Are you ready for some gushing?
I don't know that I could really express how much I like The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. In fact, the thought of trying to do so is so overwhelming to me I have a hard time trying to come up with words...writer's block!
First of all, this book was sent to me by a blog reader. Now, publishers and publicists have sent me books to review before (I always let you know if a book was sent to me for review; but a book being sent to me would not slant my opinion at all). Readers have suggested I read books before. But never before has a reader had such a love for a book did she send me the book herself. I think that kind of gives you an idea how great this book is.
Second of all, I love books and I highly value reading to children. It is so important to me, one of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog was on the value of reading. So a book about the importance and value of reading, full of references to various studies would of course be of great interest to me.
This is, without question, one of the best parenting books I have ever read. No doubt.
A very refreshing thing about this book is that Trelease is an actual writer, so the book is well-written. It is easy to read, and somehow Trelease manages to keep this informational book interesting enough that I kept coming back to it like it was a Dan Brown book. Okay, this might be in part to my extreme love for the subject, but I promise it is an easy and even interesting read.
This book is all about how to help children learn to love to read. Not how to teach them to read or how to teach them phonics...just how to teach them to love to read. Why love to read? I go through this in my much earlier post on the value of reading, but if you can read then there is no limit to what you can do. You never have to stop learning. Your knowledge and imagination can increase indefinitely. But in order to turn to books, you must love them.
Another importance on love of reading is that if you love to read, you will read. That will translate into becoming better at reading, and every subject in life requires reading.
So that is just a little bit of why. Trelease covers ages on when to do things, various strategies for teaching this love, some school topics, and technology vs. reading. And all of it is full of references and explanations of studies that back his recommendations.
And to top that off, he has a very large list of books he recommends for children in various ages along with a synopsis of many of them.
This isn't one of those books that you read and feel completely overwhelmed. It is very doable. And simple.
Every parent needs to read this book--and they need to do it as soon as they possibly can. Not only will it help you improve the lives of your children, it will inspire you to try to improve the lives of other children who do not have the support needed to learn to love to read.
I recommend this book with all of the energy I can muster. You will not regret this read!
I am cross-posting this with the Children's Learning Activities blog today. I will also be further reviewing this book on this blog and that one, depending on which blog it is more appropriate for.