Category Archives: Blog

How Parents Can Help With Reading Comprehension At Home

By Kris McCormick

Only 34% of American students are reading proficiently, according to a 2019 study from the US Department of Education. This leaves many parents wondering what they can do to help their child improve their reading, especially comprehension skills.

Luckily, you don’t need fancy activities to improve reading comprehension, just books, a library card, and some conversation.

Learn why reading comprehension is important and discover how parents can help with reading comprehension at home with 7 simple strategies.

What Is Reading Comprehension, And Why Is It Important?

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand what is being read. It’s essential because it’s needed virtually everywhere, from learning school subjects to reading city signs to decoding a high chair manual.

In addition, reading comprehension is one of the 5 components of reading (along with phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and fluency), which helps support reading and writing skills.

How Parents Can Support Reading At Home

Here are 7 tips for how parents can help with reading comprehension at home:

1. Read More

Does reading help with comprehension? Absolutely – and that’s why you should read as often as possible to your child to help improve their reading comprehension.

You can read aloud with them and to yourself. Even reading the cereal box at breakfast counts!

Because the more you read, the more words your child is exposed to, which increases their vocabulary.

Imagine helping your child weave a web in their brain. The more you read aloud to them, the more intricate and stronger the web becomes.

2. Encourage Looking At All Parts Of The Book

Many young kids see the cover and skip to the story, but then they miss out on clues to help them comprehend what’s happening. This is especially true of eager pre-k children.

Teach your child to look at and read the back cover and the front and back flaps. Often the flaps help the reader predict what the story will be about and can have information on why the author wrote it.

Look at the pictures, even the letters in picture books. Sometimes how they’re drawn can allude to what the character is feeling.

3. Talk About The Text

Another way you can improve your child’s reading comprehension is to take turns talking about the text and encourage them to ask questions about what they’re reading.

For example, wonder aloud open-ended questions like, “What do you think is going to happen next?” or “Why do you think the characters did that?”

By encouraging your child to ask questions and make observations, you help them generate new ideas and practice critical thinking, a key skill for success.

Critical thinking leads to the following strategy for improving reading comprehension: connecting the text to real life.

4. Connect To Real Life

Watch the lightbulb turn on in your child’s head the next time you connect one of your child’s stories to something in real life.

For example, when your child’s toy breaks and they feel sad, you could say, “I bet you feel sad about it like Piggie.” (from Mo Willems’ I Love My New Toy! picture book) or “Hey, we read about that in your library book!”

Because the more you help your child learn to connect their real-world experiences to what they read, the more their reading comprehension grows.

In addition, they build new schemas (background knowledge) and develop their critical thinking skills.

5. Listen To Audiobooks

Audiobooks are another great way to help kids improve their reading comprehension skills – and you get a break from reading. In addition, listening to a story is helpful for visualization, which can benefit a child who struggles to picture what is happening, which hinders them from following along.

Furthermore, audiobooks also help deepen a child’s reading comprehension by exposing them to new language sounds and vocabulary.

Children’s books often have fun, wacky words or silly sounds. Many have uncommon words they wouldn’t typically hear in everyday conversation. Of course, this goes for non-audiobooks as well.

6. Get Books Based On Your Child’s Interest

Not all kids like reading, and that’s okay. But, they are more apt to pick up a book and stick with it if it’s centered around what they’re interested in.

So head to your local library and grab some stories and/or non-fiction books you think your child will like. Or, bring them along so they can pick out what they want.

The more you encourage your child to read what tickles their fancy, the more likely they’ll want to keep reading.

And that helps deepen their reading comprehension.

7. Love Your Library

Don’t forget about children’s events at the library, like read-aloud story time. Most libraries carry audiobooks, too.

Lastly, encourage your child to get their own library card.

They’ll feel more in control of their reading choices, which increases intrinsic motivation for reading (reading for pleasure).

In addition, studies show that interest in the reading material helps lower-level readers improve their comprehension. 

