BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bea Reviews Reading Magic by Mem Fox

Publisher: Harvest Original
Format Read: paperback
Source: borrowed from a co-worker
Release Date: September 4, 2001
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository*Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Bestselling author and literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read.

All parents want and expect their children to learn to read, but few realize they can get their kids on the road to reading long before they start school simply by reading aloud to them every day. With passion and humor, acclaimed author and internationally respected literacy expert Mem Fox tells readers how she herself became aware of the astonishing effects that reading aloud and bonding through books have on very young children.

She speaks of when, where, and why to read aloud and demonstrates how to read aloud to best effect and how to get the most out of a read-aloud session. She walks readers through the three secrets of reading which together make reading possible. She gives guidance on defining, choosing, and finding good books and closes with tips on dealing effectively with the challenges that sometimes arise when children are learning to read.

Filled with practical advice, activities, and inspiring true read-aloud miracles, this book is a must for every parent-and for anyone interested in how children learn to read.

Bea's Thoughts:

You may recognize Mem Fox's name as a children's book author. Some of my favorites by her include "Time for Bed", "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes", "Whoever You Are" and "Hello Baby!". But she also writes non-fiction, mostly about reading. I borrowed this book from my supervisor at work and it was FABULOUS!

Now, I may be preaching to the choir here; after all, if you're reading a book blog, then you already value reading, yes? But are you aware of the value in reading out loud to a child? Did you know you should start from your child's birth, no waiting? As with so many other things in child development, routine is important but so is reading and having access to reading material all the time, any time.

Fox is passionate and articulate about reading and reading out loud. She backs up her convictions with a mix of anecdotes and research. It is a little light on research but otherwise, this is a fantastic book, easily read and understood, eminently accessible, and full of delight and hope. It's full of suggestions and advice, all of which are easily put into practice. Have kids? teach? care for kids? You need to read this book. There is a revised edition that has come out since this was released or you can find a used copy of this edition.

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  1. I definitely think the research is not really needed,...just some tips on practical application in busy lives! Sounds like a winner.

    1. It is a winner for sure! Considering the subtitle, I think a little more research would be beneficial but it's a small flaw in an excellent book.

  2. Sounds like a winner indeed, I might just pick this one up since my ECE course starts in September. I think it's so important to read aloud to kids. My parents were constantly reading to me, and now I can't go a day without reading. My sister though never read to her kids an neither of them enjoy it so I can definitely see where it can be beneficial.

    1. I definitely recommend this for your studies and work. It's invaluable. That's unfortunate about your sister's kids. :(

  3. I hadn't come across this book, but as a former teacher, mother, and former homeschooler, I am completely sold on the value of reading to children at any and all ages. (In other words, don't stop when they can read to themselves.) It develops a love of books and reading and contributes to reading fluency. My daughter struggled with an unusual reading disability for years before it came to light and we found an effective therapy for her. She is convinced that the reason she loves books and never gave up on them is that I read to her almost every day -- right through high school. (Incidentally, she's now in college and a very talented writer.)

    Oh, and we love Mem Fox too! I can still quote bits of Time for Bed, a good 14 years after it stopped being one of our bedtime regulars.

    1. One point that Mem makes is that many reading disabilities can be prevented by reading aloud from an early age so think how much more of a struggle it could have been for your daughter. I'm glad you all caught it and were able to work around it. Mem also believes that reading aloud to kids even when they can read on their own is beneficial and leads to a love of reading. I think you'd enjoy this book.

    2. I'm sure I would! I'll see if my library has it.

  4. Rats. Maybe they'd be willing to order it for you?

  5. I've always felt that reading aloud to kids is important even though I haven't known the research or anything to confirm it. It just makes good sense to me - when we have little children and babies we put a lot of energy into teaching them good habits, how to behave, right from wrong, etc - because that's the time to instill it in them. So why not instill both the ability and love of reading? I'm interested to check out the book and see what were the ideal times, places, and ways to read to kids though - so you can be most effective. Thanks for putting the book on my radar!


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