When I read Donalyn Miller’s book, The Book Whisperer-Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child, I was deeply moved by Ms. Miller’s dedication in finding her students books and pulling them out of the mud of frustration toward reading.
“This is how I show my students that I love them—by putting books in their hands, by noticing what they are about, and finding books that tell them, “I know. I know. I know how it is. I know who you are, and even though we may never speak of it, read this book, and know that I understand you.” We speak in this language of books passing back and forth, books that say, “You are a dreamer; read this.” “You are hurting inside; read this.” “You need a good laugh; read this.”
What she wrote resonates with my heart.
Being a mom of a book worm, I started reading to my daughter Harmony since she was 8 months’ old. Every night before she went to bed, I read her stories which now has become the sweetest memories that I can ever have in my life.
One night, with her cuddled on my lap, I read her My Mom by Anthony Browne which had been her bedtime favorite for weeks. She looked at me with sparkles in her eyes and stopped me when it came to “And she makes me laugh. A lot”. She continued with her soft voice: “I love my mom! And you know what? SHE LOVES ME! And she always will.” My heart was melting. There were no better ways for a kid to understand love better than reading.
Harmony was not a born reader, and most readers are made, not born. When she was not interested in books about bears, I found her dogs. When she felt plots in fairy tales were too much for her, I switched to Eric Carle’s books about cute animals. I showed her that I loved her by reading books every day before sleep and she did get it.
The second time Harmony stopped me in the middle of a book happened to the classic “The Giving Tree”. She suddenly intervened, “Mommy, I want to read.” She started all on her own with the rest of the book through all those long sentences. It was the start of her self-reading journey and she was ready. She was four at the time and from then on, my little butterfly started to flip her wings and tried to fly out of the pupa to explore the world. My job turned into finding just-right books to feed her curious mind.
Every kid has his or her own just-right books, just like every butterfly has its own favorite flowers. The books shall be in the specific area of interests and they can’t be too hard to cause frustration or too easy to be boring.
There's no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.
Fortunately, with a team of professionals, I founded Readu with our meticulously built App Readling. We dived down into a sea of 4 million K-12 books in our database, curated best ones for each reading level. In order to provide tailored book recommendations, we also set up an assessment system. We know that organizing a home library can be a headache, so we turn it into easy bar-code scanning with simple clicks.
With Readling, I am no longer confused every time I visit the library or shop at stores for books. I scan books and find their reading levels. I am no longer getting books too easy or too difficult, and moreover, after adding books Harmony finished reading into her reading log, I surprisingly realized she read 78,438 pages in year 2019 with an average reading level of U which was normally the level of a 5th grader!
Readling was created to feed every young reader like Harmony. Readling was also built to work together with parents and educators to help little one who are still finding their way in dependent reading. We hope to show every budding reader our love, by noticing what they are about, and finding books that tell them,
I know. I know. I know how it is. I know who you are, and even though we may never speak of it, read this book and know that we understand you.