I just checked out the seventh edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease. I read an earlier edition when Calvin was an infant but decided it was time for a re-read. I was impressed by how much additional content had been added to the seventh edition, mostly in the area of eBooks.
The basic premise of The Read-Aloud Handbook is that it is essential for parents and teachers to read aloud to their children. Being a librarian, it’s not surprisingly I’m a firm proponent of this message. However, I’m an adult librarian. Before having Calvin I was absolutely hopeless with children1. After graduate school when I was desperately looking for jobs I never applied for a children or young adult librarian position even though those positions seemed relatively plentiful at the time.
Before Calvin was born, I spent years researching pregnancy and various stages of early childhood. It wasn’t until Calvin was here that I realized I, the librarian, had no idea what sort of books I should be providing Calvin and at what points in his life. I went to the library and checked out stacks of books about books and children. Most of them were good but the book that stands out the most in my mind is Trelease’s book. It contains a ton of practical advice nicely balanced with both anecdotes and research.
A significant port of the book is available online through Trelease’s website However, if you are a parent and have not read this book yet, run to your nearest bookstore or library and procure it.
- I suspect I’m still hopeless with every child except Calvin. ↩