Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review: The Read-Aloud Handbook

A few months before my daughter was born (1983) my sister called to tell me about a very inspiring lecture she had attended by Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook.  Fired up by her enthusiasm I went right out and bought a copy, and to this day it ranks high on my list of recommended "parenting" books.  Now in it's seventh edition the million-copy bestseller has been completely revised. As my daughter prepares for the birth of her daughter 30 years later, I am delighted to pass on this new edition for the new addition in our family.

The Read-Aloud Handbook is both a treasury of great read-alouds ranging in ages from birth to 6th grade, and a very well written, research based handbook on the importance of reading aloud. Chapter one begins at the beginning with Why Read Aloud moving on through Do's and Dont's of Read-Aloud, Digital Learning: Good News and Bad, and one just for dad's, Dad: What's the Score?  The treasury of books begins with a list of wordless books followed by picture books, short novels, full-length novels, poetry, and more.   I like the short descriptions as well as the recommended ages Trelease suggests for each title.  Wondering when to start reading novels to your child? Or why he wants the same book read over and over? Or what exactly makes a good read-aloud? You'll find helpful and thoughtful discussions on all these questions and many more.

I think the best thing about the Read-Aloud Handbook is that even if reading aloud to your children is a daily practice this book will reinforce the benefits, rewards, and importance of reading aloud.  And if you are not in the habit of reading to your children Trelease will inspire you to begin!

"This book is about more than reading aloud.  It's about time that parents, teachers, and children spend together in a loving, sharing way." ---The Washington Post

You can find out more about Jim Trelease on his website

Miss Julie

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