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The Read-Aloud Handbook

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The classic million-copy bestselling handbook on reading aloud to children—revised and updated

Recommended by "Dear Abby" upon its first publication in 1982, millions of parents and educators have turned to Jim Trelease’s beloved classic for more than three decades to help countless children become avid readers through awakening their imaginations and improving their language skills. It has also been a staple in schools of education for new teachers. This updated edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook discusses the benefits, the rewards, and the importance of reading aloud to children of a new generation. Supported by delightful anecdotes as well as the latest research (including the good and bad news on digital learning), The Read-Aloud Handbook offers proven techniques and strategies for helping children discover the pleasures of reading and setting them on the road to becoming lifelong readers.

384 pages, Paperback

First published September 30, 1982

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About the author

Jim Trelease

12 books79 followers
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts ('63) and native of New Jersey (Orange, Union and North Plainfield), Jim Trelease was for 20 years an award-winning artist and journalist before turning his career toward education in 1979 when he wrote the first edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Now the grandfather of three boys and two girls, he resides with his wife Susan in Enfield, Connecticut.

from http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/bi...

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5 stars
3,838 (54%)
4 stars
2,298 (32%)
3 stars
721 (10%)
2 stars
105 (1%)
1 star
25 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,110 reviews
Profile Image for Adrienne.
263 reviews16 followers
January 16, 2010
I have really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Trelease's treasury of read-aloud books is AWESOME. I would buy this book for that alone and I give 5 stars to that part, which is significant because it comprises over half of the book. Plus, the overall thrust of the book (read out loud to your kids) is something I am passionate about.

The rest of the book....eh. Some of the information is really inspiring and some of it just fell flat for me. For one thing, the writing and reasoning are lacking. The conclusions Trelease draws from the research he is citing are often a pretty big stretch. For example, "In the nearly ten years since the arrival of the [Harry:] Potter books, school crime was down, teen pregnancies declined, and teen smoking and drug use dropped." Okay. Well, what other random social statistics changed during those same ten years? I'm certain there were negative changes. Are those tied to Harry Potter mania? I doubt it. But Trelease is totally implying that the reading obsession that consumes kids during their Harry Potter years is linked to a drop in teen pregnancies? What??? That needs a VERY significant amount of research to draw any kind of usable correlation. And that is typical of a lot of his correlational claims throughout the book.

I did like the emphasis on reading to children even as they get older and are able to read to themselves. Trelease's information in that section is very interesting and that's a practice that probably doesn't really occur to many of us.

So basically, the Treasury of Read-Alouds makes this book completely worth time and even money. The rest of it is maybe worth a quick scan.

P.S. What is with the Oprah worship? I mean, I agree that the woman is incredibly powerful and used her power to get A LOT of people reading and discussing books and I think that's wonderful. But it's almost like he was trying to get a spot on her show or something. (I wonder if he ever did...)
Profile Image for Christina DeVane.
354 reviews25 followers
May 18, 2018
This book turned out to be way more informative than I expected. It didn’t only give facts, statistics, and reasons why parents should read to their children, but it also brought to light the recent effects of TV, cell phones, e-readers, the internet, etc, etc, and how this is impacting children and adults alike. It gives healthy information about fathers especially stepping up their game to influence their children (boys in particular) in education and reading. This book made me reflect on my childhood and how much my parents actually did read to me with a large portion being the Bible which I believe had the greatest affect on my life- Truth was poured into me every. single. day.
I may not agree with every single conclusion this book states as reading can make you much more “successful” in human logic, but being successful in God’s eyes is the most important-though reading will be a great asset in this!
I also really enjoy the treasury of books listed in the back to guide me in choosing books for my children. I can be more purposeful now as I go to the library rather than picking up whatever looks interesting at the time. ☺️
Summer reading commences now!! 📚🤓
Profile Image for Jennifer.
34 reviews2 followers
September 19, 2008
I had written a scathing review and gave this book one star then my computer did something weird and the review was lost. A friend questioned the one star so I thought I would rewrite the review.