Final Thoughts

Supporting your child’s reading comprehension at home is simple.

Read to them more, discuss and connect the text to real life, and encourage your child to read what interests them.


Kris McCormick is a boy mama, wife, and blogger. Since becoming a mom seven years ago, she’s been researching the best advice, resources, and baby gear from small businesses to make pregnancy and child-raising easier for all parents. You can read more about Kris here.

Mother reading to young child

7 Benefits of Reading to Young Children Every Day

There are many benefits of reading to young children every day; that’s why parents are encouraged to read to their children from infancy. You can start with bedtime stories and graduate to more complicated subjects as they grow old. 

It’s healthy to buy a different variety of books to help enhance your child’s perspective and keep them entertained and stimulated for longer.

Below are the 7 benefits of reading to young children every day: 

1. Brain Development

According to research, reading to young children helps in the development of their brains. When you read to your children regularly, you help stimulate the optimal patterns involved in brain development.

In turn, this helps build strong pathways in their brains that are in charge of semantic processing. 

2. Improves Language and Vocabulary

Speaking of brain development, another benefit of reading to young children is improving their language and vocabulary. Once the optimal patterns in the brain are stimulated, there is exposure to different.

According to research conducted on kids between the age of 6 and 54 months (4 and a half years) involving 250+ pairs, reading to kids from infancy to toddler age increased their vocabulary and literary skills.

The research focused on the quantity and quality of shared book-reading, i.e, the number of books read and at what frequency, and if parents had conversations regarding the books.

For both, the researchers noted that children were better in their literary and vocabulary skills by the age of four.   

3. To Become Knowledgeable

If you are looking to raise a child who is intelligent and well informed in most if not all aspects of life, start by reading books to them from a young age. There is a common saying that “knowledge is power.”

Reading to young children allows them to question the learning process and other subjects. It also gets them interested in various topics, which leads to a hankering desire to learn more, even as they grow. 

4. Developing Empathy

Every parent wants to have a child who understands other people’s emotions and situations.

Reading to your young kids is one of the best ways to help them develop empathy.

Once they can identify with characters and imagine themselves in their situations, they will easily understand and relates to different emotions. It will help them in the future; when they are out there in the world and meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds.

5. Enhances Concentration

Contrary to popular belief, children learn to concentrate more when you are constantly reading to them. On their own, kids may tend to flip pages and change books. However, if you can keep a consistent reading schedule, your child will learn to stick to the schedule. With time, they will learn to sit still through any reading and concentrate.  

This is important because when you finally take your child to pre-school, you will have installed the discipline of sitting still and paying attention. 

6. Develops Imagination and Creativity

Reading allows one to live different lives through different characters. It includes imagining how these characters and the locations look and any descriptions provided in the book.

When you read, you try to convert the setting of the book into reality through your imaginations. And everyone has a different imagination, leading to enhanced creativity on what the setting should look like.

This does not apply only to adults but to children, too. The benefit of your child seeing life through different lenses is that it helps develop their imagination and creativity. 

7. Spending Time Together

One of the best ways to create a lasting connection and relationship with your child is to spend time with them when young. There are many ways to do it, and reading is one of those ways. Even if you are not home when they get from school, you can spare a few minutes from a busy schedule to read them a bedtime story.  

Through this, your child can also learn to communicate with you by asking you questions regarding the stories you read. Reading to young children will also give you both an opportunity to relax and unwind after a long day. 


Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music. He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time! You can find his parenting blog here:

Lost submissions since beginning of April


Anyone who submitted a story to between 1st April 2020 and 29th April 2020 but hasn’t heard back if their story is accepted or not, can you resend it, please? Due to some (ahem) experimentation with email folders, the submissions backlog got zapped!

Apologies for inconvenience caused.

New illustrations by Yulia Sirotina for The Emperor’s New Clothes

Emperor admires himself in the mirror, illustration by Yulia Sirotina

Yulia Sirotina has provided new illustrations for the classic tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” for Short Kid Stories.

