Friday, August 12, 2011

Melanie's Must Read List #1

In the course of a couple weeks I had 2 friends ask about books that have changed my life.  While I know there are several I really couldn't come up with a comprehensive list off the top of my head.  But as I was thinking recently a couple came to mind so I thought as inspiration hits me I would share some of my favorite books with you.

"The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease definitely tops my must read list.  The first half of the book will inspire you to read aloud to your children not just when they are little and can't read but throughout their childhood.  Sharing wonderful stories with your children giving them a love of reading, learning and dreaming. 

It even inspired me to read aloud to my husband on occasion when I come across a particularly good passage in a book or article I am reading.  Sharing those stories and knowledge brings us together, and has caused my husband and I to enjoy a few books together. 

What is really fun is when the tables turn and your child can read to you!  I remember around 3rd grade Jake and I were reading "Mossflower" by Brian Jacques.  It was getting really good and Jake wanted to just read it without me but I wouldn't let him.  I was too busy to read to him so I proposed he read to me while I worked on my project.  What a treat to have your child read aloud to you!

And he doesn't just talk about picture or story books but encourages you to read all different genres.  I found myself checking poetry books out of the library after reading this book.  While I haven't passed on as much poetry to Jake as I would have liked the book caused me to give him an introduction I would have otherwise avoided.

The second half of the book is basically a reading list.  A "treasury" of read aloud books.  He lists hundreds of titles with brief descriptions starting with a listing of "wordless" books and moving through picture books, novels, poetry, etc.  You couldn't possibly read them all before your child grows up.  I bought my version at a garage sale and it is an original from 1982 when first published but I know I have seen updated versions which probably have updated book lists with even more books.

I must confess that Isabelle being a typical second child has not gotten nearly the attention in the book reading department as Jake did.  If I try to read to her in the middle of the day she starts crying and telling me it is not her bed time.  But while watching Isabelle this summer my mom has taken up the mantle and has been working through "The Secret Garden" with her.  I taught her a few of my favorite tricks used with Jake:  Tell her you will quit reading after 2 or 3 chapters if she doesn't like it (we never didn't like a book by that point) and let her play quietly with another toy while listening.  Some kids are happy to sit and listen but if Jake wasn't also playing with Lego's forget it.  I knew from conversation and the fact that he at times begged me to keep reading til I was hoarse that he was listening and learning so I was happy to let him do other things.

Now head to your nearest library and check this book out.  Definitely on my must read list.

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