Child Advocacy

Print Print Print Awareness!


by Ann Crewdson


Print Awareness is one of the six early literacy skills that focuses on noticing print everywhere.  Print is in the sky.  It’s on the bottom of your shoes.  It’s on someone’s arm as a tattoo.  And what do you know?! Print is all over the books!


Here are some new and classic books to get your kids looking around for print:



Hurry Hurry by Eve Bunting


Chicken starts mass hysteria at the farm with her hurrying, rallying animals to see something big going down.  It’s a big rush of colorful words spilling out from page to page full of barnyard banter.



Bounce by Doreen Cronin


Unique presentations of the word “bounce” decorate the pages.  Hop, leap, pounce and bounce in ways your toddler may never have thought of before.



Snowballs by Lois Ehlert


Winter is almost here–the birds are expecting snow and the seeds are almost gone.  Flip through this book at 90 degrees and read about each member of the snowmen family.



Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming


Beetles on every page, doing everything imaginable from chewing, swirling, flashing, flip-flopping until they go “bop!”



Black Meets White by Justine Fontes


Black and White collide and become polka dots, a checkerboard and wiggles.  Alternating pages of black and white words bring interest to bold print, touching on gray areas.


Cover Art Not Available


I Walk and Read by Tana Hoban


Pictures of words everywhere in every day life are captured in photographs of roads, cars, stores, poles and signs.




Wake Up Me! By Marni McGee


Waking up is easier to do following words, one step at a time.  Bouncing words will show you the way…out to the playground to play.



Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell


Baby honks the horn, messes up the kitchen, sings and flips the books around.  Here’s a book with words that expresses baby’s feelings.



Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes the Trash! By Barbara Odanaka


A garbage truck wakes up two little piglets with words that follow its every move, smashing and chomping until black smoke belches indicate the truck’s belly is full. 



Clip-Clop! by Nicola Smee


Who wants to ride on Horse? The animals go clip-clop clippity, faster and faster on Horse’s back until ploppity-plop they all fall down and cheer, “Again!”




Who is Driving? by Leo Timmers


Elephant, Cat, Rabbit, Pig, Giraffe, Hippopotamous, and Stork are all in a hurry to get to their destinations with various vehicles while words zoom, putt and swoosh.



Overboard! by Sarah Weeks


Baby bunny goes “overboard” over and over again with fun–flinging peaches, wipers, diapers and paint.


This is just a sampling of the wealth of books out there that demonstrate print awareness.  When I do my story times, I like to tell my parents to celebrate print awareness by finding some more titles in the library.  I say, “Look around and you’ll be surprised by where print hide and reside!” Young children are especially amused by the print in their daily lives.  Activities like pointing to words while they’re brushing their teeth, shopping for groceries or taking a walk down the street, all help to reinforce the skill of print awareness.  Suggesting that parents make a book out of the creative fonts available through Microsoft Word or the internet can be quite amusing.  Then urge them to read them out loud once they’re done and have fun!


  1. Teresa Walls

    Do you share an overview of the early literacy skills for each storytime or do you try to mention an early literacy skill casually as you share stories with children and their caregivers?

  2. acrewdson Post author

    Hi Teresa!

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s best to introduce early literacy skills casually to parents and caregivers. We don’t want to sound condescending because most parents practice early literacy skills but do not put name to skill. I think it’s best to keep it to simple, like right before a story-hold the book upside down and try to have kids figure it out. Or when doing an activity like rolling the ball back and forth-parents make sure when you roll the ball, you say roll–this is introducing vocabulary so that young ones can associate the activity with the verb. I like to use the Leapin Literacy cd from Kimbo Music:

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