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Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
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Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,062 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Bestselling author and literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read.

All parents want and expect their children to learn to read, but few realize they can get their kids on the road to reading long before they start school simply by reading aloud to them every day. With passi
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Paperback, 156 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,932)
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Hayden
If there was ever a child likely to be bludgeoned by books until he hates the sight of them, it is our child, the offspring of two librarians. I am the choir to this book's preacher. Still, when a children's librarian I work with recommended this book to me, I picked it up and read it over a few lunch breaks.

If you are looking for a lot of science facts about how reading to your child will make him better than all the other children, this is not the book for you. All evidence provided is anecdot
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Evette
So far this is very similar to an info-mercial on why it is important to read to children. OF course, since I am passionate about this subject, I don't mind that it seems like she tries to sell it so hard throughout the book. I do like that she gives specific examples about how rhyme, rhythm, repetition and the 7 different tones/inflections can hook a child and create passion from a young age. The other thing I really like about this book is Mem's idea that children have more success learning to ...more
Amanda Harrison
I hadn't picked this up originally because I assumed that everything important about reading aloud had already been said by Jim Trelease. I was wrong, this book is excellent inspiration for any parent or teacher who wants better ways to encourage reading in children. Mem Fox's background in the theater gives her an interesting perspective on reading as entertainment and she encourages teachers to embrace that use of reading in the classroom.

What Jim Trelease's book The Read Aloud Handbook is to
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Kathleen O'Mara
For this reviewer, there were no revelations in Reading Magic. Most of what Mem Fox writes is in the “of course” category for me. But what was exceedingly enjoyable was her take on reading to kids. Her style and examples were delightful.

This was a quick read in the pick-it-up, put-it-down, pick-it-up style of reading I seem to do these days.

While waiting at the dentist’s office, I read a portion of this book aloud to my 13-year-old son, who said, “I love it when you read to me, even if it’s re
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Molly
I can't get enough of books like this. My husband has accused me of reading books that simply validate my own views on children and literature. I'm sure he's right -- but I don't care. A little validation never hurt, and I've gleaned new things from the last two volumes I've read about reading to your child. (Plus, I can counter by pointing out how many books he owns on the existence of UFOs. Hah!)

'Reading Magic' comes from Mem Fox, a children's author and reading advocate from Australia. She wr
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Dolly
Mar 17, 2013 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents and teachers
I just discovered this book, but I must've been channeling my inner Mem Fox when our girls were born, because I've read to them since the day our oldest daughter was born (and even a little bit in utero, although I felt a little silly doing that.) In fact, one of our earliest books and absolute favorites is Time for Bed. We've read it so many times, I lost count.

I never thought that I was teaching our girls to read; I was merely spending a special time together, getting them settled down to cud
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Bekah
First, I read the 1988 version of this book- so I don't know what is different in this one. But the 1988 version- yuck! I have to explain though- the premise is awesome- the blatant assumptions given are bogus. I am a bit defensive though right now- this author says she thinks that if every parent read to their child that we could eliminate the reading learning problems for good! My daughter was just diagnosed with dyslexia and can I tell you I have read out loud to her since she was a newborn- ...more
Ami
I found this book to be quite simplistic and filled! with! exclamation! points! The author has a good premise but rather than develop it, she spends most of the book with stories of her reading stories. There are very few statistics or case-studies mentioned, it's all the author's own experience. Very few children's books are mentioned (besides the author's). Worst of all, "Reading Magic" acts as if all hope for teaching your child to read rests in the first 3 years of life.

If someone is lookin
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Jillian
Preaching to the choir! Most parents interested in reading this book will already believe in the benefits of reading to children. Fox gives those parents encouragement to keep up the good work, which is great, but I do hope some skeptics will also pick up the book and be convinced to read, and read often, to their children.

