Read-Aloud Tips Don't forget your audience

August 12, 1998

Here are some read-aloud don'ts for grown-ups:

Reading stories you don't enjoy yourself. Your dislike will show in the reading, and that defeats your purpose.

Feeling you have to tie every book to classwork. Don't confine the broad spectrum of literature to the narrow limits of the curriculum.

Reading above your child's emotional level.

Selecting a book your child has already heard or seen on television. Once a novel's plot is known, much of their interest is lost. You can, however, read a book ahead of its appearance on television or at the movies. Afterward, encourage your child to see the movie. It's a good way for them to see how much more can be portrayed in print than on the screen.

Being fooled by awards. Just because a book won an award doesn't guarantee that it will make a good read-aloud. In most cases, a book award is given for the quality of writing, not for its read-aloud qualities.

- From "The Read-Aloud Handbook," by Jim Trelease

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