When I was pregnant with our first child (“Sparkles”) friends and family gave me great advice and guidance. I also read lots of parenting books on various topics such as: discipline, child development, breastfeeding, potty training, and communicating with children. I found all of those topics to be useful, but the topic of reading aloud to your children resonated with me the most.
While browsing books in the parenting section of the library I came across a book called The Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease. This book was first published in 1979 and is now in its seventh edition. In this book, Trelease explains in plain English why reading aloud to your children matters. He tells you how to do it. And he even gives you suggestions for books to read. This book was my introduction to the importance of reading to children starting at a very early age. Hence, the beginning of my wonderful read aloud journey began even before I gave birth to our daughter.
With the birth of our second child (“Mr. Tickles”) I began to read to him immediately when he was born. He also had the added benefit of hearing all the books I read to his sister while he was still in the womb. Lucky kid!
Trelease basically explains that the main thing you need to do if you want to raise a reader is simply spend time reading to them, early and often. He also argues that the most important thing is to read books that both you and your child enjoy. Kids are wise and they will able to tell if you’re truly enjoying reading a book or not so don’t read something to your kids if you’re not feeling it.
I think the best part of the book is the very end. Trelease has created an amazing “Treasury of Read-Alouds.” In the copy of the book that I own, this treasury of books starts on page 173 and ends on page 294…that’s a lot of good, quality books!
Not only does the author give you suggestions for books by age and subject, but he even tells you what the books are about so you can better select which ones you might enjoy reading with your child. I often refer back to this list time and time again. This list is my go-to when I’m looking for something new to read to the kids. It has been tremendously helpful to me because before I stumbled upon this book, I thought it was a little overwhelming to know where to start in picking out books for a young child!
I am so grateful that I was introduced to the importance of reading before my children were born. Now I try to pass this along to the people in my life who are new parents. I truly believe in reading aloud and hope to see our children and others continue to reap the rewards of reading.
So, that’s it. The story of how my read aloud journey with my children began. I hope you’ll consider checking this amazing book out. Maybe it will start you on the path to reading aloud, too (if you’re not doing it already).
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated to promote this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Your turn: Have you read this book yet? I’d be interested to know how you got started on your read aloud journey with your children. What book(s) helped to inspire you? Feel free to share in the comments.