday activities and routines.

Who is This Book For

This book is perfect for:

  • Parents of young, typically developing children (around ages 3-6 but many of the strategies can be used before and after)
  • Parents of young children with special needs who are in the pre-literacy phase of development regardless of chronological age.
  • Early childhood educators and/or caregivers who work with young children who are in the pre-literacy stage of development

First Impressions

My first impressions of  I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success were:

  1. OOhhh pretty colors! Love the bright colors and beautiful designs. The book is very aesthetically pleasing! Pretty colors and designs throughout make this book a pleasure to read.
  2. Pictures! REAL PICTURES! This book is FULL of pictures of real parents interacting with their children. This helps the reader really relate to the content of the book.
  3. The book is nice and SHORT. Only around 67 pages of content makes this book less daunting to parents and professionals who want to learn strategies to implement NOW with young children than some other resources out there.
  4. Researched based information! I love research based information! I immediately noticed notes on current research weaved into the book in an easy to read format: this book is written in plain English. 

I'm Ready Book Inside 3


After I flipped through I’m Ready!™  How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success to get a feel for it, I checked out the table of contents. I was happy to see only 6 chapters as again, the less pages/chapters the less daunting for parents! Each chapter introduces a different early literacy skill and then provides tips on how to develop that skill within daily activities and routines. Here is the breakdown:

  • Chapter 1: Early Literacy-Foundation for Academic Success
  • Chapter 2: Conversation-Turn Book Reading into a Time to Talk and Have Fun
  • Chapter 3: Vocabulary-Make New Words Sparkle
  • Chapter 4: Story Comprehension-Deepen Your Child’s Understanding During Book Reading
  • Chapter 5: print Knowledge-Build your Child’s Understanding of how Print Works
  • Chapter 6: Sound Awareness- Help your Child Hear the Sounds in Words
  • Suggested Children’s Books

Then within each chapter, there is a “Try it Out” page that provides some review and refection questions to help you apply these strategies in your day.

I'm Ready Book Inside 2

See For Yourself: FREEBIE!

The wonderful people at The Hanen Centre are providing my readers with a downloadable “sneak peak” of sorts from I’m Ready! so you can see for yourself what a cool resource this is. They are sharing an excerpt from Chapter Three: Vocabulary-Make New Words Sparkle. In this chapter, they introduce a mnemonic SSTaRS that can help you build you child’s vocabulary. It is fantastic! Click below for your freebie!

Shoot For the SSTaRS: Make New Words Sparkle Freebie

You can also get an additional sneak peak on Hanen’s website.

What I Love

Oh there are so many things I really love about I’m Ready! ! Here are the top ones:

  • Clear explanations of strategies
  • Strategies are easy-to use and can be used within daily activities/moments to help promote early literacy AND speech & language development
  • Creative mnemonics to help you remember the strategies
  • RESEARCHED BASED! This book is based on research, which is so very important. (And the research used is all listed at the end of the book in the FIVE + pages of references at the end of the book).
  • Bright, colorful layout
  • Lots of full color pictures
  • Short in length

Where Can You Pick up a Copy?

You can order a copy on Amazon or on  Hanen’s website.


Now for the AWESOME part. The wonderful people from The Hanen Centre are going to give away copies of this fantastic resource to FIVE of my readers! That is right! F I V E!!! 

Entering is SIMPLE. Just leave a blog comment below and tell us this: What is your favorite activity to do with your young child(ren) to encourage early literacy development? Then enter your information in the Rafflecopter below!

Want to increase your odds of winning? You can “like” The Hanen Centre’s Facebook page and/or PWW365’s Facebook page for additional entries!

This sweepstakes is open worldwide to those 18 years and older. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 pm US Pacific time on Tuesday June 3rd, 2014. 5 winners will be selected via the Rafflecopter widget. Winners will be notified via email within 5 business days of the close of the sweepstakes. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize. The Hanen Centre will mail out all prizes. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Please read FULL rules before entering in the Rafflecopter Widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge

  1. says

    I think the best way to encourage early literacy development is to…..READ to the child :-) I like to make the majority of my therapy session activities based on a book appropriate to the child’s reading level. Then we will work with the vocabulary, words, rhyming, letters, etc. depending on where the child is in his/her development.

  2. Tracey Viviano says

    I tried to leave a blog above but it wouldn’t let me. Our favorite games in the car is “I Spy with My Little Eye”. The kids love it.

  3. Stephanie K says

    Love looking at books, not just reading to them, but seeing the pictures and talking about them

  4. Stephanie K says

    Love looking at books, not just reading to them, but seeing the pictures and talking about them

  5. Amanda Felton says

    My son and I read a lot. We love to go to the library and pick out books together.
    We go to story-time at the local libraries.
    We also use lots of learning booklets to work on our numbers and letters. He loves to learn and is so smart.
    It’s so exciting to see him recognize letters and numbers.
    Makes me feel so proud.

  6. Tara Anspach says

    My preK speech and language kiddos and I begin every session with a story. All of my speech/language sessions focus on a different book “theme” each week. My kids are introduced to vocab and concepts from the story at the beginning of the week and if I see them again later in the week, we try to hit these points again. I send home weekly updates to the parents about how they can increase carryover and talk to their child about our story/theme of the week. Books provide great therapy materials and are the best lesson plan resources for young kids!!

  7. Kim Hovey says

    My favorite pre-literacy activity to do is rhyme, rhyme, rhyme all the time! We read rhyming books, makeup silly songs while we work, and pretty soon they are filling in those silly words themselves.

