Wednesday, February 24, 2016

World Read Aloud Day -- Hooray!

Today is World Read Aloud Day, and I am proud to say that my family celebrated!

Especially if you have young children in your life, check out Mem Fox's 10 Read Aloud Commandments.  If you're intrigued and inspired by the commandments, try her wonderful book Reading Magic

Donalyn Miller, reading teacher extraordinaire and author of the much-adored The Book Whisperer, has a great piece on Scholastic's web site:  "Never too old: Reading aloud to independent readers."  Again, if you're intrigued and inspired, consider reading The Book Whisperer or its follow-up, Reading in the Wild.

Whatever you do, stay committed to reading aloud to the kids in your life!

I read to and with my kindergartner every day, but I admit that I sometimes fall out of the habit with my older kids, who are now independent readers.  We have had some great read alouds of Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins books and her Ramona ones.  I have read aloud Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy two times through with my sons and will try for a third time with my daughter (I checked it out of my school library once a month for much of my early grade career and heart it so much).

We celebrated World Read Aloud Day after dinner this evening.  I read Last Stop on Market Street, which I purchased at the Scholastic Book Fair at school because I loved the cover.  What a gorgeous book with a beautiful (but subtle) message and wonderful language:

The outside air smelled like freedom, but it also smelled like rain, 
which freckled CJ's shirt and dripped down his nose.

The bus creaked to a stop in front of them.  It sighed and sagged and the doors swung open.

"Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful."

I could go on!  Matt De La Pena (author) and Christian Robinson (illustrator) so deserve all their many honors and awards.*

My oldest chose several poems from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.  My middle guy took on BJ Novak's The Book with No Pictures.  My newly-minted reader treated us to Mo Willem's I Really Like SlopA highlight of the day for sure, much better than one of the 167 episodes of Full House in our DVR.

I gathered some favorite family read alouds to pose for a pic.  I'm sure I'm forgetting many beloved read alouds, but here are some thoughts/tips ...

David Shannon's No, David! books -- Kids relate to David and can easily memorize these books, which they love! 

Ruth Krauss's I Can Fly -- Such a pleasure to read well-written rhyming books.  Joy in the language and in the beautiful illustrations in this one!  Captures the spirit of childhood.

Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox -- A simple story, but calming and engrossing.

Just a Little Critter Collection by Mercer Mayer -- We adore Little Critter at our house, and it's fun to read from these anthologies.  You can read book after book with no lag time for decisions or negotiations!

I Really Like Slop by Mo Willems -- The Elephant and Piggie books are so funny and clever.  I laugh out loud.  Beginning readers can practice reading with expression and timing, and it's such a pleasure to listen.  

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein -- Again, the pleasures of language itself!

Goose Goofs Off -- One of my favorite books from the 1980s Sweet Pickles glory days.

The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak -- Perfect for gifting.  My kids laugh at this book every time, whether they are the ones listening or reading.  Cool for them to see the power of words.

I'd love to know what the beloved read alouds are in your home or classroom. 

Starting next month on March 24th, you're invited to join my Read Aloud Roll Call.  Write a post about some read aloud experiences in your home or classroom and link up on the 24th of each month.  More on that later!

Thoughts on reading aloud or any of the books mentioned in this post?  Please share in comments.  Happy Reading!

* Last Stop on Market Street's Honors:  Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015, A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015


  1. A similar book to inspire reading aloud well into the independent reading stage is Alice Ozma's The Reading Promise. I don't think I'll be showing up during prom to read to my kids, as her dad did, but still, a good thing to make a priority for sure. I have tried to get into books that will work for all three of my kiddos, as I simply don't have the energy to read separately to each of them anymore. But I feel like I want to make time for the books that would be just right for each of them right now, so I long to find the time to do so.

  2. I remember hearing about that book -- I will add it to the list, though, like you, I don't see myself showing up at prom or even a Boy Scout campout to read aloud. Your comment makes me think I should be thinking about what book each kid needs right now. I have one, in particular, who needs some kind of boost. Maybe literary? I'll have to ponder. I have most of my own childhood books here and am wondering if they'd be interested in listening to an All-of-a-Kind Family novel or maybe Henry Reed or Anastasia. Sort of panicking that they are going to grow up before I can share my favorites, but I guess that is ok if they come up with their own.