We had a family visiting from out of town this weekend, so I didn’t have time to read too much. After everyone left yesterday afternoon, I did manage a to read some of the paper before I fell asleep for a lovely nap. The review of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather made me find my copy of My Antonia (more about that tomorrow) and I read Sean F. Reardon’s piece, “No Rich Child Left Behind” with dismay.
Hands down, the best part of my reading weekend was reading The Monster at the End of this Book to an almost 2 1/2 year old who’d never seen the book before. His year old brother enjoyed it too, but C’s reaction was priceless.
He recognized Grover right away, and was excited for me to get started reading. Of course I put everything I had into it. Voice raised at the appropriate time, whispering at the fine print, adding exaggerated facial expressions. He was mesmerized. And so serious. He kept looking up at me with big, sincere eyes, not sure if he wanted me to turn the page, yet trusting me that it would be okay.
C. and I had quite an audience for this story time, but he was so engrossed in the book he didn’t pay any attention them, and I ignored them because I didn’t want to break the spell. When we got to the last page, he laughed and clapped and wanted me to read it again. Which I did.
So much has been written about the importance of reading to children from an early age. Reach Out and Read’s website states that “reading aloud builds sound awareness in children.” NAEYC (The National Association for the Education of Young Children) recommends reading aloud to children from infancy. In “Reading Aloud With Children of All Ages,” Derry Koralek points out that reading aloud helps children “build their vocabularies with words they can understand and use.”
I could go on and on about the research. But C didn’t care about any of that. He cared that we shared a silly story, laughed and made crazy faces. For him, the best reason for reading aloud was that it was fun.
Be sure to visit Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts to find out what others are reading today.