Reading aloud to your child is very important in relation to the development of their early literacy skills. In fact, reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to ensure reading success. It is easy to become very focused on children knowing how to read, but what about helping children develop a love of reading? Knowing how to read and having a love of reading do not always go hand in hand. One way to help develop children's love of reading is to continue reading aloud to them even after they have become proficient readers. There are definite benefits to continue reading aloud to older children. The experience of reading aloud is typically a positive one and this helps children associate positive feelings with reading, thus further developing a love of reading. Reading aloud also strengthens them as independent readers.

A recent study by Scholastic found a correlation between children being read to and the frequency of their independent reading. Reading aloud is not only a way to develop your child's love of reading but it is a great way to spend time together as a family. It is also a springboard for having discussions about various issues and opening up lines of communication in a family. It is never too late to start or restart reading aloud to children. Books are always a wonderful choice for reading aloud, but as children get older you could also read magazine and newspaper articles or short stories. So, how do you find a good read aloud book? The Youth Services Librarians at Kitsap Regional Library are always happy to help you in your search and we also have a booklist available online called Read Alouds. Read Aloud America also has a great selection of recommendations for reading aloud that range in age from infancy to high school. Some of my favorite memories from early and later childhood are being read to by my parents and teachers. I will leave you with a list of some of my favorites that I discovered as a child and some that I have discovered as a youth services librarian:

 mr.popperMr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (All ages)


 motorcycle mouseThe Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (All ages)


  mrs.piggle wiggleMrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald (All ages)


 charlotte Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (Grade1 and up)


 sidewalkWhere the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (All ages)


  bfgThe BFG by Roald Dahl (Grade1 and up)


budBud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Grade 4 and up)

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