The Most Important Step in Getting Your Child Ready to Read: Book of the Week GIVEAWAY

August 27, 2013

The Most Important Step in Getting Children Ready to Read from

Week at a Glance:

  • Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: Baby Bear’s Books by Jane Yolen
  • Getting Children Ready to Read
  • When to Begin Reading to Children
  • How to Pick Read Aloud Books
  • Read Aloud Tips
  • How to Start Quiet Reading Time for Little Ones

Baby Bear's Books GIVEAWAY

Book of the Week: Baby Bear’s Books by Jane Yolen

Why we love this book:

Rhyming, sing-song text and adorable pictures make this read aloud book irresistible. Baby bear loves books from morning until night. He loves them when he wakes. He loves them by the lake. He loves them when he snacks and he loves them when he naps. Snuggle-up your children and get ready to rhyme. This is one they’ll want to hear more than one time!

Baby Bear's Books GIVEAWAY

A simply lovely message about family bonding and the joy of reading!

Getting Your Child Ready to Read

Jeannine tea party

My mother did absolutely nothing to “prepare” me for school. No flashcards, no letters, no numbers, no art activities, no “planned” play experiences. Day after day, she let me play and play and play some more. But every day at nap time she snuggled with me on her bed and read to me. To this day, I cherish those snugly moments with my mother. And guess what; that mother who did not “teach” me blessed me with one of the greatest joys in my life . . . reading!

I didn’t attend kindergarten! I walked into first grade a blank slate. Reading in first grade was loads of workbooks and reading with mean, mean, mean old Mrs. Meany Reading Teacher! Thankfully, my mother had already planted a seed that still lives in me today. Thanks to my mother, I’ve read a book just about every day of my life.

The Read Aloud Handbook

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

I have heard The Read-Aloud Handbook referenced for many years. Since the day I started teaching, I have been a big proponent of reading aloud to children. Unfortunately, I just never got around to reading The Read-Aloud Handbook. I thought to myself, “I’m already a believer!” When The Read-Aloud Handbook released the 7th edition this summer, I decided it was time to take a peek.

Now that I’ve read The Read-Aloud Handbook, I can say this is a book every parent, teacher and administrator should read! Jim Trelease has a writing style that is conversational and very easy to read. At the same time, the book is full of research and statistics to back up his advocacy for reading aloud to children (young and old). Additionally, he shares stories from parents and teachers who have experienced success with reading aloud. And if you don’t know where to start, the last section of the book is a treasury of suggested books by age and genre.

Bedtime Books with Daddy

When to Begin Reading Aloud to Children

  • It’s never too early!
  • I always give board books as Baby Shower Gifts.
  • I began reading to both of my children when they were tiny little infants. We snuggled on the bed, they stared at the pictures in rapture and kicked at the bright colors.
    • Of course they ate a few books along the way, but it was well worth it.
  • Daddy took over the bedtime reading when MacGyver was about 6 mos. old. Ten years later they are still going strong. Yes, sometimes the kiddos and Daddy fall asleep during bedtime books. Sweetness!

When to Stop Reading Aloud to Children

  • NEVER!
  • The Read-Aloud Handbook will tell you all about it!


How to Pick Books for Young Children

  • Books with simple, big, bold and bright pictures.
  • Books with simple and repetitive text.
  • Books that are written in a pattern style, with a rhythm that children quickly chime into.
  • Books that include easy familiar words that help children build a little core of known words.
  • What should we look for when picking books for preschoolers.


Inviting Children to Share the Read Aloud Experience

  • I read books with excitement conveying a message of pleasure and enjoyment!
  • I read their favorite books over and over again.
  • Once the pattern of the text has been established, I simply pause and most children will eagerly join in.

Red Bird, Red Bird what do you see? I see a yellow duck . . . “looking at me.”

  • Once the children are familiar with the book, I invite them to read along.
    • Yes, at this stage most of it will be memorization. This early confidence will serve them well as they begin reading independently.
  • I model one-to-one pointing as I read.
  • Engage children in casual conversation a
    • Before the book: “Look at the picture. Who do you think this story will be about?”
    • During the book: “What do you think is on the next page? What do you think will happen next?”
    • After the book: “What was your favorite part of the story?”
  • Not every book needs to be a lesson. Above all we read for enjoyment.

Reading in a tent. early literacy

Introducing Quiet Reading Time

  • Early on, young children can be invited to look at books independently. Often, they even know the words to their favorite books.
  • In the beginning, 5 or 10 minutes will be long enough. I always follow the lead of the children.
  • This is NOT a silent reading time. I simply explain it as a quiet reading. Little ones must read out loud.
  • If it doesn’t work the first time, try, try again.

