Little Lit Book Series The Read-Aloud Edition

A few months ago, we published a special edition of the #littlelitbookseries on Instagram, sharing notable quotes from Jim Trelease’s incredible work, The Read-Aloud Handbook.  We’re sharing them all in this post.

Little Lit Book Series The Read-Aloud Edition

By @averyandaugustine — Today we’re sharing the benefits of reading aloud in a special post for #littlelitbookseries.  Reading aloud to your kids is one of the most important things that you’ll do for their learning and education.  Everyone will be sharing different quotes from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.  It’s our hope that you’ll realize the amazing things you’re doing for your children as you read aloud to them, and that those reasons will compel to do it on a regular basis, amidst today’s busyness and crowded schedules.

In the following excerpt from The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease discusses the four characteristics of a home environment that supports a successful reader.

"The research, as well as studies done of pupils who respond to initial classroom instruction without difficulty, indicates four factors are present in the home environment of every early reader:

1. The child is read to on a regular basis.  This is the factor most often cited among early readers.  In Dolores Durkin’s 1966 study, all of the early readers had been read to regularly.  In addition, the parents were avid readers and led by example.

2. A wide variety of printed material—books, magazines, newspapers, comics—is available in the home.  Nearly thirty years after Durkin’s study, NAEP studies reported that the more printed materials found in a child’s home, the higher the student’s writing, reading, and math skills…

3. Paper and pencil are readily available for the child.

4. The people in the child’s home stimulate the child’s interest in reading and writing by answering endless questions, praising the child’s efforts at reading and writing, taking the child to the library frequently, buying books, writing stories that the child dictates, and displaying his paperwork in a prominent place in the home."

Little Lit Book Series The Read-Aloud Edition

By @averyandaugustine — We have a special #littlelitbookseries post in store for you all today—the read-aloud edition.  We wanted to share why it’s so vital to read aloud to your children every day and we’re including quotes from Jim Trelease’s excellent work, The Read-Aloud Handbook.  If you haven’t read it already, we highly recommend it as he shares incredibly valuable information about how to help our children excel in school, and in life.  He talks about all aspects of reading aloud, its countless benefits, the research supporting it and how to effectively read aloud with every age group.  He also provides a wide selection of books that make wonderful read-alouds in the last section of his book entitled “Treasury of Read-Alouds.”  The Read-Aloud Handbook is one of the most important books about education that I have ever read and I think every family should have a copy of it.  The following is an excerpt from the book.

“Parker tells anxious parents who ask about improving their child’s SAT scores, ‘The best SAT preparation course in the world is to read to your child in bed when they’re little.  Eventually, if that’s a wonderful experience for them, they’ll start to read themselves.’  Parker told me he’s never met a student with high verbal SAT scores who wasn’t a passionate reader, and nearly always they recall being read to.  An ACT or SAT prep course can’t package that passion, but parents like Susan and Tad Williams have done it and so can you.”  Quote from Tom Parker, the former admissions director for Williams College, now at Amherst College, two of the nation’s prestigious small colleges.

Now on to sharing one of my favorite read-alouds.  Even though Miss Nelson has been around for four decades, she never goes out of style.  Miss Nelson stories make terrific read-alouds—probably some of the most entertaining ones out there.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @bonjour_mes_amies — For this month's special post, the #littlelitbookseries is sharing from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. He writes, "As you read to a child, you're pouring into the child's ears (and brain) all the sounds, syllables, endings, and blendings, that will make up the words that she will someday be asked to read and understand. And through stories you are filling in the background knowledge necessary to understand things that aren't in her neighborhood-like war or whales or locomotives." Being a parent as well as a primary teacher, I know that both my own kids and students are ALL ears when I read a story aloud. Something magical happens. We're all transported to different worlds, past or present, and engaged beyond belief. It reminded of a time when I read Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes to a third grade class. We all traveled back in time to when an atom bombed dropped in Hiroshima. None of us have ever experienced war or have been to Japan before. But we were truly all there. Or even the time I read Charlotte's Web to my eldest when she was in first grade. And I cried when she asked me what 'magnum opus' meant. I told her that she was my 'magnum opus', my greatest work. The dialogue and deep discussions from read-alouds are priceless. Till this day my daughter attests to knowing one Latin phrase. Haha! Oh, this book speaks volumes on the importance of reading aloud to children. It's an invaluable resource that parents, grandparents, teachers, or anyone that impacts kids, should have on their shelf.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @bookbloom — Of all the parenting books in the world I'd argue that The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease is really the only parenting book you need. My copy was gifted to me at my baby shower and I've referenced it numerous times in the last couple years. A combination of research, personal anecdotes, and read-aloud suggestions (yes, actual book lists by reading level), make this book both informative and practical for any adult that reads to children.

