Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss...

National "Read Across America" Day was yesterday but I felt the celebration could be extended one more day.  I love reading...all of you know that...and I don't just love reading personally, I love reading out loud.

When I was in third grade, I had a life changing teacher.  You know the type...she loved teaching, she was infectious in her enthusiasm about learning, and she taught me something about myself.  I will never forget her!
One day I came home from school extolling the virtues of Ms. Luden, and I remember telling my mom that I wished I could read just like her.  My mom gave me the best piece of advice...practice.  That afternoon, I lined up my dolls and started reading out loud to them.

Reading out loud is so much's the giggle in your voice that hooks kids on reading, it's the voices for different characters that bring a new element to the story, it's the way a book can come to life in your hands.  In honor of "Read Across America", I wanted to share with you some of my all-time favorite read aloud books.  {FYI...there is no kid too old to be read husband often sits inside the kids bedroom door to listen, my oldest will climb out of bed to come and hear one of his favorites in his brother's room and the most apathetic, disrespectful middle-schooler can be hooked by a good read-aloud!}

  • The Cassowary's Egg by Gary Fleming...the rhythm in this story is perfect for reading out loud, and there is a delightful use of kids love the line  "I'm arachnophobic, where?"  and my favorite is, " was quite a good impression from a desperate, flightless bird!"
  • Skippy John Jones by Judith Shachner...these books are hysterical, and tell the tales of Skippy John Jones, a siamese cat who really wishes he was a chihuahua.  The stories beg to be read in a terrible Spanish accent and the capers of this kitty will keep your kiddos laughing.
  • The Lorax by Dr a gift to a friend, I once memorized this story!  While I can't recite the whole thing any longer, there are large chunks that still flow quite easily.  Story-wise, this is one of Dr Seuss's best and in terms of a read-aloud the Lorax provides a wonderful voice.
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling...even if kids are too young to truly appreciate the richness of the story line, these books make for amazing read-alouds.  There are so many characters that your voices will get a work out and the language she uses has a wonderful cadence.  It's also fun to have a story going on for a while.
I also love to pick up whatever book my kids are reading and just read a chapter to them.  It's relaxing for them and hearing fluent reading is important for children at all levels of reading development.  For kids who are more reluctant readers, I like to read three chapters to them...really get them hooked and then hand the book back to them.  

What are your favorite read-alouds?


  1. Such a great post Jen :) My kids had so much fun for "Wacky Wednesday Dr. Seuss Day"

  2. LOVE Skippyjon, The Lorax and Harry Potter…will need to check out the other :) My husband is currently reading HP #3 to one of our kids. My toddler is digging "Is your mama a llama?"


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