Maybe I am a bit judgmental of books on parenting, I always think "Why is there a book on this?? Why isn't common sense enough? We have to obsessively study the topic too?" Maybe I am the one who is way off and I should be a bit more interested in reading about different ideas as they pertain to raising my daughter. I was raised by two hyper-intelligent people who were the most hands off parents you could meet, they were voracious readers and as a direct result I am a voracious reader. My mom was a tremendous cook, and as a direct result I love to cook. My Dad was tall, well you see the pattern?? (haha)

I believe that if I want my child to be/do/feel/think in any particular way I simply have to model that behavior and she will more than likely pick it up. I don't need to spend what little free time I have in life studying the topic.

I think we are all losing our minds and making raising kids way harder than it needs to be. Give them love, food, shelter then get the heck out of their way--they will be who they are going to be in spite of you. Thats my two cents for the day!
6 reviews
March 7, 2021
The "Treasury of Read-Alouds" that comprises the second half of this book salvages the first half, which is basically Trelease's excuse to spout opinions on all aspects of parenting.

I was not a fan of the whole tone of the book, especially the way in which Trelease talks down to his readers. For example, quoted from page 32, "Listening comprehension feeds reading comprehension. Sounds complicated, right? So let's make it simple." The only way that statement would be complicated would be if the reader didn't understand the word "comprehension."
Profile Image for Suzan.
769 reviews
November 10, 2008
This is a fantastic book that any parent should own. It really helps you understand the need to read out loud to your children (teenagers included)and the benefits that happen from doing so. He also explains that a child's listening level is higher than his reading level, which is important. That is the first part of the book. The rest of it contains reading lists with summaries about the books, which is a great help for picking out books your children will love.
Profile Image for Puty.
Author 7 books952 followers
April 4, 2021
Saya membaca edisi ke-7 buku ini yang diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia dan diterbitkan oleh Noura Publishing. Buku ini bukan hanya membahas soal read-aloud atau 'membacakan nyaring' tapi juga teori dan contoh kasus terkait kemampuan literasi anak usia dini. Kemampuan literasi ini tidak terbatas pada proses membaca atau dibacakan buku tapi juga soal pembentukan kebiasaan, diskusi, dan tantangan dari distraksi. Buku ini didukung oleh banyak studi ilmiah terkait dampak membaca dengan prestasi seseorang. Tidak heran buku ini menjadi sangat penting dan 'wajib' dibaca oleh penggiat literasi usia dini.

Yang membuat saya tidak memberi 5 bintang pada buku ini adalah:
- Buku ini banyak dilengkapi contoh buku bacaan anak klasik seperti 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', namun saya percaya tidak semua orang tua Indonesia terbayang bukunya seperti apa. (Catatan: di edisi ini Noura memberi daftar buku Indonesia)
- Bagian yang membahas pembelajaran digital menurut saya terlalu defensif. Apalagi setelah pandemi berakhir dan kita semua harus siap menghadapi transformasi, rasanya kita semua perlu mencari jalan tengah untuk tetap hidup dan kreatif di era penuh distraksi ini.
Profile Image for Sarah.
75 reviews
March 6, 2008
This book is a great reference when you want to know what would be a good book to read aloud to your children. The premise is that children can understand text that is too hard for them to read. When we read aloud to our children things that are exciting to them, they develop a love of books. Then, because they know and love books, they will do the work to learn how to read fluently.

The first 1/3 of the book is explaining why and how to read aloud. The rest of the book are lists of books, with summaries, of books. They are listed according to "listening level." (NOT the child's reading level.) I have loved using this book as a reference at home and in the classroom. If you don't want to buy the book, you can get a lot of the info at this website: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/
Profile Image for Karly Grice.
240 reviews7 followers
March 28, 2017
I was very disappointed in this book. I've been looking for an accessible book to give to undergrads that will discuss how to do read alouds better, and I thought it would be great if the book also could discuss the WHY of read alouds as well. I loved that this book discussed the importance of read alouds, and even the importance of continuing read alouds after a child is old enough to read to herself (or even for kids as old as high schoolers).