If you don't have time to read the book in its entirety, follow along with #littlelitbookseries today for key highlights and salient quotes. "Reading is like riding a bicycle, driving a car, or sewing: In order to get better at it you must do it. And the more you read, the better you get at it. The past thirty years of reading research confirms this simple formula, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or socioeconomic background. Students who read the most also read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest.”

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @bookbloom — As summer quickly approaches I wanted to share one more quote from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. "How can you prevent the traditional summer reading gap? Research gives little support to traditional summer school but a great deal to summer reading--reading to the child and reading by the child." Children who read at least five (5) books in the summer are more likely to start school in the fall ready to learn. Whereas children who do not read over the summer actually lose the reading gains they made the previous year.

Need motivation to keep your kid(s) reading during the summer? ☀️📚Here are five tips:
1. Set aside a time each week to regularly go to the library. If your library offers a summer reading program (most do), sign-up with your kid(s) and work together to met your reading goals. My daughter isn't two yet and we've already completed half of our 25 summer reading tasks.

2. Pack a reading picnic, where you take books about food and read the books during/after you eat. Can I Eat That? by Joshua David Stein and Julia Rothman is great for this.

3. Set aside time each day when your family can read together or on their own. Set a timer for 20 minutes and pile into cozy chairs or lounge outside in a hammock.

4. Take a reading vacation together! Gabrielle Blair from @designmom talks about her family's experience doing this (complete with itinerary) on her website.

5. Add variety to your regular routine. Try lift-the-flap, wordless, or seek-and-find books. Audiobooks are another great option to keep kids excited about reading. Above are six of our current read-aloud favorites.

📷 Pictured: six of our current read-aloud favorites.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @carterhiggins — Today's a special edition of the #littlelitbookseries, and we're looking at read alouds. Why do they matter? What makes a great one? If you are a parent or an educator, you're probably familiar with The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. And if you're not, hop through this hashtag for a look at posts that matchup with some of Trelease's thoughts in the book. You'll get a good roundup of read alouds here at the start of summer too, so let's kick things off right!

From the book: "Baseball players have to play regularly, but they spend most of their time either in the field or in the dugout, watching others run, hit, catch, and throw. Good writers do the same--they write, but they read even more, watching how other people throw words around to catch meaning. The more you read, the better you write--and the NAEP's Writing Report Card proves it. The highest-scoring student writers were not those who wrote the most each day, but rather the students who read the most recreationally, had the most printed materials in their homes, and did regular essay writing in class." ⚾️📝 The more you read, the better you write.

My friend @julie_falatko is a shining example of this, and this book is the result of her expertise in being a reader of modern picture books. A student of the classics. An adventurer with the form. This book is smart and savvy storytelling, and it's a sneaky look at the writing process itself. But your little readers (or your but-I-don't-like-reading readers won't know that. They'll just want to read it. And then write. And then read it again.