I don't think this book is useful as a tool for educators or reading specialists, however. Fox relies too heavily on personal experience and anecdotal "evidence" to back up h
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Ashley
As someone that was read to as a child and has worked at a library for nine years, I am not the target audience for this book; I have always believed in the necessity of reading to children and have seen many great storytellers and librarians in action, so what may seem like common sense to me, may not be to everyone. I think this book is great for parents who may not yet see the value of libraries, books, or reading aloud. It is passionately written and contains pages of great anecdotes. Readin ...more
Arnetha
Wonderful book. All parents should read. I wish I had know how important it is to read out loud to children, even babies; when my children were born.
Excellent Book!!
Mem Fox-Best-selling children's author and internationally respected literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read. With passion and humor, Fox speaks of when, where, and why to read aloud and demonstrates how to read aloud to best effe
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Nardos
Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, written by Mem Fox discusses thoroughly the advantages of reading aloud to children while pointing out the disadvantages of its lack as well in the life of children. Mem Fox is a highly regarded author who writes books for young children. She is a literacy consultant and most of her works focuses on helping eradicate illiteracy by educating parents and teachers on how to make reading engaging and fun in order to pr ...more
Roman
Intro:
This book stresses the importance of reading aloud to our children. As a society, we constantly ask the question, “How can we help our children develop and prepare them for education?” Mem Fox argues that the simple act of reading to and with our children will accomplish just that. Reading aloud with our children will help develop reading, listening, and speaking skills. She also introduces us to a few secrets of reading aloud and teaches us how to apply them. The great thing about this bo
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MrsK Books
"To give them confidence, beginning readers need to be able to skim right from the start, which sounds like a contradiction: how can they skim if they can’t read? Rhymes and songs provide many words that are easy to “read” since children know in advance — by the predictable rhyme and rhythm — what the correct word will be at the end of a given sentence. They don’t have to “read-see” it. They can “read-guess” it. They begin to think of themselves as readers — the attitude comes first, and the sk ...more
Danielle
I feel like this book should be required reading for anyone who has or will ever have children, ever spends time with children, has ever seen children, or has ever been a child. I seriously loved it, and will be forever grateful to my son's preschool teacher for literally making it required reading for parents.
So much of what she said just made perfect sense based on my experience with my own children. Before reading this book, I believed that phonics is how children learn to read. You start wit
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Megan Johnson
“Reading Magic: Why Reading to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever,” introduces different ways to introduce ways in which we can enrich the lives of children simply by reading to them. The audience intended for this nonfiction read is parents, families with younger children, teachers, and I would argue, everyone and anyone that has children in their lives. The general purpose for a book like this one is to do a few different things: WHO should be reading to children, WHAT should we be r ...more
Morgan Kopka
This book by Mem Fox is an easy read, yet there is so much valuable information that may be taken from it. Fox explores the many ways reading aloud can impact a child from the time they are born all the way through adulthood. The intended audience is parents with children or parents wanting to have children. Its general purpose is to educate us of how reading aloud can influence a child’s life forever in a positive way.
This book persuades parents to read aloud to their children by giving relev
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Bea
You may recognize Mem Fox's name as a children's book author. Some of my favorites by her include "Time for Bed", "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes", "Whoever You Are" and "Hello Baby!". But she also writes non-fiction, mostly about reading. I borrowed this book from my supervisor at work and it was FABULOUS!

Now, I may be preaching to the choir here; after all, if you're reading a book blog, then you already value reading, yes? But are you aware of the value in reading out loud to a child?
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Leah Flanagan
While I don't disagree about the importance of reading out loud to your children, I do take issue with her conclusions that reading out loud alone will teach your child to read. In some cases that is definitely true, but everyone's brain is wired differently and learns differently.

I also strongly object to her flippancy with how she talks about dyslexia. We have read out loud to our daughter since she was an infant, and I still read out loud to her at age 7 because she loves books and stories an
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Agatha
Mem Fox is a prolific Australian children’s book author, and a big proponent on reading aloud to children. She seems to be very well known in Australia, sort of like the “Reading is Fundamental” campaign here in the States (or Lamar Burton and “Reading Rainbow”)? At any rate, I picked this title after requesting one of her children’s books for Annabelle and my eye caught this one and I was intrigued by the title. I would say, however, that if you want to read a great book on this topic, I’d sugg ...more
Heather
I do think reading is important and was never read to as a child. So reading wasn't a natural or enjoyable thing for me until my adulthood. However, my children have all become great readers and enjoy reading (this wasn't always the case).