Quiet Reading Time

  • At about age 3 or 4, I make a basket of familiar books for our quiet reading time.
  • These are books with which the children are familiar and they can read. They know the story line or have the book memorized.
  • When these get boring we change them around a bit.

The 3 Ways to Read a Book

  • At around age 5, children may begin telling you, “But I don’t know how to read!”
  • This is when I introduce the 3 ways to Read a Book
  1. You can read the words.
  2. You can read the pictures. I teach the children how to look at the pictures and tell a story.
  3. You can look for letters and words you know. It’s like playing a game of I spy.

  10 New Favorite Read Alouds from

10 New Favorite Read Aloud Books

10 Things Children Learn From Read Alouds

1. Reading is FUN!

  • Before children learn the alphabet and sight words, they need to experience the joy of reading.
  • We want to grow life long readers and learners! So put away the flashcards and snuggle-up with those little children and a good book.

2. Books are ENTERTAINING!

  • Children need to know that books are entertainment. Books are funny, sad, suspenseful and full of adventure.
  • Books are like T.V. and movies on paper, only more fun because you get to use your imagination.

3. Books are INTERESTING!

  • Children love facts! They need to know that books are loaded with interesting tidbits of information.
  • We want to grow life long learners that seek out knowledge. Books are knowledge!

4. What Good Readers Sound Like

  • How to read with fluency.
  • How to read with phrasing.
  • How to read with expression.

5. What “Story Book Language” Sounds Like

  • Most books sound different than our “regular” every day talking. Children need to become familiar with the language of books.

6. New Vocabulary

  • Read alouds allow children to experience advanced vocabulary they aren’t ready to read independently.

7. A Core of Easy Familiar Words

8. How to read from the left of the page to the right of the page.

9. How to read from the top of the page to the bottom of the page.

10. How to read pointing one-to-one.

Life with Jeannine

Baby Bear's Books GIVEAWAY

We’re GIVING AWAY one Hard Cover Copy of Baby Bear’s Books by Jane Yolen

To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.

Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

What was your favorite book when you were a wee little baby bear?  (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, September 1, 2013

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, September 2, 2013. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sharing this week at:

Hip Homeschool Hop

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin August 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm

When I was little I liked hearing my Mom read “Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel”

Ellie August 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I named my teddybear after Corduroy, so I’m pretty certain I loved that book from an early age!

Jane Yolen is a wonderful author to highlight.

Tara H August 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Well, I have lots of books that were mine when I was little that are now on my boys’ bookshelves, but I don’t remember having a favorite. My parents didn’t read to me. I’m trying to do that better with my boys. I am grateful for all the encouragement that I always read here about reading aloud! It helps me do it even when I really don’t want to! So thank you, Jeannine! :)

Jeannine August 28, 2013 at 6:29 am

Tara I’m happy to be your encouragement! Jim Trelease stresses that the only way you get better at reading is by reading. And the more you read the easier it gets. And the easier it gets the more you do it and the more you like it! Reading aloud to children is the first step in the process!

Corduroy and Mike Mulligan are beloved classics. I even remember Ramona Quimby reading Mike Mulligan!

Julie August 28, 2013 at 7:10 am

I don’t know my favorite as a kid, but my favorite to read to my kids when they were smaller we’re Each Peach, Pear, Plum, and Peepo, both by the Ahlbergs.

patrick cordery August 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

pete the cat that seems like a good book to read I subscribe email

Dianne August 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I don’t remember having a favorite as a kid. My oldest daughter loved “The Little Red Hen”. My youngest, age 3, loves Curious George.

Jeannine August 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

We just read Each Peach, Pear Plum today!
Kiddos still love the classics don’t they. I guess that’s why they are classics!

Tanya August 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I loved Little Bear books! Reading was all I did as a child if not then I was writing.

tammy c August 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I love all the Doctor Seuss books when I was a kid.

Jeannine September 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

Kids can’t resists Doctor Seuss with all of his silly rhymes and patterns!

Leann @ Hip Homeschool Moms September 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

LOVE this post! In fact, we loved it so much, it’s one of the featured posts on tomorrow’s Hip Homeschool Hop! Thanks for linking us last week!

Jeannine September 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

Thank you so much for visiting and featuring this read aloud post! Our passion is getting books into the hands of children. Nothing jump starts reading like reading aloud to our children!

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