Child Care

Reading with Children


It’s cold outside and it’s snowing.  Nothing new for this winter but I am seriously in need of warmth and green!  On a day like today all I want to do is curl up in a big chair, with a warm blanket, and a good book.  (Ice cream would be nice, too, but that’s another blog.)


Books are a vital part of my daily life.  I have always loved reading and have devoured books since I was a child.  While I don’t remember my parents reading aloud to me, there were always books in the house and both of my parents enjoyed reading.  When my son was young I read aloud to him all the time.  Now that I am a grandmother, I have the double joy of seeing my son reading to his daughter – and I have frequent opportunities to read to her, too.  Needless to say, she is as big a “bookworm” as her father and me.


There is a wonderful book by Mem Fox, called Reading Magic.  One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:  “If every parent understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent – and every adult caring for a child – read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.”  That fact is supported by years of research.  According to a joint position statement of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC):  “The single most important activity for building the understandings and skills essential for reading success appears to be reading aloud to children.”


Based on research and my experience in raising and working with children, reading aloud can and should be done any time, any place, and with all ages of children.  Mem Fox refers to the joy of reading together as a “chocolate experience.”  I encourage each of you to spend some “chocolate time” with your child.  Listed below are Mem Fox’s suggestions for twenty books that children love.  Pick up a book, cuddle with your child, and forget the snow and cold.  I hope you all enjoy some “chocolate time” today and every day.


          I Went Walking by Sue Machin

          Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

          Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin, Jr.

          Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

          Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

          Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

          Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill

          The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

          Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

          Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

          Rascal the Dragon by Paul Jennings

          Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

          Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan

          Who Sank the Boat? By Pamela Allen

          Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

          Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

          We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

          Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

          The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont

          Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst


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