I actually listened to this as an audio book and was annoyed at how slow the author spoke, I know she was trying to make a point but I was the one listening not my child.

I did enjoy some of the tips the author provided, like adding more inflection to your tone
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Twila Warner
Ideas I liked: -3 stories aloud a day, one favorite, one familiar and one new or the same one 3 times.
-Find daily reading aloud time that works for your family
-Vocal gymnastics: loud and soft, fast and slow, high and low and p-a-u-s-e
-What we love our children will love. They can feel how you feel about the story, the words, the book
-First line welcomes you to reading time, a happy ritual
-Drag out the last line. Who really wants a good book to end?
-Play games with the words and letters aft
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Stephanie
Jun 17, 2013 Stephanie added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book. It confirmed how important I believed reading aloud to be and also provided a fantastic list of books with which to start.
Suzanne Moore
This a great book that provides strategies for reading to children! Research proves that reading to your children daily makes it easier for them to learn to read themselves once they start kindergarten. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Program is a wonderful organization that gets books into the hands of young children. With the birth of my newest grandson, I am stressing the importance of reading to him with his parents. It is especially important for dads to read to their boys.
Fathers should
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Kelly
I enjoyed this book for the new ideas on how to play games with books when reading to my son. I'm looking forward to expanding my library of children's books with the remainder of the 20 suggested books in the last chapter. My only gripe was that the book did feel a little bit like I was in a cult at times; the same message rammed down my throat just a little too often (like being at an Australian Breastfeeding Association class). I also can't stand the case studies; those children didn't sound ...more
Amy Nicole
This book was written from a parenting perspective, but I think it's still useful for teachers. I found some helpful tips for how to approach reluctant readers and how to make it more interesting for them.


- Rhyme rhythm and repetition are important to good books.

- Start with a bottom-up approach where you immerse the child by reading aloud first. Then, you came make games of finding rhyming words or certain letters on each page and slowly introduce phonics in a fun way.

- Reading aloud as earl
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Lisa the Librarian
Sep 08, 2009 Lisa the Librarian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: all parents, grandparents and others who have an important child
Every parent and expectant parent should read this book. Grandparents and caregivers to young children should also read this book. I may buy a bunch of them and start giving them as baby shower gifts,

In a world where the trend is increasingly becoming a place where the schools are teaching children to pass the myriad of tests required by law, reading for fun is rapidly becoming a lost activity.

Mem Fox, a well known and much loved picture book author discusss the importance of reading to our chil
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Lynne
I have been doing a great deal of reading on the importance of reading aloud so much of this book was reinforcing my knowledge and opinions already held. I believe that this book is the perfect baby shower gift! New parents should be introduced to the ideas in the book so that they can start reading right away. Of all the advice that parents are given on child-rearing, this is certainly one of the most life-changing and influential. But every bit as important is the fact that it is advice that
1.
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Amy
I didn't need to be convinced that reading aloud is a good idea. I've been reading to my boys since they were babies, and it is one of my very favorite things to do as a mommy. There's nothing that can fix a meltdown or a tantrum faster than a pile of books...well, maybe a long nap...those help, too. :-)

Anyway, I liked this book mostly because it helped me remember why I love reading aloud so much, and it brought back great memories of my own parents reading to me. (Little Britches will always b
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Kim Graewert
Mem Fox is a Best Selling children’s author from Adelaide, South Australia. Her books include Possum Magic, Sleepy Bears, and Radial Reflections. This non-fiction book was intended for parents and caregivers to help children learn to read before attending school and who are interested in knowing whether or not actually reading aloud to their children would make a difference in the development of their reading/learning skills. The purpose of this book is to provide “practice advice, activities, a ...more
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Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970, where she has lived with her husband, Malcolm, and daughter Chloë, happily ever after.

Mem Fox is Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, is the best selling children’s book ever in Australia, with sales of over three million. And in th
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More about Mem Fox...
Time for Bed Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge Possum Magic Where is the Green Sheep? Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

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“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.” 38 likes
“When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate.” 20 likes
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