Today is World Read Aloud Day! Started by the organization LitWorld, it is a day to celebrate and uphold the ever important tradition of reading to kids of all ages and promoting literacy. For ideas on how to get involved and raise awareness, check out their website and get reading!
Personally, I have so many wonderful memories of being read to as a child. I know for certain that I would be a very different person today had that love of reading not been instilled in me from a young age. I asked my fellow Peaches in the office about their favorite reading memories:
My grandmother read to me a lot when I was around four or five years old—quite often from chapter books rather than from short picture books. It was during those read-aloud sessions that I began to read on my own.
She read at least half a dozen of the Raggedy Ann and Andy books to me, books that she had read to my aunts and my dad when they were children. I can still conjure up scenes from those stories—who could forget the naughty Mr. Doodle and the Paper Dragon or the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees?
In turn, I read from those same tattered old books to my own children, and now my daughter is reading them aloud to the delight of my three-year-old granddaughter.
I was four or five years old and my parents had organized a playroom for my sister and me. In this room was red, kid sized blow-up furniture, toys, a record player, and a lot of books. Even though I had plenty of books from which to choose, I always selected There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, by Jack Kent.
The book came with a little 45 record and that record taught me how to read that book. Every time I got to the section where the dragon grew big, I would laugh and laugh and point out the pictures. I must have read and listened to that story hundreds of times before we moved and the book/record set was misplaced for good. However, years later, when I became a teacher, one of the very first books I purchased was There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, which I shared with all my students.
Even as an adult, when I got to the part where the dragon got big, I enjoyed listening to the students laugh and I was right there with them.
One of my all-time favorite children’s books is Agatha’s Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story by Carmen Agra Deedy. I remember reading this book for the first time during my senior year in college, when I was student teaching, and had to create a unit about endangered animals. The images around the story show where everyday items come from in there original state.
For example, honey comes from bees, bread come from wheat, etc. There is a lovely line in the story that is repeated throughout which says, “Everything comes from something, Nothing comes from nothing…”. I really love how the book perfectly ties in interesting natural resources, nonfiction, around a fictional storyline. Also, the story is beautifully written and enjoyable to read and hear again and again. It makes a great intro to teaching endangered animals too.
Children who are read aloud to become adults who love to read. Both my parents read to me constantly while I was growing up, and I really believe that’s what fostered my great love of books (and why I’m working here today!).
Our read-aloud time wasn’t just at bedtime; my parents, my mother especially, read to us throughout the day. Even once I started school, my mother would read aloud to my sister and I as we waited for the school bus together. We read all of the Laura Ingles Wilder books that way.
I always felt special when my mother or father read to us–that they stopped what they were doing to spend time with us and focus on us–I enjoyed that just as much as the stories I heard.
|MAB, reading with her dad and sister
I was helping to clean up the kitchen last Christmas when my 3 ½ year-old cousin, who I rarely get to see, grabbed my hand and silently dragged me to the living room. He then proceeded to bring me book after book to read for a good hour until it was time to open presents. There’s nothing quite like watching a little boy almost fall off the couch laughing because you’re reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly out loud to him. Plus he got me out of cleaning the kitchen. Thanks Colt!
My favorite Peachtree book to read aloud is Railroad John and the Red Rock Run written by Tony Crunk and illustrated by Michael Austin. I mean, the title alone is fun to say. The story is a rollicking adventure with great repetition and the quirky characters’ dialogue gives the reader a great excuse to break out their Old West Cowboy accents. What more could you want?
My fondest memory of being read to is probably one of the more irritating memories for my sisters (pictured below…they didn’t know what they were starting in that photo). I remember thinking how luxurious it was to be read to while taking a hot bubble bath. So, being the precocious (or demanding) 5-year-old that I was, I’d ask to have a bath drawn, hop in, close the curtain and make someone sit on the [closed] toilet and read to me until I was all wrinkly from the tub. I was an audio book lover at an early age!
One of my absolute favorite books, Max’s Chocolate Chicken, was read to me so often that I memorized it — page turns and all. My parents thought I was a genius, reading to myself, until they pointed to a word to quiz me. Busted. Now I know all the words (yes, every single word there is), and we continue to read to the kiddos in our family.
To celebrate World Read Aloud Day in true Peachtree fashion, I’m hosting a giveaway! Post a photo of you (or someone you know, with their permission of course) reading aloud to ANYONE onto our Facebook page and “like” us (if you already have “liked” us, no worries — that counts)!
I’ll pick a winner on Monday 3/12!
What do you win, you ask? A selection of some of our newest read-aloud books including an audio CD of The Library Dragon!
*U.S. residents only, please
**contest ends Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.
Grab your books and a camera! (Or it can be an old picture, like ours!)
I’ll get you started!
|Dad and me…with a box of Golden Grahams. But, more importantly, a book!