First 1000 books reader cracks century mark

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

We had great news at the Picton Branch Library recently! The first reader in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program reached their first milestone – 100 books read. Iyla was registered by her parents, who were excited to take on this challenge together as a family.

We asked Iyla and her grown-ups for their tips on how to raise a reader. Her mom, Kendra, said “read with your child as much as you can! Show them that you are interested in reading yourself, if you are. Ask them to read with you and have books accessible so if they are interested, they can look through them on their own. Join in on all the amazing programs at your local library!”

Finding books that your children love is also a great way to encourage your child to enjoy reading. Iyla was happy to share some of her favourites with you. Pete the Cat is a terrific series – it features a cool cat named Pete who handles all kinds of challenges with aplomb, and uses rhythm and rhyme to keep you bopping along as you read. Any book with a beloved character can invite a child to want to read, and Iyla has been enjoying books featuring the Paw Patrol pups. Robert Munsch, author of classic picture books like The Paperbag Princess, Mud Puddle and many – many – more is also a favourite of Iyla’s. There aren’t many children who can get through a Munsch book without bursting into giggles, and reading funny books is a good way to show children that reading can be a great deal of fun. The Olivia series by Ian Falconer comes highly recommended by Iyla.

One title in this series is “Olivia and the Fairy Princesses”, which tells the story of a very imaginative pig who goes on a quest to discover what she wants to do to stand out!

The New York Times book review describes Oliva as “ the latest in a list of independent, high-spirited young ladies that goes back to at least Madeline and Eloise.” Iyla also suggests you check out books by Jory John, who is best known for The Good Egg and the Bad Seed. The Bad Seed tells the story of a “bad seed” who breaks rules and lies, but goes on to prove that it’s never too late to change your ways!

Iyla and her parents encourage you to join Saturday Storytime, weekly at the Picton and Wellington Branches at 10:30 a.m.. “We are so thankful for the amazing staff at the libraries in PEC, especially for Whitney who does an amazing story time on Saturday mornings complete with voices when she reads!”

Find out more about all of the library’s children’s programs at If you have a young child at home consider joining Iyla and all the other children who have taken on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge!

It’s a free and fun way to celebrate reading. You can join at any branch of the library.

-Liz Zylstra