Tag Archives: read aloud

Book Review: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Image from Jim Trelease's Website

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.

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Animals & Birds Roam Free in the Library

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Quiet! There’s a Canary in the Library by Don Freeman

“…Cary slowly closed her book and started talking silently to herself. ‘If I were a librarian I know what I would do,’ she said…”

There's a Canary in the Library by Don Freeman

…and so begins the imaginative romp of what would happen if a little girl could be in charge of her public library.  She fantasizes about sitting behind the reference desk, welcoming patrons to her collection.  But these aren’t just regular patrons – they are all wild creatures!  Carey hosts an “Animal & Bird Day,” and all the animals come in to read books.  Carey instructs them to make themselves at home and help themselves to the collection; fortunately, they manage to behave themselves nicely, even the monkey.  All of a sudden, some unexpected guests arrive, and the library turns into a zoo!  Will Cary’s library survive the cavalcade?

Don Freeman, author of the Corduroy books, offers a wonderful read-aloud selection, complete with lively, bright colored drawings and some fanciful rhyming.  I tried out reading this one aloud to a family member, and it was received joyfully.

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