However, here are my biggest problems with this book:
1. The research he cites is severely flawed/occasionally inaccurate/often dated: Frequently I would track down his works cited/reading lists to find incorrect authors, titles, or publication dates. This raised the first eyebrow. I then noticed that often they way he presented information (even if the source he was using didn't do so) was in a flat way that often turned the blame for illiteracy, reading gaps, and failure (whether at school or at life) to the areas that were really problematic, such as implicitly perpetuating racist, classist assumptions regarding literacy and success. While part of this might have just been outside of his scope or capability, it concerned me as someone who knows how often research can be misrepresented so as to blame the victims of systemic inequality in the U.S. (and elsewhere), and I REALLY didn't want parents' or students' already racist/classist ideas to be bolstered through his support (all I could think of was having an already prejudiced person reading this book and going, "See, there's the proof that 'they're' not as good as 'us!"), or even having a person of the marginalized group being discussed reading it and internalizing the statements. Lastly, I'm most greatly concerned at the way this book presents its research as "well done" and credible/representative....but includes research that has since been widely discussed as incredibly flawed and problematic. The biggest example is his discussion of the great importance of Hart and Risley's research on the 30 Million Word Gap as being fundamental and how it should be read by every parent. While many parents (and even some teachers/schools of education) still promote Hart and Risley, many other great scholars have discussed how flawed this research was and how it doesn't take into consideration the lived experiences or intersectional problems facing families of various lived experiences (and often borderline falls to the victim blaming that I mention feels consistent throughout Trelease's book).

2. From the beginning he argues the way to improve literacy is INFORMATION, SHAME, AND FEAR: He references the anti-smoking campaign as his greatest model for a move to increase literacy in the U.S....and then goes on quite consistently to condescend to the readers who most need his book to learn about literacy approaches in the home and/or demonize anyone who doesn't put read aloud time to their children first (again, from a very classist perspective).

3. It reads like an inflated infomercial for itself: I lost count of the number of times Trelease explicitly positioned "reading aloud to your child will get them into an Ivy league school and lead them to be an impeccably moral person with a 6 figure respectable salary." (Ok, he didn't word it like that, but really he didn't put it quite far off from this.) And, as particular positive reinforcement for his book, he frequently told stories about how readers of the book's earlier editions started reading aloud to their kids (just because of his book) and now they have a deep, long-lasting relationship with their highly educated, wealthy, successful children. In the words of scientists who critique fad diet books, Trelease puts read alouds in the hyperbolic and overly-simplistic manner of a "snake oil salesman to cure all your ails."

4. The non-inclusive and less-than-impressive list of books to read aloud to your kids: This part is a bit nitpicky of me (but I feel like I can reserve this right as a children's literature higher education scholar), but I was really underwhelmed with the books he suggested to be read to kids. Granted, this is always the flaw of physically published lists of books. They will inevitably become outdated, most likely by the time the book list gets published. Yet even with this concession, I didn't consider his books to be very good examples even on this dated scale, and if you're looking for diverse representations within his book list you'll be hardpressed to find them.

5. Despite his seeming attempt to degender reading/read alouds, he actually further supports the feminized role of reading: The BIGGEST eye roll moment for me was when I realized he assumed that ONLY women (particularly heterosexual women in a traditional nuclear family) were reading this book. One section is even written "How to Get Your Husband to Read to Your Kids." I would love to explain all the problems with this....but I'd need another day (and way more characters than Goodreads would allow in this box). Just...no.

Overall, if you're a parent, here are the take aways (without the failed/skewed research he presents):
1. You should read to your kids, if you have the ability/resources.
2. If you can't read to your kids, audiobooks or wordless picturebooks are a great supplement, but not a good enough replacement for also spending time with your kids.
3. Exposure to language and positive experiences with books and reading (like ANY activity) will nurture that experience in your kids which will positively affect their relationship to reading and, subsequently, school.

