image with three small child portraits with the words Ready, Set a Time, and Read underneath the portraits

Support the success of every child and their family through quality early education and care. Enjoy the books and the activities chosen for this edition to support your child’s early literacy skills.

 Snuggle Puppy: A Little Love Son

by Sandra Boynton

Full of joy, hugs and smooches! This delightful story also combines with a tune that infants will enjoy. Parents, cuddle up to your infants while reading this tender-hearted rendition of what the joy of love is all about. 

Activity: Developing a relationship is crucial to infant brain development. Creating a strong bond encourages social development and trust. As you sing the story, hug and give your baby “smooches” as the book details. Then maintain eye contact with your infant while talking and smiling. Infants 6-8 months old will consciously smile back at you. 


by Melanie Gerth and Laura Beith

Toddlers enjoy eye-catching, short, and sweet stories, and this book certainly has what they want. A mother owl and a baby owl are depicted enjoying their everyday happy moments. This provides toddlers with relatable ideas about what it means to be happy. 

Activity: Create a happy face and a sad face together using paper plates and crayons. Hold a happy face in front of your face and play peek-a-boo with the plate. Do the same for the sad face. While playing the game, model the facial expression that connects to the plate. Ask toddlers what makes them happy. If they need a nudge answering, discuss things they do that make them feel happy. Give your toddler a turn and match their chosen paper-plate expression with your own. This helps children understand how they are feeling so one day they will be able to communicate how they feel to the people around them.

Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love

by Wendy Pfeffer and Steve Jenkins

Baking cookies will never feel the same after reading this book to your preschooler. The rich language described in the book matches the rich character-building actions when baking up ideas of ways to give to other people. 

Activity: Roll up your sleeves and bake! What better way to teach the joy of giving than by showing action! Ask your preschooler who they would like to give cookies to. Provide examples of people who have helped them or could use a kind gesture—from teachers to police officers. Even friends and family would love a nice cookie. Create a cookie recipe together on a large sheet of paper, say the words as you write them down, and let your preschooler make plenty of suggestions. What type of cookies will you make? How many? How will you wrap the cookies? The possibilities are endless—just like the joy of giving.