Words that Cook! Parenting with children's books™ is an award-winning half-hour family literacy program co-hosted by Monty Haas and Martine Bernard. The series celebrates the joy of reading, the art of writing, the wonder of storytelling and the magic of wordplay through a combination of interviews and live action spiced up with animated fun. Designed for parents and educators of children ages 0-12.


The series airs on select PBS affiliates and on public access cable stations nationwide, and is available in DVD format. Each DVD includes an original 30-minute episode plus Extras.

Words that Cook! Parenting with children’s books™ is proud to receive the
International Reading Association 2005 Broadcast Media Award for Television.


Each Free DVD Viewing & Workshop Guide provides valuable, straightforward information to help you get the most out of each DVD as you use it in your school, center or home. In addition to content overviews, you will find related tips, strategies, book recommendations and activity suggestions as well as professional and parent workshop ideas.



Our Guests have a significant, though sometimes unexpected, connection to reading and writing. Some are parents; some are children; some are professionals who work with children. Others are performers, scientists, and mathematicians who point to literacy as key to their success and talk about how their families nurtured their growth and their progress. All are talking about their experiences and ideas on how to help today's parents bring reading and writing home.

The Stories are personal-, family- and community-based, featuring a cross-section of cultures, appealing to different interests and various learning styles, reaching into rural, suburban and urban communities.



We talk with:

  • parents who tell the story of getting through a challenging experience and those who talk about the fun of trying something new;
  • volunteers – young people and seniors who are giving back to their communities;
  • children's book authors and illustrators about being creative;
  • museum program directors and teachers about how to get the most out of community resources;
  • librarians about what connects children with books;
  • performers, sports writers, scientists and mathematicians who point to the significance of reading and writing in their lives;
  • poets about creating opportunities for children to write;
  • storytellers about reaching and holding the interest of children;
  • others who have a story to tell about their love of children and literacy.


During these interviews we often see our guests in action with children, modeling what they are discussing. From their experiences come our Recipes for Success, creative and practical tips for bringing literacy to life in the classroom and at home.



These Recipes for Success guide parents and educators in choosing books; developing strong read-aloud techniques; engaging in lively, thought-provoking discussions with their children, and applying countless other research- and experience-based practices for supporting children's interest in reading and writing. Many tips address the challenges parents face with time, reading disabilities, and conflicts of interest.

Each Recipe for Success is artfully captioned on the screen as the interview progresses. Many are recapped by the hosts at the end of the program. View our Recipes for Success.

Children’s literature expert and Words that Cook! Educational Consultant, Dr. Miriam Marecek, chooses the selections for our Recommended Book Lists. The Potluck of Fun, created by Words That Cook staff, provide related activities, additional reading ideas and resources for each recommended book. View our Recommended Book Lists and Potluck of Fun™.



Our very own Cookie-Bookie Bears demonstrate ways parents can support literacy while reading and writing with children, as well as during ordinary routines, making them more "bearable" by bringing more fun and imagination into communication with children.

Our Executive Producers, Laurie Joy Haas and
Monty Haas, are also co-authors of Read it Aloud!
A parent's guide to sharing books with young children
a book published by
The Reading Railroad.




Learn more about individual program content.


2006 Words That Cook,   All rights reserved  Box 411, Natick, MA  01760  USA

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