The Handbook begins with a rationale for the importance of reading aloud to children, and cites statistics and case studies that show the benefits it offers to literacy, family togetherness, child development, and more. Then, Trelease walks the reader through some practical techniques as well as beginning reading suggestions for every age and interest.
Based on his experience as a father and grandfather, and his familiarity with many anecdotes from other parents, Trelease tells us (p. 4) that there are some major advantages derived from reading aloud to [your] child:
- Associating reading with pleasure in the child’s brain
- Establishing background knowledge (ie, what animals live on farms, what a bulldozer looks like, what a fiddle is).
- Building vocabulary (Children’s picture books are meant to be read to a child not by a child because their vocabulary and structure are too sophisticated.)
- Provide a positive reading role model (YOU!)
Although I’m only about halfway done reading The Handbook, I’ve skimmed the final sections that contain a plethora of reading recommendations of every sort. I highly recommend The Read-Aloud Handbook to parents, teachers, librarians, and any other professional that works with children.
Here’s a link to the author Jim Trelease’s home page that contains book lists, lecture downloads, and excerpts/major points from every chapter of his book.
Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Literature, Library Career
Tagged book review, Book Reviews, children's books, children's library, Children's literacy, children's recommended reading, Jim Trelease, Professional Literature, read aloud, read-aloud handbook, reading, reading aloud, Reading motivation
After decompressing from a semester of MLS studies, I’m finally getting back to Mr. Blog. I’ve been reading a bit here and there, and have even been putting my VCR to good use.
Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel
Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I discovered this delightful little series of picture books and illustrated children’s chapter books that center around the life of a very, very bad, bad kitty.
In the original picture book, Bad Kitty, the kitty is loathe to find out that he’s been temporarily restricted to a vegetable diet. Fortunately, his hazardous protests throughout the house won him back his omnivorous cat food. The book, and its sequel, Poor Puppy (in which the kitty is introduced to an over-friendly new housemate), incorporate the alphabet and counting, and are devilishly funny and random in their choice of vocabulary.
Additionally, Bruel wrote illustrated chapter books about specific aspects of the kitty’s life, including Bad Kitty Gets a Bath. In this hilarious volume, the kitty’s owner explains the dangers involved in attempting to clean a cat, including injury, death, and pants-wetting. The book even gives a detailed illustration and explanation of the escalating levels of cat anger as expressed through different hisses. Any cat-lover (or cat-hater, even) will recognize the high-strung attitude of kitty, something common to many of our feline friends. I highly recommend these books, to adults and childen. The picture books are a longer read than most, so keep that in mind when reading with those with shorter attention spans (adults and children included).
Here’s a link to Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty series: click here.
Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Literature
Tagged Bad Kitty, chapter book, chapter books, children's book, children's books, Children's librarianship, children's literature, children's recommended reading, feline friends, illustrations, Nick Bruel, picture book, picture books, Poor Puppy
Bruno is a very busy beaver: he dabbles in carpentry, baking, and tailoring. In this delightful series of picture books, author Lars Klinting introduces children to the basic tools and ideas of different skilled trades.
In Bruno the Carpenter, Bruno spends an afternoon in his workshop, using all of his hand tools to build a new wooden toolbox.
In Bruno the Tailor, he decides he needs a new apron, and goes about preparing the fabric and sewing together the pieces to make a sturdy apron.
In Bruno the Baker, his little friend Felix helps him to bake a special birthday cake, exploring all the techniques and ingredients in the kitchen.
All of these delightful books explain the creative process for children, and include illustrations of the action as well as pages highlighting the objects that are introduced. At the end of each book is an explanation for the grown-ups (complete with wood measurements, fabric pattern, and cake recipe, respectively), so that
they can guide the child through the activity. I highly recommend these books for parents to introduce their children not only to fun hobbies, but to the possibility of a future career in the skilled trades.
Additionally, Lars Klinting authored at least two books about a similar character named Handy Harvey: Harvey the Painter and Harvey the Gardener. I haven’t read them yet, but they look promising.
Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Literature
Tagged activities, apron, baking, Bruno the Baker, Bruno the beaver, Bruno the Carpenter, Bruno the Tailor, cake, carpentry, children's book, children's books, children's literature, children's recommended reading, family activities, Lars Klinting, Occupational awareness, recipe, skilled trades, tailoring, tool box