Let them read.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @gigglegirlsbookclub — Happy June! Sharing this morning a bit from Jim Trelease's "The Read-Aloud Handbook" as part of the #littlelitbookseries. "We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond, to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity and to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also:
—Build vocabulary
—Condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
—Create background knowledge
—Provide a reading role model
—Plant the desire to read”
—My now confident and avidly reading 7 year old still enjoys and prefers that I read to her at night for those reasons listed above and also because it is still such a special bonding time for us as I've been reading to her since I carried her (and 4 year old brother) in my belly. He gets to hear and see and experience her adventures and she gets to relive books from her toddler days as I read the books they choose to them both. I get to experience stories from my childhood all over again and stay connected with them in their world. I will read aloud to them as long as they will have me.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @juliasbookbag— There's a special #littlelitbookseries post today! About the joys and the importance of reading out loud with your children. My pals and fellow contributors and I have all picked quotes from 'The Read-Aloud Handbook' by Jim Trelease. It covers in fascinating depth how children benefit from reading aloud, and gives insightful tips and suggestions regarding effective ways to read aloud with kids of all ages. The last section of his book covers a huge array of selections that make for excellent read-alouds.
My daughter is 10, and we've been reading to her since she was 6 months old. As much as schedules allow, my husband and I try to read with her every night, and we've talked about how to keep going with this as she gets older. She says, "we'll just keep reading bigger and more grown-up books!" In Jim's book, a common question he hears is, "At what age should I stop reading to my child?" According to The Read-Aloud Handbook, "Almost as big a mistake as not reading to children at all is stopping too soon.... Every time we read aloud to a child or class, we're giving a commercial for the pleasures of reading.... According to experts, it is a reasonable assertion that reading and listening skills begin to converge at about eighth grade. Until then, kids usually listen on a higher level than they read on. Reading aloud to children increases their listening comprehension, which feeds reading comprehension." The book I have pictured above is from 'Swedish Folk Tales' by John Bauer, an eternal favorite. My 10 year old still loves fairy tales and folk tales that are longer in length - things she didn't have the patience for when she was younger.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @kidlitbookaday — This week for the #littlelitbookseries, we are sharing quotes from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, an amazing resource for parents about the wonder of reading, packed with practical advice and the most wonderful reading list. "When we read to a child, we're sending a pleasure message to the child’s brain. You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure. There are, however, displeasures associated with reading and school. The learning experience can be tedious or boring, threatening, and often without meaning—endless hours of worksheets, intensive phonics instruction, and unconnected test questions. If a child seldom experiences the pleasures of reading but increasingly meets displeasures, then the natural reaction will be withdrawal.” One of the absolute pleasures of my day is reading aloud to my children. It's a grounding ritual for us, quieting our bodies and minds to take in a good story, often before they drift off to sleep. I have always loved to read, and I have loved sharing that with my kids. I've taken a very hands-off approach to teaching my own son to read, relying instead on teaching him a love of story, through sharing thousands of picture books, and, in the last few years, short chapter books (some of our favourites pictured here). He is 6.5 years old, and just starting to sound words out and read on his own. And even when he does eventually read confidently on his own, we will not stop reading to him. It's a way of connecting deeply over the shared love of story, that I hope will ensure his association of happiness with reading, enduring as he grows and blossoming into new traditions when he has a family one day.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @littlebooksbigworld — I strongly believe that a child that WANTS to read (i.e. has a love for reading) will easily learn the mechanics of reading when they are developmentally ready. If this is true, one of the most important things we can do as caregivers is to read aloud to our littles And then, get this... once our children are reading on their own (hooray!), we need to continue reading aloud to them. 📚 "...American children begin reading at a level that is among the best in the world, but since reading is an accrued skill and U.S. children appear to do less of it as they grow older, their scores decline compared with countries where children read more as they mature.” (p7) "One factor hidden in the decline of students' recreational reading is that it coincides with a decline in the amount of time adults read to them." (p6) 📚
So start young. Read often. And don't stop. Picture books. Chapter books. Non-fiction. Magazines. Poetry. Build that vocabulary. Increase knowledge. Invite discussions. Strengthen your relationship. Raise a reader. 🙌🏻 📚 THE READ ALOUD HANDBOOK is one of the most important books I have ever read and I find myself referring back to its highlighted and underlined pages time and time again. It is the book I would recommend to every new parent and to anyone with questions or concerns about reading. My friend @averyandaugustine coordinated this #littlelitbookseries to showcase the wisdom of THE READ ALOUD HANDBOOK. Click on the hashtag or visit the links below to read excerpts from the book that other contributors have chosen to share. And please, find yourself a copy of this book!

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @live_read_write — Reading aloud has many benefits, many of which Jim Trelease outlines and celebrates in the The Read-Aloud Handbook. This invaluable resource, first published in the 1980s (updated and revised seven times), not only contains research, practical how-to tips and strategies, and inspiring anecdotes, but a TREASURY of read-aloud books. There's a reason it's called a treasury, a 100+ page categorized and annotated guide of diverse read-aloud suggestions from classic to modern titles. Whether you are a seasoned teacher or parent who already believes in the power of reading aloud or a newbie, this easy-to-read conversational style book will refresh, inspire, and equip you for your home or classroom read aloud journey.

