Archive | June 26, 2017

How to Teach a Slug to Read


Written by Susan Pearson, Illustrated by David Slonim

Two Lions, 2011

When you teach a slug to read, you should:

  1. Start out by putting labels on his favorite things.

The second step is to find the right book. One that is interesting and preferably also has slugs in it is best. Rhyming books are good, because rhymes will help with remembering. Prop the book up on the ground and help your slug sit on a rock so he can see the book well. Show him the words that repeat, so that he will find them easier. Help him to sound out words and teach him the meanings of words he doesn’t know. Let him underline his favorite words and be ready to read his favorite books over and over. But be patient, because it can take time for him to master reading. One day, he will be able to read books to you. Books will open lots of doors for him, showing him the whole world. And he will have you to thank for teaching him to read.


I love this picture so much.

Author Susan Pearson must have a thing for slugs, because this is the first of three books she’s written about them. What’s great about this one, though, is that her advice for teaching them to read is actually very good advice for teaching anyone to read and if your little ones aren’t reading yet, they’ll likely be motivated to learn from the examples set here. Even better, they’ll be motivated to laugh, as the books pictured here are ‘slug-ified’ versions of real poems and picture books. Illustrator David Slonim uses charcoal and acrylics to make these slugs appealing and enthusiastic. As a parent, the ending, in which you’re reminded of all that your little one can do once you’ve taught them to read, is a satisfying and upbeat conclusion. I’d love to know how many kids have used the advice here to help younger siblings get an early start on reading.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that with a little patience and a good plan, almost anyone can learn to read.