Better Know a Panel #2: Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books

Today's panelist Q&A comes to us courtesy of Anastasia Suen, category organizer for the Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books category. Anastasia asked her panelists–and herself–a question truly worthy of the unabashed book enthusiasts we all are around here at the Cybils:

The Easy Reader – Early Chapter Book panelists are reading books that help kids learn how to read. So how did THEY learn how to read?

Anastasia Suen, 5 Great Books, Weekend Reads: We used to go for a ride in the car every Sunday. I remember trying to read the signs and asking my mother when I could learn to read. She told me that I had to wait until I went to school. That's where I met Dick and Jane…and learned how to read.

Jeff Barger, NC Teacher Stuff: Since my dad was in the Army, I read the Stars and Stripes newspaper every day for sports scores and comics. I also scoured the library looking for any Peanuts collection that I could find. Charles Schultz helped me learn to read.

Stacey Loscalzo: I remember learning to read right before I went to school. My mom tells me that she remembers the very moment she saw something 'click.' We were reading together on my grandmother's couch- one minute she was reading to me and the next minute I was reading to her.

Terry Doherty, Children's Literacy/Reading Tub: The first thing I remember really reading was Dick and Jane. We had lots of Dr. Seuss at home, and year after year I would carefully select my favorite one (usually The Cat in the Hat) to wrap as a Christmas gift for my dad. He always opened it with such glee … as though it were the best present he'd ever gotten.

Melissa Taylor, Imagination Soup: My mom taught me to read using Stan and Jan Berenstain books the Christmas vacation of 1st grade. She tells me it was like "unwrapping a present that was waiting to happen".

Cynthia Lord: My love of reading reallly came from school. I remember being in first grade with the "Dick and Jane" reader on my knees and I had a wonderful breakthrough moment of suddenly realizing that every time I saw L-O-O-K it would be "look." It was an exciting realization that there was a system to those letters.

Julie Jurgens, Hi Miss Julie!: I can't remember a time when I wasn't reading. I had a huge phonics reader that I loved as a kid, and I would pore through it all the time. I think memorizing the two Grover books and always seeing my parents reading is what really turned me into a voracious reader.

I don't know about you guys, but I loved each and every one of those stories. Thanks to our EZ panelists for sharing their learning-to-read moments!

–Sarah Stevenson, blog editor