Reading with kids is fun for all
BY COLLEEN ALMEIDA SMITH World Assistant Editor
Monday, March 04, 2013
3/04/13 at 9:41 AM
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Read Across America Day is a great way to celebrate books and reading.
The day was started by the National Education Association on March 2, 1998 - a date chosen to mark the birthday of Theodor Geisel, also known as "Dr. Seuss."
Since March 2 fell on a Saturday this year, the celebration was moved to Friday, March 1. Schools and libraries held special readings.
Reading aloud to children is such a pleasurable thing, and it is nice to have an annual event to build such activities around. (I know from experience that children don't judge when you stumble over words or even accidentally drop the book.)
Besides, learning to listen is an important skill and one that parents can easily encourage by choosing books that interest their children.
Here are some of my favorite selections for reading aloud:
Any Dr. Seuss book. His books are smart and funny, and they rhyme. His topics are still wonderfully relevant today. There's a reason we celebrate his birthday. My children especially love "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish," "Hop on Pop," "Cat in the Hat" and "The Foot Book."
"Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman I couldn't even begin to count to the number of times I read this book - complete with different voices for the cow, dog, hen, etc. "Go, Dog, Go!" is another favorite.
"Today I Feel Silly" by Jamie Lee Curtis. This crazy book has lines like "Today I feel silly. Mom says it's the heat. I put rouge on the cat and gloves on my feet." The illustrations are great, and the best part is the mood wheel in the back of the book that lets you change the girl's expressions with different mouths and eyes.
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak Every child has a Max inside. "Let the wild rumpus start!" I am also partial to Sendak's "Chicken Soup With Rice," which was a staple of my childhood.
"Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin. A librarian handed me this book when I was part of a summer reading program. The kids loved it, and so did I. The power of the typewriter is one I completely respect.
If you are looking for a great collection, I love "20th Century Children's Book Treasury" for its breadth and depth. The 44 stories range from 1947's "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown to "The Stinky Cheese Man" by Jon Scieszka - a modern and hilarious retelling of "The Gingerbread Man."
Although the stories are printed in full, many of the original illustrations from the books have been reduced or cut out. While it doesn't replace the full-size books, it is convenient to haul around or pull out at bedtime. This collection is a great starting point to building a library, and I have given it as a gift several times.
My 8-year-old reads to me more often than I read to her now - "Mr. Putter and Tabby" books are our favorites - but we still share a love of funny rhymes and great illustrations.
What is your favorite read-aloud book?
Colleen Almeida Smith 918-581-8481
Xander Crozat, 3, runs to the window of his classroom to see the Cat in the Hat mascot at the Citibank day-care center on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Read Across America events were held last weekend. ARGUS LEADER, JAY PICKTHORN / Associated Press