Book Talk: The Read-Aloud Handbook

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Good

read aloud handbook

This book by Jim Trelease was full of excellent information about kids and media, reading in particular, but also the effects of television and other forms of print media. I learned so many great things from this book that will help me raise my children to be avid and successful readers.

The main message of this book is that you create good readers in your children by reading to them every day from infancy and developing an environment where books are available and plentiful. Reading to your children is the best and most effective way to teach them to read and to love books and reading.

Here are some of my favorite points in the book, in no particular order:

  • The best books for infants are books that stimulate your baby’s sight and hearing, especially Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss because of the rhyming. Simple pictures are best.
  • Reading is as much about the relationship as it is about the book. Maintain close contact while reading together.
  • Point to things in the book, call things by name, ask questions, and praise responses.
  • When children are very young (infants and toddlers especially) reading the same book over and over is best because it offers predictability and allows them to be an expert – they know what is going to happen next.
  • For parents who are illiterate or semi-literate, audio books are a wonderful tool.
  • Fairy tales are valuable because they tell stories of real people with real problems doing something extraordinary – kids can relate to a Harry Potter, for example, an orphan who is awkward, wears broken glasses, and is abused by his caretakers. “If Harry can overcome those things, so can I.”
  • Listening stimulates imagination far more than television, which is why reading to your children is so much more valuable than just letting them watch TV.

Trelease talks about everything – how, when, and why do read-aloud, libraries, television, and so much more. This book is a must read for parents and an excellent book to own as a reference. Reading is sooo important to your child’s educational future – this book gave me the evidence for something I already knew to be true. I am a huge fan of Jim Trelease – this book is so well written and interesting. I learned so much and had a good time doing it!

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