Book Study - Chapter Two: When to Begin (and End) Read-Aloud

Book Study Blog Party: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Chapter 2- When to Begin (and End) Read-Aloud

I'm a firm believer in interacting and talking with your baby in utero. My oldest daughter loved music (she still does) but when she was in the womb you could see her respond to different kinds of music by the movements of my tummy. So I knew that if she could hear music she could hear me. I'm an avid reader so I not only read picture books (which I secretly love, as well) but I read my own novels to her.

When Jim talks about the babies that responded in different ways to the stories on tape that they had heard in the womb it triggered memories in me that I hadn't thought of in a while. :)

While my daughter and I were still in the hospital a Parents as Teachers lady came in and gave us a book with a package of information she had to sign me up for PAT. Finally I got to hold my daughter in my arms and read to hear! It was amazing.  Do they still do that; Send a PAT rep in to recruit new mom's?  With my second daughter PAT didn't come to the hospital to speak with me. So no book. :(

My read aloud experience with my second story was totally different. She didn't respond to hearing stories like my oldest. She became easily distracted or was not interested at all. That didn't stopped me though. We went from stages of flipping through the pages at lightening speed with no to very little verbal reaction to being able to listen to a word or two, every other page before flipping to a new page. Now,  at age six, she begs her Dad and I to read everyday! She wants to hear the same story over and over again before she chooses a new one. I think its because she's figuring out how to talk about the story.  Usually as soon as she starts talking about the story she ready to more to a new one. There were times I just wanted to give up. But now, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It may still be a long way off but at least I can see it.

 I'm appreciative that Jim included a section on reading with children with special needs. Jim's stories of Cushla and Jennifer have given me hope to keep reading to my daughter. In the long run, it can make a tremendous difference!

I'm with Vanessa over at Pre-K pages! When I read the part about parents wanting to buy a program to "fix the problem. I had to laugh out loud a little. I've had this same experience and I believe I've responded in the way Vanessa did in her story about her student, Cherise. The Mom got frustrated because Cherise just couldn't read the story. I've "encouraged" parents to read with their child every night. What I haven't done is shown them how. Again, Jim  (and Vanessa) have inspired me  to connect with parent's and give the tools and resources to read-aloud with their children. And to give them the knowledge to know why it is so critical.

As a reading interventionist, I believe you should begin reading aloud to your child from conception to adulthood if it is possible. As a parent, I know that life gets in the way, or your child no longer responds to read alouds like they did when they were younger. This is when you share a small bit of what you are reading or something out of the newspaper you know they would be interested in.

This chapter is full of great info about ages and stages of read alouds. Check it out!


  1. I'm also thinking about how I can encourage parents in their reading at home. Maybe some quick tips or short encouraging messages that go home regularly? Hmm..


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