February Language & Literacy Books

Each month I provide children access to a variety of children’s literature selections during speech/language therapy. These books may be used purposefully with children with speech/language delays, intellectual disabilities, speech/language impairment, specific learning disabilities or autism. Here are 6 recommendations that speech language pathologists can use meaningfully to build communication, language, and literacy skills in young children.

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, is written by lawyer and author Meena Harris. This book is about her mother, Maya, an attorney and her aunt, Vice President Kamala Harris when they were children growing up in California. In the story, Kamala has an idea that she would love a community playground. With persistence, she along with her sister Maya get the support of neighbors to make their desire a reality to improve their community and have a fun place for kids to come together. This book teaches children that their voices can promote positive changes. It’s an excellent story for preschool and elementary school aged children. Here’s a read aloud by the author.

Speech/Language Targets: WH Questions, story retell, critical thinking

Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine by Herman Parish is a lighthearted story about the main character Amelia. In the book, she spots hearts everywhere as she goes about her day. Later, she creates Valentine’s cards for her classmates. At school, they have a Valentine’s Day party with delicious treats and punch. While there, she realizes that she left the cards that she made on the bus. She improvises and writes special notes on a deck of playing cards that her mom gave her that morning. After school, she sees her classmate Jeremy who missed school because he was sick. She decides to give him her bag of cards that she received at school. Later at home, her parents exchange Valentine’s gifts and remind each other and Amelia how much they are all loved and appreciated. This is a great story for use in speech/language therapy or at home with your own children. You can listen to a read aloud here. Use this complimentary listening comprehension WH questions worksheet to purposefully build skills in children.

Speech/Language Targets: WH questions, story retell, literal/figurative language, vocabulary

Hank Aaron Brave in Every Way by Peter Golenbock is a great book about an African American baseball legend who excelled despite navigating racial discrimination. His legacy will be remembered for generations to come. He played at at time when most teams did not allow Black players. As a child he always loved baseball and played for local teams before getting the opportunity to join a professional team. At first, his mother did not want him to join since the other players were adults. He later got the opportunity to travel out of state to play for the Milwaukee Braves. This team later became the Atlanta Braves and he moved to Georgia. He was happy to be closer to his home state of Alabama. It was here that he broke Babe Ruth’s record for the most home runs. Hank Aaron was a man of tremendous strength and courage. He achieved despite obstacles. Here is a read aloud.

Speech/Language Targets: semantic processing, story recall, sequencing of events, inferential/critical thinking

Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue is a children’s book about Ron McNair, scientist and astronaut when he was a nine year old boy. He always had a fascination with airplanes and enjoyed going to the library. There was just one big problem. Due to unfair and racist Jim Crow laws of the south, he was not able to check out books. One day, he decided that he should be allowed to check out books like the white children. However, this was not allowed in South Carolina where segregation laws were still in place. Ron wanted a library card and insisted that he have one. What happened when he did so? He was quite the courageous little boy and as an adult. Imagine if he never advocated for himself. This book reminds children that it is good to have courage and stand up for what is right. This is a way to promote CHANGE! Building literacy skills are a right for Black children too! You can access a complimentary WH questions listening comprehension worksheet here.

Speech/Language Targets-vocabulary, listening comprehension/WH questions, story retell, critical thinking

The Day it Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond, is a whimsical yet simple book with a Valentine’s Day theme. In the story, the main character Cornelia catches hearts as they fall from the sky. Then she makes Valentine’s cards and mails them to her friends. This book is ideal for children with speech/language delays who are learning to build basic communication and language skills. It teaches them an important lesson about sharing and compassion for others too.

Speech/Language Targets: Tier 1 vocabulary, picture description, WH Questions

Love Monster and the Perfect Present, by Rachel Bright

This is a colorful book where Love Monster is excited about Present Day! There’s just one problem. He is not sure what the perfect present will be for his special monster friend. He learns that the best gift is not one that can be bought, but made instead. At the end of the story, his friend is appreciative of his thoughtfully decorated gift.

Speech/Language Targets– Picture Description, Yes/No questions, WH questions, Tier 1 vocabulary, Basic Problem/Solution

February is a month that tends to go by so fast! I hope that you can use at least one of these selections this year. Here’s a previous post with other February children’s book recommendations. I have used numerous other books throughout the years in a meaningful way to build communication, language, and literacy skills in children with special needs. Check my website later for my 10 children’s literature recommendations that celebrate Black authors and children that you can use throughout the year in speech/language therapy.

Leave a Reply

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