Monday, March 9, 2009

Reading Aloud: Sharing Your Childhood Favorites

I know that The Blonde is so hip and "with-it" that you probably think I'm in my 20's and hang out at all the "in" clubs dancing with my peeps.  In reality, I'm a wee bit older than 25 and I tend to spend more time at home with my Tweeps than in bars with my "peeps".  Also, most nights at 7:30pm you'll find me upstairs reading aloud to my three children.

Our family cherishes our books and our children have had books in their hands since the day they were born.  My husband and I enjoy reading aloud to our children just as much as they enjoy being read to.  As they learn to read on their own they still love to have books read aloud to them.  

According to the NEA (National Education Association) site:

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

In my post a few weeks ago I talked about how easy it is to forget that reading aloud inspires and motivates our children even as they mature and develop into independent readers. 

My husband and I were recently discussing the books that we remember having read aloud to us as children.  The books that inspired us, shaped us, and made a lasting impression on us.  Many of these are the books that we have gone on to share with our own children.

One of the books that my husband likes to read to our children is Sports Star:  "Mean" Joe Greene  - Written by S. H. Burchard .  As parents, we try to stay away from idolizing celebrities and sports stars, but in his day Joe Greene was a true role model for my husband.  He was the toughest guy on the field but was a respectful, hard working and honest person.  Later in his career Joe had a bad back and was unable to play, but he was always on sidelines cheering his team on.  This fact always impressed my husband.  He enjoys the conversations about football, sports, team work, honor, honesty, etc. that come up when he reads this book aloud to our children.  This is a special book for all of them because it is one they know their Dad loved as a child.  This is a book that they may share with their own children some day.

Book freak that I am, there are many many books from my childhood that I share with my children. I can't claim to have the same star reader status that Daddy has, because when he reads aloud the characters take on voices that are more creative than even The Blonde can compete with.  Let's just say that Daddy Blonde is a huge hit when he is reading parent at school.

I love the silliness of the original Amelia Bedelia books written by Peggy Parish.  This silly housekeeper that takes things literally sparks conversations with my children about how words have different meanings.  I was amazed at how my children laughed and came up with other homonyms they knew.  The series was continued by Peggy Parish's nephew, although, I prefer the original books.

At the risk of dating myself, I have compiled a list of just a few books that I enjoyed as a child and now read aloud to my children.  These are books that fueled my imagination and sparked an early love for books.  

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day ~ Written by Judith Viors, Illustrated by Ray Cruz, 1972

Where The Wild Things Are ~ Story and Pictures by Maurice Sendak, 1963

The Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree ~ Written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain, 1978

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble ~ Written and illustrated by William Steig, 1969

Just a few of the many books from my childhood that I now read to my own children.

What books from your childhood do you, or will you now read aloud to your own children?  

This post was inspired by my friend Susan, The Book Chook, who is hosting Day 3 of Share a Book - Shape a Future: A Blog Tour For Literacy. Tomorrow the focus is Reading Aloud so visit The Book Chook, she even has Mem Fox as a guest!!! The Blonde is impressed and will be sure to remind you all again tomorrow when I share a few more of my favorites!!


15 Responses to "Reading Aloud: Sharing Your Childhood Favorites"
  1. Unknown said...
    March 9, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    The two books left off the list from my childhood are "The Little Engine That Could" and "Digger Dan".

    As far as books we read to our son, the Berenstein Bears series, almost all of Dr. Seuss, and when he was a bit older, the dark foreboding of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Of course there was the always requested "A Wonderful Day for Up" which was a fad hit for him.

  2. Jennifer said...
    March 10, 2009 at 1:15 AM

    Amelia Bedelia! Now that brings me back! LOL! I enjoyed all the Berenstein Bears books, Dr. Seuss, all the books in the Little Golden Books collection. I also loved the Shel Silverstein books... I could go on and on! My mom is a bookworm and passed it on to me and my brother... my sister, however, not so much! ;-) Oh, I love, love, love books!

  3. Anonymous said...
    March 10, 2009 at 7:18 AM

    The last things I read to my children were Harry Potter And the Half Blood Prince to The Girl and Brave New World to The Boy. Yeah, I had a hard time making myself stop reading to them. The Boy tried to get me to do it again, even though he starts high school next fall. Lazy boy.

  4. Ute said...
    March 10, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    This is a fabulous list. Thank you. :) I have nothing to share, since all my books were German and would be no use to you at all. :)

    (Hey, my word verification says "unfat"... lovely!)

  5. Shady Lady said...
    March 10, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    I love, love, love Amelia Bedelia and read it to my daughter. Other favorites...from the time I was pregnant I read Jamberry to her. And ooh! The Good Knight books are fun: Good Night, Good Knight; Get Well, Good Knight; Happy Birthday, Good Knight. I love books!!!

  6. Aliceson said...
    March 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    I read many of the same books to my girls. We recently finished The Indian in the Cupboard (hubby's request) and I just last night read Alexander and the...

    Makes story time fun for us too.

  7. Terry Doherty said...
    March 11, 2009 at 5:41 AM

    I don't remember a lot of picture books from my childhood, but I loved Pippi Longstocking, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, and can't wait to share them with my daughter.

    Reading together is a special time, and our daughter has defined our roles. Mom can read during the day, but it's Dad she wants at bedtime. I love hearing them read together!

  8. Anonymous said...
    March 11, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    Really dating myself, but my favorite picture books as a child were Seven Chinese Brothers and Caps for Sale. My personal reading always tended to go to series like: Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Beldon, and Nancy Drew. I guess I never grew out of the mystery series since I now love the Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, and Perry O'Shaunessy books.

  9. Anonymous said...
    March 11, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    My memory of being read aloud to as a child isn't very good, it was over 40 years ago.

    But I can recall having many of the Dr. Seuss books read to me. I think they are memorable books and I read many of them to my son.

  10. Candace Ryan said...
    March 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    As a child, I can only remember being read to on Christmas Eves. But those few times were very meaningful.

    Nowadays, my son and I read together all the time. Whether it's books he chooses from the library, or books I'm interested in, we're never at a loss for reading material.

  11. Anonymous said...
    March 11, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    My kids loved Amelia Bedilia! I have all their old books that I saved from when they were little, and now read them to my 2-yr old granddaughter!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  12. Anonymous said...
    March 11, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    What memories you evoke! My children - ages 35 and 28 - still laugh at family meals and holiday gatherings over Amelia Bedelia antics which were bedtime favorites...if someone asks for a "salad dressing" on the table the laughter starts! At night when reading these stories we also sang the Scout camp song I had learned as a child making up verses with Amelia Bedelia sayings: Did you ever see a salad dressing, a salad dressing.....

  13. BookChook said...
    March 14, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    Great post, BB! I am at that stage in life where i am craving grandchildren, but my step-daughters seem to be happy with pets instead, and my 21-year-old son looks aghast whenever I bring up the subject.

    However, I want to share Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree books, Where The Wild Things Are, anything by Mem Fox, every picture book I have ever reviewed, Ping, and oh, so much more!

  14. Anonymous said...
    March 26, 2009 at 2:15 AM

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  15. Anonymous said...
    October 5, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    As a child, I really liked "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"...


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