Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Read-Aloud

Sometimes my initial reaction to wordy picture books is negative. "Who is the audience supposed to be?" I think. The more I research about teaching your children to read and exposing them to a language-rich environment, the more I gain a different perspective.

White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin is a Caldecott Award Winning book that I would put into the category of a great Read-Aloud book for young children. By Read-Aloud, I don't mean that your child read's the book aloud, but that you, the adult, read the book aloud to the child.

In the mid-winter long before television, computer games and radio, people would read aloud to one another for entertainment. This is a practice that my husband and I plan on continuing throughout our parenting years in order to create a language rich environment.

When I used to think about read-aloud books, I thought of novels or even young adult books such as Little House on the Prairie. But why not picture books? I always find that the novels that include a few illustrations are some of my favorites-maybe that's because I'm a visual learner.

Treat wordy picture books as read-alouds for your children.

"Softly, gently in the secret night,
Down from the North came the quiet white.
Drifting, sifting, silent flight,
Softly, gently, in the secret night.

White snow, bright snow, smooth and deep.
Light snow, night snow, quiet as sleep.
Down, down, without a sound;
Downd, down, to the frozen ground.

Covering roads and hiding fences,
Sifting in crakcs and fillint up trenches.
Millions of snowflakes, tiny and light.
Softly, gently, in the secret night."

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