  8. says

    I just love to sit outside with children; it may be on the grass, it may be by the sandpit or perhaps in the garden: what we do together is simply sit quietly at first, and observe nature…it’s not long before we notice Autumn leaves, an ant, spiders and slugs and worms, spider webs, birds…and there is so much vocabulary to be explored and savoured and tested out by one or the other of us…pre vocalization communication…a whole experience…with our ears, our eyes, our bodies…perhaps even our taste ( though not often!) experiencing language and communication by “being” “listening” “feeling” “living”

  9. Jen Kiekhoefer says

    I love to encourage literacy with my children by talking about the various signs we see while driving. With having one child active in sports, we are constantly driving around to various events. Since we are in the car, I take the opportunity to talk with my kids about the signs we see. We sometimes even play I spy with letters and letter sounds.

  10. Jaimee says

    I love reading to the kiddies. In my therapy sessions I like to show parents that ‘reading’ a book isn’t just about reading the print, that they can use it to make up their own stories and rhymes and books are an endless resourse for working on all phonological awareness skills: syllables,sound identification, rhyme, alliteration and attention!

    The book looks fantastic, another amazing product from The Hanen Centre

  11. Heather says

    I have been using dialogic reading, which is basically a form of building on concepts through conversation while reading.

  12. Jennifer Olszowy says

    I do many things to support early literacy development. I read lots of books. We look at pictures and make up our own stories. We use simple books to encourage our child to “read.” We do rhyme time, play with sounds, and poems to name a few of our favorite home activities. We visit story times at book store, libraries and some of our favorite state parks too.

  13. Aria says

    My son is only 2, but we love reading books! Every day before nap and bedtime we read 3-5 books (of his choosing). Last night he “read” along with me to one of his favorites.

  14. says

    Read alouds :) This is very helpful for me to introduced new words and do articulation at the same time, especially for students who has autism specturm disorders. The students really engaged in the picture books and like to do story retell.

  15. Chris Gerber says

    Interaction–lift the flaps, do the movements, sing, use repetitive phrases–even if you add your own, use objects from the story, picture books with no words, flannel boards for matching, letting the child lead,….

  16. Alison says

    We play the “letter basket” game. We have a letter/sound for the week, and then we go around the house and gather items that begin with that letter and pop them in our basket. Each day we look at what we have in the basket, and try to find more pictures/objects to add to the basket. Also – when we are out, we look for and name anything that begins with our chosen letter.

  17. acey says

    I like to do activities that relate to the book. So in Harold and the Purple Crayon, after we read, we might color with a purple crayon! Etc. That way the books take on new and relatable meaning!

  18. Stephanie says

    Hands down, the best thing I do is to have a well established book time! Same time and same routine everyday. Within that routine we add novelty! Great way to practice concepts of print, rhyme, vocabulary, and alphabet knowledge. I build in elements of surprise and use many different strategies.

  19. says

    BOOKS are my fave! Also singing and dancing for phonological/phonemic awareness. And anything that I can incorporate scissors and glue… :)

  20. Kristin says

    We read books that have something to do with what we did that day/week. For example, we went to the zoo and saw the new tigers. For the rest of the week we have been reading about tigers and playing with tiger toys.
    I also have started to put index cards with word on things like – door, table, toy table, bookshelf. I did this with a two -three year old preschool class I taught a million years ago and the kids started to recognize the words when I showed them cards with words that were not on the items. I was amazed.

  21. says

    I love using books to target vocabulary and finding words that start with certain sounds. Right now my favorites for summer are Beach Day (amazing pictures for vocabulary), Camping Spree with Mr. Magee and When A Dragon Moves In. We also play hide and seek sight words with my son who is 5! Makes practice less tedious and boring.

  22. Teach Speech 365 says

    Reading books is my favorite activity! There’s so many activities you can do afterwards!

  23. Amy Beth says

    I love letting young children “read” to me and see what kind of creative stories they can come up with from the pictures!

  24. Rachel says

    I read to my son and to my students constantly. Not only do I read, but we talk about the pictures, I ask questions about the story and/or pictures and try to engage the children as much as possible.

  25. Anna H says

    I love using the app Goodnight ABC. There are interactive pages and coloring pages. I use this app to help promote literacy with some of my DD pre-k kiddos where we work letter sounds, recognizing letters, naming things with certain beginning letters, finding objects based on descriptions, etc.

  26. Sarah says

    With my young son, we of course read together, but I like to provide books for him to access and “read” on his own, such as in the car and mixed in with his other toys. I love peeking back at him as he rides in the car and seeing him totally absorbed in a book! He has started to try to read us his bedtime stories as well, wanting full control of the book!

  27. Cindy C. says

    I work with 2-4 year olds, in the clinic and in the home. I love prepping a book each month. A good story with a beginning, middle and end. I buy the characters and objects pictured in the book and build a good portion of my therapy time reading the book and playing with the objects. Not only can I cover the goals for each child, I can also teach some book literacy skills, such as looking at the pictures, reading left to right, expose them to the words and letters on the page. If they are old enough, we spend some time on beginning letters and sentence construction. Love the variety each book brings and the concepts/vocabulary and conservation they bring.

  28. Tricia Ruckman says

    I love to activate prior knowledge in my three little ones by exploring the front and back cover, title page, spine, and pictures of books. I encourage them to talk about what they already know, what they notice and read books to add to what they already know!

  29. Jennifer says

    With the hyperlexic kiddos I see I love playing with letters by hiding them in sand and putting them in trucks. Making the letters run, jump and fly. My favorite activity for the older kiddos is throwing bean bags, hopping on sounds and letters. I love to incorporate movement and crafts.

  30. Connie says

    Reading books together, talking about pictures, making connections, spotting ‘popcorn’ words…