Today, the #littlelitbookseries is sharing quotes and highlights from the book.

"As you read to a child, you’re pouring into the child’s ears (and brain) all the sounds, syllables, endings, and blendings that will make up the words she will someday be asked to read and understand. And through stories you are filling in the background knowledge necessary to understand things that aren’t in her neighborhood—like war or whales or locomotives.” 👂🏼📚🚂

This quote underscores the "filling of the tank" that reading aloud provides for children of all ages. Let's fill those tanks, parents, grandparents, and educators!

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @live_read_write — Language is fascinating. One of the common denominators often talked about in my linguistics and language acquisition grad classes was input. While many factors go into acquiring and producing language -- first, second, or beyond -- a variety of spoken and written input is important especially in the early stage stages of learning.

One easy and enjoyable way to provide input is reading aloud, the topic of today's special edition of the #littlelitbookseries. Conversation certainly has its place but read-aloud print is what really primes a child's or student's language and vocabulary development for the future. Jim Trelease shares some important figures in The Read-Aloud Handbook:

"[Conversation] consists of the five thousand words we use all the time, called the Basic Lexicon. (Indeed, 83 percent of the words in normal conversation with a child come from the most commonly used thousand words, and it doesn’t change much as the child ages.) Then there are another five thousand words we use in conversation less often. Together, those ten thousand words are called the Common Lexicon. Beyond that ten thousand mark are the “rare words,” and these play a critical role in reading as we grow older. The eventual strength of our vocabulary is determined not by the ten thousand common words but buy how many rare words we understand. If we don’t use these rare words very often in conversation, where do we find them?" Trelease cites that a children's book contains more than three times as many rare words than regular conversation.

I'll leave you with an example of rich vocabulary from a book by one of our favorite children's book authors, Leo Lionni. In this selection from The Alphabet Tree, an ant says to his friend, "One day the breeze became a strong gust and the gust became a gale. The letters clung to the leaves with all their might -- but some were blown away, and the others were very frightened. When the storm had passed, they huddled together in fear, deep in the foliage of the lower branches."

Note the words breeze, gust, gale, clung, and foliage. All part of a picture book designed to be read aloud with young children! 📚✨

Happy Reading!

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @ourbookbag — I love reading and I want my kids to love to read too. Picture books provide a combination of ideas and images that create magic. I love reading and re-reading our favourite books.
Today as part of the #littlelitbookseries we are sharing quotes from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. "Research shows that even when children reach primary grades, repeated picture book reading of the same book (at least three times) increases vocabulary acquisition by 15 to 40 percent, and the learning is relatively permanent.”

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @picturethisbook — Today we have a special read-aloud edition of the #littlelitbookseries, inspired by Jim Trelease's reading bible, The Read-Aloud Handbook. He writes: "We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond, to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity and to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also:
— Build vocabulary
— Condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
— Create background knowledge
— Provide a reading role model
— Plant the desire to read"

Having read to the kids almost every day since they were born, I can attest to all of the above. Even now, when my 6yo has morphed into a confident reader, and my 4yo is seizing every opportunity to practise reading aloud independently, the kids still enjoy it when we read aloud to them, particularly before bedtime. In fact they often refuse to go to bed until they've had their fill of stories for the night! Pictured is a typically atypical motley of books that I read aloud to the kids last night: a mix of modern and vintage, familiar and new. The kids are at a stage where they have moved past the need to re-read the same books every night, which makes bedtime reading fun for all of us since we often discover a new favourite (or three) together. But no matter what you read at bedtime (or whenever you find time to do so), the most important thing is to be consistent and read aloud regularly to your kids, and you'll be rewarded a thousandfold ✨📖✨

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @sunlitpages — It would be hard for me to put into words just exactly how much I love reading aloud to my kids because it has profoundly and positively affected every aspect of my motherhood.

Today we're bringing you a special edition of the #littlelitbookseries, all about the benefits that come from reading aloud to our kids, and let me tell you, I am a believer of every single one of them.

