Reading aloud

May 20, 2013

Memorial Day is coming up soon — marking the unofficial start of summer. Parents and teachers know how hard it can be for children to remain focused as the school year ends and summer starts.

Summers that don't include books and reading for children most often results in the "summer slide" — the loss of reading skills gained during the previous school year.

Barbara Heyns'...

May 2, 2013

The lasting impact of early childhood education has been known for a long, long time. The first three years of a child's life are crucial to their development socially, emotionally, and educationally.

We've gotten the word from pediatricians like T. Berry Brazelton and child development...

April 4, 2013

What if your students could share a popular work of children's literature with other students around the world? Fourth-grade teacher Jan Wells has blown the lid off her small school in Meriden Kansas (population 813) by taking advantage of (free) projects offered...

April 3, 2013

I remember one day long ago my son came home from school and proudly recited a poem. His preschool teacher shared this poem in particular often — it was a class favorite — so often that my son committed it to memory. It was long and I remember my surprise the first time I heard him.

The poem was Robert Louis Stevenson's "My Shadow" which begins: "I have a little shadow that goes in...

December 30, 2012

A new year is about to begin. It's a fine time to think about sharing with family and friends old and new. And what better to share than a good story? Readers may find a new friend or come across an old buddy.

Have you ever met the original Puss in Boots? Visit — or revisit — him in a newly illustrated and retold version of the traditional tale of the bright, loyal, and adventurous...

December 20, 2012

Our hearts are heavy during this time for our neighbors in Connecticut. During tough times, I find comfort in returning to simple pleasures and traditions. This is our third year for "a book on every bed," and it's a tradition that I love, and one part of my shopping that I actually look forward to!

Two years ago, the Family...

December 6, 2012

The media reminds us constantly that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Children — and adults — pick up the message often becoming overstimulated.

How can parents and teachers help children slow down (and maybe even themselves)? Sometimes all it takes is a good book and maybe a shared laugh.

Dinosaurs celebrate the season in...

October 3, 2012

I saw this video for the first time a few years ago. I didn't know where the story was going, but I was entranced.

One upon a time …

Do you think that sweet girl has been read to? Talked to? Listened to? It's clear she has. For many hours for many years.

All that work we do as parents and teachers — reading,...

August 24, 2012

Some school districts opened this week, more are scheduled for next week. Children may be apprehensive or excited or somewhere in between. Books and a chuckle are a good way to provide a common experience and a fine way to break the ice at the start of the school year.

Blake is exceptional in every way. Not only did this long green snake spell out his name when presented as a gift...

August 3, 2012

C.S. Lewis once said, "Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably." I couldn't agree more.

Long ago, I lived in Cambridge (Massachusetts), a city in which both activities "combine admirably." Not only is it a place where lots of writers and artists live, it has loads of bookstores and was once the home of Julia Child, renowned cook, cookbook author, and the first...

January 12, 2012

What do a red cape, a magic wand and a light sword represent? Each seems to be a sign of magic, heroics, something more than mere human, right?

What happens when the writers who hold these objects come together in one room? They become the superheroes and spokespeople to let the world know about the importance of reading.

These are the Super National Ambassadors for Young...

January 9, 2012

I feel like I barely go through a week without reading about a school or district adopting e-readers for classrooms. Even at home, e-readers are becoming commonplace. Families are spending more time reading books with e-readers, even with their very young children.

Researchers at the Erickson Institute at Temple University seeking to understand the effect of an e-reader on the amount...

August 19, 2011

If they're not already open, schools everywhere are getting ready for a new year and so are children and their parents.

In addition to buying the supplies needed, a stop at the library or bookstore may be just the thing to help get children really back in the groove.

Books help children prepare for school in lots of ways whether it's their first time or just to remind them of...

July 19, 2011

This might be the most gorgeous description of a reader, just on the cusp of reading on her own:

At her age, "reading to yourself" means "reading out loud." Silent reading is perhaps a year away. I get caught up in listening. Can't help it! Such a delight, those confident trotting sentences and then the stumble, the try and re-try and a tap on my arm, "Mommy, what's this word?"...

July 5, 2011

We're experiencing a strange phenomenon in our house this summer. Molly, who turns 11 in August, has two books she's required to read before she starts 5th grade this fall. The two books are Little Women and...

May 31, 2011

We've gone from a lovely spring to brutal heat yet it's not even summer officially. The heat, however, reminds me that the dog days of summer are indeed close; that is, if they're not here already.

It's a great time to lay back with a good book to beat the heat and read about what else? Dogs.

Animal constellations may be a good place to start the story of summer's dog days....

May 23, 2011

I don't remember learning to read, really, but I do remember the warmth and pleasure when my mother read aloud to us as children. I was reminded of the power of books shared early and often when I saw a Mother's Day video done by First Book.

...

May 17, 2011

I don't read scary books, because they stay with me for far too long. But today by accident I read something really scary in The New York Times, called Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten.

It's an article about the rapid expansion of...

May 16, 2011

Three of my very favorite illustrators have been nominated for a very prestigious award, the Hans Christian Andersen.

Every other year, the names of an author and an illustrator are put forward for consideration for this international honor, selected by the National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (better known as...

March 10, 2011

Who knew March 9 was World Read Aloud Day? I'm sure lots of people did, but sadly I didn't until very late at night on March 9. And besides the directions on the box of brownie mix, I'm pretty sure I didn't read anything aloud to my girls that day. As our girls get older, I'm finding it harder and harder to find that family read aloud time. Soccer schedules, Destination Imagination (DI)...

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"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson