Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." - Emilie Buchwald

This is one of my favorite quotes and something I believe. Reading at home with a parent is where a love of reading and the spoken and written word begins. I'm constantly surprised by the number of parents who believe that reading to their child is unnecessary or unwelcome once a child begins to read independently.

On the contrary, this is a time when a parent can continue the reading adventure by selecting books beyond their child's current reading ability. Reading aloud with your child is a great incentive -- children look forward to the time when they can read the book on their own. Hearing stories read aloud builds vocabulary and develops an ear for language. Best of all, it is a special moment with a parent.

First as a parent and now as a writer and school library specialist, literacy for children and adults is a cause near and dear to my heart. I'm always happy to lend my time and energy to school and community events that promote reading and encourage parents to visit their school and public library. With that thought in mind, I'm going to post information on some of the favorite books among my students. I'll include picture books, chapter books, poetry and some non-fiction from time to time.

For more information about reading aloud with children check out: the website of Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, Read-Aloud Handbook. Teachers, librarians and other literacy professionals should take a look at Rob Reid's Reid's Read Aloud: Selections for children and teens, published by ALA (American Library Association). Reid has collected read-aloud passages from 200 high-interest titles and included a bibliography along with subject and grade-level indexes. By the way, ALA now has a special site for parents: @Your Library.

1 comment:

Ann Unger said...

Janet, I can't agree more. Books have always been in my life. As my sons were growing, a night did not go by with out my husband or I reading to them, them reading to us and then the time came where they read on their own. Reading together are the best memories I have.
It has always been a natural thing for me to read out loud to children. For a long time, I thought it was they same for everyone. It was that they didn't see the sense or wanted to. It was a few years ago that I came to learn that many parents did not know how to read to their children. That is an area that I feel can be easily rectified through the help of teachers, librarians and other literacy advocates. There is a resource through the Greater Los Angeles Literacy Network called "MomsRead" that teach parents how to read to and with their children. I fear, the problem where parents don't feel reading is important is a far greater challenge.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer