Remember those paper book covers we used to make when we were in junior high? So the covers wouldn’t get beaten up in our lockers? I think the people who really need those book covers are little kids, so their books have a chance of staying together or not getting gnawed on.
Atti has been obsessed with letters since he was a baby, and he’s practically a savant at his sight words, but he hasn’t started reading sentences yet. It’s extremely common for kids with vision issues to have trouble tracking lines of text across a page, so this isn’t anything alarming, but it means we need to work harder. The last time I was at Costco I picked up some collections of the BOB books that are supposed to be so great at teaching kids to read. They’re adorable books, but they were printed on really flimsy stock and in a million tiny individual books that I know usually help children feel accomplished, but in our house would only get chewed on and crumpled and discovered under the couch. I knew that if they were going to have a fighting chance against Atti’s less than refined motor skills, they were going to need a little help. And since Atti’s not the only messy kid in the world, I thought this might be a solution that could help more moms than me.
I cut a piece of cardboard just slightly bigger than the size of each book, one for the front cover and one for the back, and then had a little fun decorating it. Atti loves any and everything with his name on it, so this was an easy way to make these books feel special to him.
These particular books were stitched together, so I opened the books to the stitching and cut them apart. If the books were glued together I’d just cut the glued part of the spine off.
Now you just have to punch holes through the covers and books to be able to bind them altogether. This piece of cardboard happened to come with the books, and since it was already the right size it was the perfect template. But even a scrap of paper will do. You just need some way to ensure that all the holes you punch are in the same places so the books line up once they’re bound.
Book rings can be found at any office supply store, and they pull apart and hook back together again just like a three ring binder. Thread the covers and then all the books between them, onto the book rings.
Some kids might be bothered or intimidated by the fact that the books are all bound together like one giant book, but for other kids, this will make sure that the books actually survive enough to get used. Since every child learns differently, that means every teacher or parent has to be prepared to reach those kids where they’re at. I’ll cut apart a million books if it means Atti actually reads them.