You can see her new illustrations and read the story at

Yulia is an illustrator from Russia currently based in China.

You can view more of her excellent and unique work here:

Elephant & The Extraordinary Ordinary By Natalie Rodriguez

This is a guest blog post by Short Kid Stories author Natalie Rodriguez about how, as a working artist, she is coping with the current quarantine. She also has exciting news about not one, but two upcoming releases!

Natalie Rodriguez author photo

I was at a Starbucks in North Hollywood, CA when the news broke of Los Angeles County going into quarantine. My friend and I were in disbelief, especially when Starbucks informed us that starting tomorrow, the store was going to close down and only take orders or pick-ups. It was terrifying. Like most artists who are in the entertainment industry, COVID-19 has certainly had an impact on my own physical and mental health.

During the first week of quarantine, one of my writing and producing partners moved back home to the east coast, for the time being, considering that living in Los Angeles County could be costly. The following week, my anxiety and stress were at its peak, where I struggled to fall asleep at a decent hour, often lying in bed for 3-5 hours with racing thoughts. Around the same time, I was also amid early promotion for two different projects called “Elephant” and “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” as well as in pre-production with a horror short and post-production on my second directorial feature, “Howard Original.”

Ironically, the pandemic made me realize one thing and that was STRESS.

Due to COVID-19, I felt it was necessary to push back the release dates of my directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” and my first young adult novel, “Elephant.” The film was originally slated for a May 1st release date, and the book was intentionally made for April 10th. With adjustments to a new routine, including two job layoffs due to my former workplaces cutting back on employees because of COVID-19, I felt pressured and worried about promoting my work in a time of a world crisis.

In the forthcoming weeks, anxiety, depression, and general stress appeared to be the new normal for many people, in general, for adapting to the new norm of quarantine and social distancing. Especially when my anxiety physical symptoms intensified with a racing heartbeat and clammy hands and feet, that was when my own therapist suggested it was time to go on a low dose of anti-anxiety medication.

So far, both my physical and mental health continues to improve, and a lot has to do with acknowledging of taking that step back in the first place and being okay with postponing things. Although it continues to be a process, I feel a bit readier with the new release dates of my two projects that have truly taken years to greenlit.

On Friday, May 29th, 2020, my first young adult/commercial-crossover book, “Elephant,” is coming out. “Elephant” is a story about four childhood best friends who discover a family secret in the summer of 2006, before starting their freshman year in high school. The kindle and paperback versions of the novel are currently available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book reviewer, SheySaints, said that “Elephant” was a mix of vibes of “a cross between Christopher Pike and Stephen King. Screen-wise, it was like Black Mirror that didn’t revolve around technology. Truth is, it didn’t feel like it was written by a girl. It was hard to understand because of all the weird things happening, but it was one of those books where you just had to keep reading even if you were clueless about it. All the actions and emotions seemed like they were real, and almost as if the author experienced them herself. You could easily tell she has good visualizations while writing the book. In fact, this is a story that will be more appreciated as a movie, or a television series.”

Later this year on Friday, August 28th, 2020, my directorial feature film which I also wrote and produced, The Extraordinary Ordinary, will be released on video-on-demand through a distributor called Indie Rights. 

The Extraordinary Ordinary is a story about three young adults and how they cope with their mental health when old wounds resurface. A few years after a traumatic high school experience, a young photography student moves across the country from New York to Southern California in search of a fresh start. She quickly finds that she is not alone in her struggles with anxiety and depression and learns that the road to recovery is paved with more love, understanding, and community than she ever could have imagined. The Extraordinary Ordinary is a gripping and heartwarming narrative that seeks to challenge the stigmas associated with mental health, trauma, and recovery and recognize the courage of those young adults struggling in silence everywhere.