But if you're looking for respectable research on WHY it's good to read to your kids, or if you don't know how to do a good read aloud or resources to turn to for book choices, this book won't help you. PLEASE if you are not a white/middle-upperclass/privileged parent in a traditional/nuclear family, please take everything he says with a grain of salt. Or just read the above 3 bullets I wrote. Or just google other resources. Or talk to a librarian. Or MESSAGE ME! But don't allow his book to make you feel the fear/shame he explicitly states is his method of persuasion. Lastly, if you ARE a white/middle-upperclass/privileged parent in a traditional/nuclear family, please don't read his book and allow it to bolster some ideas of how you're better than other parents because you do the things he does. Not everyone has the ability to do what he says should be done. Please recognize the privilege you are granted with if you can (something Trelease doesn't do a very good job of acknowledging).
Profile Image for Joanna Jennings .
187 reviews13 followers
August 17, 2018
This book is a game changer! I always knew it was “good” to read to your kids, but never knew how much! This author shares a lot of old-school wisdom: require your kids to read, turn off the TV, reading to your kids provides a great connection, etc. I don’t agree with every point such as: any reading is good reading, Oprah‘s book club is a wonderful thing, and the Harry Potter books lowered crime and teen pregnancies (?!), etc. By sifting through his enthusiasm, this is a really great book.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,002 reviews
March 31, 2017
Read Harder 2017: Book about Books

This is a fabulous book and reference. I found this updated edition especially helpful in the comments on digital learning (including eReaders, audiobooks, television, etc.). I loved that there is an entire chapter on The Print Climate in the Home, School, and Library. Listen to this quote which is absolute perfection to this self-confessed-unable-stop-buying-books-girl,

"The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been measuring student performance in most major subjects since 1972. It has also been surveying students on the number of books in their homes, then drawing correlations to their scores in reading, math, science, civics, history, and writing. In every test subject, the more books in the home, the higher the score, often by as much as forty points."

Clearly, I never need to feel guilty about how many books we own (and keep buying) again!! Yes!!

I also cried (yes, really) when I read the end of Chapter 10 when Trelease describes the 9th grade teacher Mr. Schmidt who sent a note home to his parents about what a great student Trelease was in English. Trelease describes the profound impact this note had on his life, how he lost track of that teacher, but then later dedicated the first version of this book to Mr. Schmidt. (This is the 7th edition of this book, it was first published in 1979.) Mr. Schmidt told Trelease the dedication made his week, his month, and his 30 years of education. I then went and read the actual dedication, which is still present in this 7th edition, and I promptly cried some more.

If you have children of any age, this is a must-read and must-own book! It's a quick and fascinating read of the first 170 pages, and then the rest of the book is recommendations for read-aloud books (including recommended ages/grades).
Profile Image for Stacy.
456 reviews25 followers
July 18, 2017
Do you have a child? Ever thinking of having a child? Know a child? Live in a community where children live? If so, I suggest you read this book. I got it from the library and now I think I might need to buy it.

The first half is a lot of statistics and info on reading and literacy, many alarming, others inspiring. (Avg # of books in a Beverly Hills home? 199. In a Compton home? 2.7.)

Loved the stories about individuals who helped provide books to libraries in communities that were lacking. And the story about the alternative high school teacher who read aloud to his class and the student who thanked him for being the only person in his 19 years to read aloud to him? Yeah, made me cry.

The second half contains list after list of every kind of book you could want to read to your children, at every age. That's the reason I'm thinking of buying it- there is enough material here to last many years of trips to the library. I've already requested many of them for the 3 year old. I generally think of myself as a person who is somewhat familiar with quality children's books, but many of the suggestions were new to me.

Get ittttttt.
Profile Image for Dawn.
263 reviews9 followers
February 10, 2012
I found this at the bottom of a bag of clothes being passed to my son. It no doubt came from my sister-in-law who is a mother of 3 and an elementary school teacher.

I am so happy that it came my way. This book is a fantastic resource for parents, teachers and librarians. It discusses the importance of reading aloud to children and the many positive effects it has. The book dives into silent reading, TV watching and other reading-related issues as well. I feel like every parent, teacher and librarian would benefit from reading this.