In his landmark book, The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease discusses those benefits, as well as shares a gigantic list of book recommendations. He said: "Reading aloud is the catalyst for the child wanting to read on his own, but it also provides a foundation by nurturing the child’s listening comprehension. In an international study of 150,000 fourth graders, researchers found that students who were read to ‘often’ at home scored thirty points higher than students who were read to ‘sometimes.’ It stands to reason that the more often a child is read to, the more words are heard (bringing the child closer to comprehending more), and the more likely it is the child will associate reading with a daily pleasure experience.” Summer break is the perfect time to try out reading aloud with your kids, and all of the books in this photo were instant favorites when we read them aloud. Personally, I'm looking forward to the extra time in the mornings and afternoons to read even more than we usually do. I love summer!

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @teeandpenguin — Excuse the interruption from our travel themed week, but we are participating in a special "read aloud" edition of the #littlelitbookseries and are excited to share some thoughts on The Read Aloud Handbook. For those of you who know me personally, you probably know I struggle pretty consistently with the state of education in our country, where it's headed, how the effects of constant test prep diminish the joy of learning, how kindergarten (at least in Texas) is essentially what 1st grade used to be etc.- you get the picture. But I do take solace in the fact that my children will cumulatively spend more hours with me at home than they will at school in their lifetime and one of the things I make a point to do with them each day is read to them aloud. I may not be the best cook or housekeeper but I am a fantastic reader! I've also made growing our home library a priority because this really resonates with me, "Print in the home is a proven life changer worldwide. Using data from seventy thousand families in twenty-seven nations, accumulated over multiple decades, researchers showed more books in the home led to a higher grade level completion rate. The higher the number of books in the home library (0, 25, 75, 500) the greater were the chances of the student completing ninth grade, high school, or university, even after adjusting for parents' income, education, and occupation. It stands to reason that if we're not giving children time to read recreationally in school (because they're too busy doing test prep), then the reading must be done at home if they're going to become competent readers.”

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @thekaleidoscopeca — For the #littlelitbookseries this month we are talking about the importance of reading aloud to your children.  One of the questions I love that people ask me is "how do I teach writing and spelling with picture books?" Rereading picture books is a great way to grasp meaning of words, by seeing the pictures and imagining the word in use to hearing and seeing the word itself over and over.

Picture books are full of vocabulary gems like "raucous", "spectacular", "pandemonium" and "captivating". I hope to keep reading to my children as long as I can.

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @welovebookworms — Jim Trelease (2006) writes, "One factor hidden in the decline of students’ recreational reading is that it coincides with a decline in the amount of time adults read to them. By middle school, almost no one is reading aloud to students.  If each read-aloud is a commercial for the pleasures of reading, then a decline in advertising would naturally be reflected in a decline in students’ recreational reading" (page 4). Yes, this statement is true. I barely read aloud to my eleven-year-old. Honestly, I'm usually reading picture books to my six-year-old and have the others independently read chapter books. So I've challenged myself to read aloud from a chapter book. The book of choice - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Best. Decision. Ever. My boy is hooked! He asks for more even though his siblings are fast asleep. I'd say it's a success so far and will increase my children's recreational reading. #littlelitbookseries

Little Lit Book Series: The Read-Aloud Edition

By @writesinla#littlelitbookseries is featuring The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease today, showcasing the benefits of reading to children. Reading to Kids here in Los Angeles is a wonderful organization that does just that one Saturday morning a month at various area schools. It's an enriching volunteer experience (I've loved it every time I've attended) that has a big impact on kids' lives with each session of reading, discussing, crafting, and a book to take home! K - 5th graders often come to Saturday reading clubs for six years!

And now, a quote from the handbook:
“From the U.S. Department of Education Commission on Reading's 1985 report entitled Becoming a Nation of Readers, in which thousands of research projects conducted in the past quarter century were reviewed: 'The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. ... It is a practice that should continue throughout the grades.' The commission found conclusive evidence to support reading aloud not only in the home but also in the classroom. In their wording--'the single most important activity'--the experts were saying that reading aloud was more important than work sheets, homework, book reports, and flash cards.”

We hope that we've shared some inspiration or information new to you in this post.  Check out Jim Trelease's website for even more information, research and suggestions for reading aloud.