Connecting Through Books

We all know how important it is to read to our children. Not only is it good for their development, it helps create strong bonds.

Reading to your children doesn’t have to stop when they learn how to read to themselves, or when they outgrow picture books. That bonding time is just as important with older children. Also, chapter book read-alouds don’t have to be just for older kids. I started reading longer books to my daughter when she was 3 or 4.

For littler kids, you can start with shorter chapter books, such as Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, or Ramona, and work up to longer ones. The first one I remember reading to my daughter was “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” by Roald Dahl.

Here are some of my favorite read-alouds:

Matilda, Roald Dahl

The title character in “Matilda” is a lovable little girl who loves to read and has some special abilities. Some people love her for it, while others – such as her parents – do not. It’s a great story with a perfect ending.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is iconic, and if you haven’t read it already (or even if you have), “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is a great book to read aloud. Plus, through the month of April, it’s available for simultaneous checkout as an ebook and audiobook on Libby/OverDrive. Maybe a family book club is in your future?

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery

Who doesn’t love Anne Shirley? This story of a little girl with a big imagination is timeless and appeals to all ages. Warning: Reading “Anne of Green Gables” aloud will almost certainly lead to reading “Anne of Avonlea” next. Not that that is a bad thing.

Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo

“Because of Winn-Dixie” is a heartwarming story about a girl and a dog who find one another at just the right time. A lot happens to main character because of her new dog, Winn-Dixie – most of them good.

The BFG, Roald Dahl

Thanks to the movie that came out a few years ago, “The BFG” is probably a familiar story. It’s also extremely fun to read aloud. The BFG has a unique way of speaking…”is I right, or is I left?”

The ideas are endless. For more suggestions, I like the book “The Read-Aloud Family” by Sarah Mackenzie. She also has a blog.

Happy reading!

~Val