The second half of the book is a reading treasury- just a suggestion list of books that are good to read aloud (as opposed to some that are better read silently). These books are marked with the grade level suggested for the listeners and a brief description.
Profile Image for Karen.
405 reviews30 followers
October 12, 2015
My initial thoughts about this book: I know it's good to read to children. why do I need to read a book to tell me that again. Now however I am so glad I took the time to read this. For starters it is interesting, informative and engaging. Many reports, studies and articles are cited but made accessible.Occasionally some conclusions seemed a bit sweeping but all in all this book is bound to inspire and/or encourage anyone to read to children and even to continue reading as they get older. Even better, it is an excellent resource for finding appropriate books to read classified by the listening level of the child (children can listen to books that are too difficult for them to read so their listening level is always higher than their reading level). Highly recommended for every parent and teacher!
Profile Image for Lynn.
317 reviews2 followers
January 20, 2008
Another book I include in baby shower gift baskets. This one includes the research behind the need to read aloud to children of all ages (not just young children). (I'm sure the research part is not for everyone) Includes a great treasury of read aloud books... I actually have the 5th & 4th editions, but not this one yet... The difference between the 4th & 5th editions was an updated treasury of books, & also chapters addressing Harry Potter, Oprah book clubs, Internet, etc... I can't wait to see new additions to the 6th edition.
Profile Image for Allison Ruth.
77 reviews58 followers
June 4, 2009
I am already an avid reader and my kids, even at the young ages of 2.5 and 1 are already book lovers. So when I picked this book up I was less interested in his advice about reading and more interested in the treasury - the many pages of book lists in the second half of the book. However, I ended up reading the entire book and enjoying every page. I think this is an important book for both parents and educators to read - whether you consider yourself a "reader" or not. Trelease offers solid evidence in support of reading aloud, to both kids and teens, and offers useful advice for creating a read-aloud habit in the family and classroom. The book also offers useful information for facilitating and encouraging good reading habits in children and teens, while still preserving the fun factor in reading.

A favorite quote from the book: "We have time for what we value. The people who find the time to read to a child and to themselves yesterday had the same twenty-four hours as the person who had no time to read, but did watch their favorite team on TV or the afternoon soap they taped, did find the time to talk on the phone for thirty-five minutes, and did find the time to run over to the mall for an errand."
Profile Image for Laura.
115 reviews
May 25, 2012
At first, when this book was recommended to me I thought the books contents would be obvious, read aloud to your children. And it was! But it didn't tell me HOW to read out loud to my children, it told me WHY to read out loud to my children and also why I needed to be reading to myself too. Luckily, this has always been the case, but now I understand the importance of it.

One thing that was brought out again and again was the importance of reading and going to the library. I grew up in a very poor home where we couldn't afford family vacations. My mother always felt bad about this so to make up for it she took us to the library every Tuesday afternoon in the summers. We read and hung out there for a few hours and then came home with our arms full of books. We also always had to wake up very early and get all our chores done for the day quickly. When we were done we were free to play with our friends, however, in most cases, all of my friends would just be getting out of bed and they would have to now do their own chores so I would go home to my stack of books and read and read until they could play. Now I understand what a gift my mother gave to me by taking me to the library and making us rise early giving me hours of undisturbed time to fall in love with books!
Profile Image for Tyler.
467 reviews22 followers
February 27, 2008
I know that this review may seem a little over the top but, this is the first time that I have ever finished reading a library book and then ordered it on amazon.com within minutes of finishing it. Alison and I will read this one together once we receive it. This is one of the most interesting motivating and inspiring books that I have ever read and I agree with many of the reviews on the book that I have read which state that no household with children should ever be without a copy of this book. Anyone who ventures onto a book review blog (thanks for coming by the way) already knows and values the importance of reading. What this book does is explain why reading (both silently and aloud) are so important and how it can literally change lives. My favorite part of the book is all of the letters and personal stories that are shared. Even more impressive is that many of the tips and tricks that are shared in the book can be applied to public speaking or presentations. This is a book that I expect will become well worn in the Squire household.
Profile Image for Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words).
374 reviews932 followers
August 4, 2014
I absolutely LOVED reading The Read-Aloud Handbook. I already knew I wanted to read aloud to Fox, but this affirmed just how crucially important it is. Reading, in every sense (being read to, reading aloud, reading silently), is one of the greatest indicators for success in school (across subjects). Reading develops vocabulary, enriches context, offers children (and adults) the chance to experience things they can't in their own life, it builds empathy and allows us to enter into someone else's experience. Now I'm just extolling the virtues of reading - which this book certainly does, but it also delves into the reasons why these things are so imperative to a child's educational (and dare-I-say lifelong) success. EVERY parent should read this book. Every teacher should read this book. And every. Single. Politician should read this book.

