April 26, 2009

Pooky's Picks for Reading Out Loud

My college roommate Kacy, otherwise known as "Pooky", is my point person for all things family. Mother to three fantastic children, Kacy's groove just keeps getting better. She operates from the foundation of having an open home, where guests are always welcome, and children are nurtured and respected. In another life, I'd want to come back as one of her kids.

We had a conversation recently about what things (toys/books/tools/philosophies) make the biggest difference in our homes, and came up with many topics to share. Top of the list, as most parents might agree, is reading out loud. The Chinaberry Catalog has been a wonderful influence for Kacy's reading list, and a good starting point is a book called Under the Chinaberry Tree, Books and Inspirations for Mindful Parenting. I've copied the description here:

... a handbook of the joys of parenting, filled with reflections on daily life with children, tips, thoughts, quotes - and reviews of more than two hundred of some of the books that have appeared in the catalog since its beginning. These are the books that have enriched the lives of Patti's and Ann's own families, books that convey unconditional love, spark the imagination, cultivate tolerance and appreciation, celebrate nature, induce giggles, or bring a quiet, reverent close to the day.

Another suggestion that you may have heard about is The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. I had an earlier edition (with a different cover) when my kids were born, but it's now in its 6th edition. The opening paragraph pretty much lays it out:

It boils down to a simple, two-part formula:
*The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.
*The more you read, the more you know; and the more you know, the smarter you grow.

Thanks Kacy for these great tips! Can't wait to share what's next on the list, and any other recommendations folks have for their favorite read aloud sources and books!


All Things BD said...

While I was in college, a book fair was held on campus, and even though I had no kids, I picked up the 20th Century Children's Book Treasury. I kept moving it from apartment to apartment until we finally had kids.

It's been the best read aloud book I've ever purchased. It ranges from pictures only to longer stories. This worked well for whatever time I had to read to them.

Lorraine Akemann said...

Thanks BD! I might have that as well, tucked away in a box in the shed. I'll need to dust it off and dive in again!

Carolina said...

I'm going to have to go check out these books, they look great. I love reading aloud to my guy, somedays it seems like it's our only quiet time together. Well, it usually is our only quiet time together. As he got older, it's getting fun to read-aloud chapter books together. Reading aloud doesn't have to stop because they read thicker books. On his nightstand this week is Superfudge. It's the funniest thing I read all day.

Lorraine Akemann said...

Oh my - Superfudge - is that Judy Blume? I think I remember that book! Right now Colette has me reading the Ramona Quimby books, I just have to pace myself before my voice wears out (and I send her to go get water for me - added bonus of parental reading).

Tiffany T said...

My main issue is that my husband is SO GOOD at reading books aloud that my kids look at me like I'm a huge disappointment :). Skippy John Jones is the current favorite from my kids, but only if my husband reads it. Don't get me wrong, I do all the voices, I GET INTO IT, but after I'm done reading, my kids look at me like "yeah, that was alright, but not like Daddy". My nieces had that book read to them by my hubby, and they loved it so much they wanted the CD version - well, the guy on the CD isn't as good as my husband! Seriously, I love hearing him read to the kids so much that I will listen too. My hubby can't wait until he can read to the the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.

Lorraine Akemann said...

Hey Tiffany - this sounds like a similar situation we have in my house...Mike is so good at telling stories, that if I offer to tell a story I get shooed out of the room! Skippy John Jones - I'd better pick that up and start practicing!