HomeQuest for LiteracySummer Reading Tips & What to Read When

Summer Reading Tips & What to Read When

The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 12, 2010

What to Read When

What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read ThemMost of us know that reading to and with our children and/or encouraging our children to read solo is one of the most important jobs that we as parents have.

Pam Allyn, author of What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child—and All the Best Times to Read Them, explains clearly in her book why this job is so important: reading develops shared values, allows children to fall in love with language, builds comprehension, teaches the power of story, offers comfort, builds critical thinking skills, shapes a lifelong reading identity, and the list goes on.

Sometimes knowing the importance of reading to and with your child is the easy part. It’s knowing what books to read when that offers up a challenge. Pam Allyn solves this quandary with a gazillion of excellent recommendations, classic and new, listed under both age and genre. Each age group (birth to ten-years-old) has its reading needs defined and book suggestions follow. Themes such as divorce, sharing, music,  and sleepovers—a list of 50 in total—have been covered. A lot of the books listed in the “Fifty Themes” section have questions listed under the synopsis so you can help promote healthy conversation and increase your child’s comprehension skills. And, for those of you who feel shy when reading aloud, you’ll truly appreciate the “How to” component.

What to Read When is the best reading tool I’ve come across. It should be a household, classroom, bookstore, and library staple. It’s easy to use and provides solid reading tips and recommendations  all the way through. Gosh, I think this book might even be my new best friend—it’s certainly going to be a desktop staple for the Children’s Book Review.

Summer Reading Tips

Now you know why reading to and with your child is important and you know where to find out what to read when, you may be looking for a few extra summer reading tips. Pam Allyn has generously offered up some additional advice just for our readers:

  • Take turns reading aloud on the beach or at the park or wherever you find yourself. Dramatic readings from Harry Potter or exchanging snippets from People magazine is fun family bonding;  reading aloud together at any age is a wonderful bonding activity for you and your child. It makes words and stories come alive through your voice, and your child’s voice.
  • Magazines and newspapers are great summer time reading. The articles are short, they can be folded to fit into any bag and if you let your kids help choose, they’ll definitely be interested in reading them. There are great magazines out there for children that will inspire lots of conversation. These include National Geographic for Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, American Girl and Dig. Also short stories and poems are terrific alternatives to shoving a long, intimidating book in your child’s hands. Authors like Gary Soto and Naomi Nye have some beautiful collections that will captivate children of different ages.
  • Make a play or do some scenes of books you and/or your child is reading. There is no better time than the summer to take an old sheet and turn it into a backdrop, or turn on the video camera and make a movie. Bring all the kids in the neighborhood into the action. Turn the simplest little book, Frog and Toad, for example, into a longer play or movie by adding scenes and brainstorming together. Your enthusiasm and joy will spill over to your child. There is nothing more irresistible.

Happy summer reading to you!

Add this book to your collection: What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child—and All the Best Times to Read Them

Leave us a comment: What is the best reading tip you’ve ever been given?

Source of book: Publicist

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • The best reading tip that I’ve heard is don’t limit reading to books at bedtime (insert Norman Rockwell painting of mother reading to kids here!) My son reads the video game screens, he helps read the instruction manual for his new toy, he helps read the map and signs on the road. He’s barely 6, but he’s reading! I’m hoping it will help him gain confidence in his reading skills and then he can read just for enjoyment.

    July 13, 2010
    • Thanks for sharing your tip! I’m thrilled that your son is an enthusiastic readers.

      My preschool age daughter gets a kick out of being able to read STOP signs.

      July 13, 2010

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