I cannot wait to explore the suggested read aloud books that make up the second half of this book (some of which I have, of course, already read to him). A HUGE treasury that I am just itching to read aloud to Fox.
Profile Image for Kurt.
552 reviews54 followers
February 18, 2009
My mother-in-law gave me this book as a gift and I have been grateful to her ever since. It convinced me of the importance of reading aloud to my children which I have done hundreds (thousands?) of times, and each time was a great experience. My only regret is that I didn't do it even more regularly before they all grew up.
Profile Image for Katherine.
697 reviews3 followers
September 25, 2017
While I've always known the general facts about the benefits of reading aloud and how accessibility to print in the home (and parents who model reading) leads to kids who love reading, much of the exact research was new and fascinating to me. Jim Trelease's writing style is very accessible (not overly academic) and he has lots of great practical tips, some of which were new to me. Plus, his lengthy list of read aloud recommendations (spanning from picture books to high school-level novels) is stellar.
Profile Image for Molly.
494 reviews13 followers
October 5, 2020
Love this book! Reading is very important to me and I’m hoping to make it a priority in my home. I also loved the treasury in the back and will definitely be revisiting it.
August 3, 2022
Ok. Stuff I disagree with first, then stuff I appreciated.

I'm writing this review as a life-long reader (ok, I took a reading break for about 10 years for grad school, working, and babies). I married a reader (and he studied literature and writing). We have been reading to our kids basically from day 1 (they are 5 and 3 now). ...How do I say this? I really enjoyed the book, but it felt a little one-sided. I didn't think reading could be taken too far, but this author may have managed it 😅 I *do* think reading is important, but it is not the *only* thing. I doubt the author would say it is the only thing, but he spent quite a lot of time discussing its benefits and often implying that the lack of reading is the cause of most of the nation's ills. I also had the impression that reading was mostly about raising kids' grades and improving their chance to attend and graduate college. Maybe this is all about opinions... But I don't think that is the most valuable thing about reading and reading aloud. Yes, reading teaches vocabulary, syntax, parts of a story... But if it isn't also widening our horizons by teaching us about other people and places, improving our own virtues, increasing our critical thinking... I'm not sure the other stuff matters as much. Obviously I would like my kids to get good grades, but I prefer the focus to be on their character.

I fear that this type of book might turn off a casual reader. But maybe I'm too sensitive. That's a real possibility. I'll have to read other reviews to know for sure.

Okay, now for the good stuff. There are SO many beautiful stories included about the power that a good book, a good teacher, a loving parent, etc. can have in the course of a child's life. I cried at least twice and definitely teared up several times. Books really are wonderful, and reading aloud can be a lovely bonding and growing experience for families. We are not about to stop reading aloud with our kids and I am even more excited about it than usual.

There are plenty of ideas for parents to start reading aloud with their kids, and tips for getting kids interested if they aren't excited about jumping on board. There are also plenty of ideas for classroom teachers that seem doable. Achievable and reasonable tips abound.

I haven't even mentioned the book list yet! It's huge. I wish it was organized differently, with subcategories for ages within the current categories (e.g. picture books, short novels, poetry, etc.) but I have no doubt this will be a helpful list.
Profile Image for J. Boo.
697 reviews20 followers
December 12, 2017
I have three loves: reading to myself, reading aloud to my children, and lists of things. Reading a book about reading aloud, which itself contained a list of further books to read, should have been up my alley. Spoiler! The Read-Aloud Handbook sure wasn't.

Trelease starts with inspirational dubious correlation!=causation studies, anecdotes, and not very much in terms of useful advice for parents and teachers with reasonably normal instincts. I confess I started to skip swaths of the material. Finally, it was time to settle in with his list of recommended books, each of which comes with a nice blurb and many of which say "if you like this, you might like..."

It's not bad, as lists go, but it suffers from severe recency bias. About 90% first published between 1964 through 1980 (my edition was published 1982). As one can tell from my "read/to-read" lists here, I tend to cut a wider swath, therefore am suspicious of the recommendations of someone so glued to his own time.