The film was recently an official film selection at the Awareness Film Festival (AFF), Glendale International Film Festival (GIFF), and the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF). We also won the ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at GIFF and scored nominations for Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Feature. Our leading actress, Maddison Bullock, also won ‘Best Performance’ at the LADFF, where we held our world premiere.

Our latest review is by a former therapist and current executive performance expert, Liz A. Garcia: “The Extraordinary Ordinary” gives young people one of the most important things necessary – conversations. Conversations to learn how to navigate challenging and scary moments in life. To see these scenarios on the screen gives the audience an opportunity to reflect on the fact that they are not alone in their experiences and even when it’s scary, they could be understood and get help when they are willing to speak about what they are experiencing. Kudos to Natalie and team for creating such a relevant and impactful movie.”

Below, you will find the appropriate links for each project. 

ELEPHANT (book):

Social Media:



The latest review 


  • Promo-Teaser (which is live, released back in October 2018) [Note: it is also the pinned post on our Facebook page]:

Social Media:




Story by Author Deirdre McCarthy available in paperback

I’m am delighted to let you know that yet another Short Kid Stories author, Deirdre McCarthy, has her wonderful story/poem The Rescue of Fairy Queen Maeve now available in paperback. Even though the story is available on this site, there is nothing like a book in hand.

So if you can, support one of our authors by buying a copy for yourself or a loved one.


The Rescue of Fairy Queen Maeve – Paperback: Mccarthy, Deirdre: 9780692637548: Books

Barnes and Noble

The Rescue of Fairy Queen Maeve – Paperback by Deirdre McCarthy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Video Narration Now Available

There is a video narration of Deirdre’s poem available with the story on this site. It can also be accessed below.

I’d like to wish Deirdre great success with her book.

The Fisherman and his wife now illustrated by Matt Moriarty

FIsherman and wife by hovel illustrated by Matt Moriarty
The Fisherman and his Wife, illustrated by Matt Moriarty

I am delighted to let you know that the classic story “The Fisherman and his Wife” has been beautifully illustrated by Matt Moriarty and is now available on Short Kid Stories. Matt is an illustrator from Australia, you can find out about him and view his work at

The Fisherman and his wife teaches a lesson about being too greedy and never being satisfied with what you have. The story is one of our featured stories of the week and is available here:

I hope you enjoy the new illustrations.

Amazon provides free audio streaming of children’s books and stories

To all lovers of children’s stories: Amazon has cancelled the subscription cost of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed. Kids everywhere can now instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help kids continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.
All stories are free to stream on desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet using the following link


Take the Short Kid Stories survey


I hope you are enjoying the fantastic range of short stories for kids available on the site.

We are planning the next stage of our development, and we need your input!

I’d appreciate it if you could spare just a few minutes to answer the Short Kid Stories survey.


Genuinely it’ll be very short and would really help decide what improvements, features and services would be of benefit to users. So please take a few minutes to let us know what you think. We’d really appreciate it.


Thanks again for your interest in Short Kid Stories.

Short Kid Stories Author published on Amazon!


While working on his book of memoir stories, POP was asked to write a children’s tale based on an illustration given by a magazine publisher.

Soon after, he began a competition with himself, to write another one… better than the other one.

Now, after much fanfare from kids and grandkids he has published his first children’s eBook… “Tales From The Hill And Burrow.”

(The print version is soon to come in late spring)

Three charming contemporary folk tales for young and old alike.

Just click on the picture below and there you go to Amazon!



Sleeping Beauty narrated by Sharon Blumberg

Sharon Blumberg photo - voiceover artistThanks to Sharon Blumberg, narration has arrived on Short Kid Stories! Sharon Olivia Blumberg is a recently retired school teacher, having taught Spanish and English for over 20 years. In addition, she is a children’s writer and voiceover artist. She is married with two grown children. She resides with her husband outside of Chicago. View Sharon’s profile on her profile page and go on over and check out her first narrated story – Sleeping Beauty.

Stay tuned, there is more to come from Sharon…