Leighanne Scheuermann is a mom to two young girls, a reading specialist, a lifelong learner and an avid reader. Leighanne worked in schools for ten years as a teacher, reading and learning specialist and a school administrator in New York City and in Dallas. She is now working with parents and educators as a freelance educational and reading consultant both through e-consulatations and in-person meetings and workshops. Follow her on instagram for more great ideas and resources as she adds to her website, writtenandbound.com. Leighanne helps parents and educators understand children’s reading and language-based difficulties. She earned a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in reading and a master’s of social work from the University of Pennsylvania.
"Years ago, while working as a social worker in New York City, I began to realize that literacy is a key component in meeting families’ needs. Much like food and water, children need the basic elements of literacy in order to continue growing academically and have fun in school. I want to help families during the challenging times of discovering their child’s specific reading struggles or diagnosis. I believe that the best way to encourage children and families is to find ways for them to have more fun together while reading. Getting lost in a book creates storybook memories in this busy and chaotic life we lead. Regardless of the specific academic journey you and your child are on together in this new chapter in life, there’s always ways to create nurturing memories and help preserve and grow a child’s confidence.
It was so difficult to pick only ten picture books! When first asked, I made a huge list of my favorites that immediately came to mind and then I went back and tried my best to narrow it down to only ten titles. It was a difficult task, to say the least!"
1. Corduroy by Don Freeman – One of my favorites because I have cozy and vivid memories reading it as a child.
2. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch –I love how this short and light-hearted tale gets right to the point teaching self-love and respect.
3. A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban –Francis is a quirky and clever character so all of the books in this series are interesting and fun for both parents and children.
4. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton –The Little House has a strong impact on even young readers. My daughter is three and wants to read it often. The illustrations are stylish and the story is powerful and timeless. I particularly appreciate that Virginia Lee Burton’s main characters are often large objects like a home, a steam shovel or a tractor but are always represented as strong female characters.
5. A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston – Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long books are poetically written and beautifully illustrated. They are a lovely way to teach nonfiction topics through a literary lens.
6. Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato – I could read this book everyday. It teaches friendship, acceptance, and kindness with a charming NYC and Brooklyn backdrop.
7. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss – This one seems cliché to add to my list but I read it often. I feel it’s one of our first introductions to self-help, reminding me often that the beauty is in the journey and the determination to keep going.
8. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – Well, I just can’t read this without weeping. At times every parent has a moment when they want to scream, “I’m doing everything. Can’t someone help me?” This book validates that feeling and reminds me to be gracious and that it’s all worth it.
9. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert – This book has always brought to mind the start of a school year with fresh pencils, new backpacks and chill in the air. Its beautiful images will have kids wanting to go on a hike or nature walk.
10. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats– What a magical feeling to wake up to freshly fallen snow outside your window! Ezra Jack Keats was revolutionary in creating diverse characters; something that is still so needed even over fifty years after this book was first published.