I did hope that his list would jog some memories -- I'm old enough that most of these would've still been on the bookshelves when I was growing up, but the books he lists which I remembered are ones I remembered, the ones I didn't, I don't. No sudden "oh, that must have been the title!" epiphanies.

Maybe later editions of this book are improved (I'm reading the first ed, and the Handbook is up to seventh), but I'm not placing much stock in Trelease as a useful recommender.
Profile Image for Jen.
11 reviews
August 17, 2008
A MUST for all parents of young children. The book consists of two major sections: The first half of the book stresses the importance of reading aloud (even after your children have learned to read on their own). It sites study after study of how reading aloud strongly influences almost every aspect of the child's academic life: vocab, grammar, awareness, IQ, etc. Never too young to start reading and certainly never too old to enjoy a good story together. Even simple baby books use words outside the standard lexicon. Exposure gives children a huge advantage over those less fortunate.

The second half of the book lists a treasury of fantastic read-alouds. Starting with picture books, moving to short and long novels. Also lists poetry and fables. The best part of the treasury is the reading comprehension age level suggestions. A reminder that kids can thrive listening to books well beyond their reading level.

This book was updated in 2006. It lists current books (Harry Potter), oldies but goodies (Mike Mulligan), and little known treasures.

To find out more about the author, a man who dedicates his life to promoting a love of reading for everyone. http://www.trelease-on-reading.com
Profile Image for Christine.
286 reviews
February 19, 2015
This book consists of two sections: (1) 178 pages detailing Trelease's views of why and how we should read to our children, followed by (2) short descriptions of recommended books for reading aloud. I found the latter to be interesting and potentially useful, while the former was virtually unbearable. Despite having no apparent qualifications in children's literacy, the author is patronizing about why and how we should read to our children, focusing largely on improving their academic performance. While Trelease mentions other benefits of reading aloud, I think that he shortchanges the value of reading as a source of lifelong joy, a means of acquiring information and becoming exposed to the ideas of others, and the fun of the read-aloud experience between parent and child. I happened across another book, What to Read When by Pam Allyn, that left me much more excited about reading aloud than this better-known book.
Profile Image for Megan.
153 reviews22 followers
Want to read
September 5, 2012
My first introduction to this book was when the family I nannied for was given this book when their children started kindergarten. I knew if the teachers at their private school were giving it to all the parents, then it was a book to keep in the back of my head for the future. I skimmed through the chapters that are appropriate for B's age and took note of some really good tips:

-Always read the author's and illustrator's names.
-Paud during predictable parts and see if the child remembers what comes next.
-The first time you read a book, look at the cover and ask what they think the book is about.
-Let them turn the pages.
-Occasionally read over their level.

Every parent should at least read the Dos and Dont's chapter and the treasury at the end. I'll be using his treasury lists to get books for B from the library.
6 reviews10 followers
March 14, 2017
This is by far one of my most favorite books of all time. I never thought I'd be saying this, but it's true. I devoured it every time I picked it up. This will be my parenting bible until my two kids - now 8 and 5 - move out of the house. This book will be added to every baby shower gift I give from now on. The knowledge, research and case studies that the author, Jim Trelease, shares are incredibly thorough. I chose this book when my son started 'falling behind' in reading at school. I immediately started using the tools in the book and reading the books from the treasury and there was instant improvement at home. In a matter of two weeks, we've gone from tears/fights/frustration to excitement, pride and wonder during my son's reading practices. We now have family reading hour every day and my kids only cry if it's time to put the books up. Love it!!
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63 reviews
December 1, 2018
I really, really liked the overall message about the importance of reading aloud to your children and creating positive reading experiences for your child so that they have positive associations with reading. However I feel like the book was very repetitive. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and then found it difficult to finish. The overall message "The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it" is so key for raising readers.
143 reviews3 followers
March 4, 2015
Excellent and inspiring! I thought I already understood the importance of reading aloud to children of all ages, but I am more convicted than ever! I went ahead and read all the book recommendations in the treasury even though I have younger kids, and I now have many books to look forward to sharing with my girls. I also have suggestions for families with older children, too. This book is wonderful. Go read to a kid today!
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