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The Best Books are Silly Books

BTRAEveryone would agree that the American Library Association knows all there is to know about books. That’s why it makes a lot of sense that they published a list of  Silly Books to Read Aloud; Books That Will Have Adults and Kids Laughing Together ($18.95, Huron Street Press, Adults). Written by Rob Reid, a father of four children, instructor and expert of read aloud books, this treasure of humorous children’s books for all ages is a valuable resource for parents and teachers who strive to find books that will encourage the children in their lives to embrace reading.

There’s a brief introduction explaining the benefits of reading humorous books with your kids. Then there are chapters for picture books, easy readers, chapter books, poetry books, as well as graphic novels and manga. There’s also a Hall of Fame Guide to the Funniest Authors and Illustrators.  In each of the chapters, there’s an alphabetical list of books by author, followed by the title and a short paragraph with a synopsis of the book and mention of any companion books that you may wish to check out.

As a parent, I have vivid memories of the days when I bought books for my avid-reading daughter that I thought would be great only to be disappointed that they were often just plain boring. I love the fact that Silly Books to Read Aloud takes the guesswork out of choosing fun books to read together. And  since literacy is the single most crucial factor in financial success as an adult, making reading fun is essential for your child’s future.

As a book reviewer and children’s book author of a book about a silly talking  millipede, I am often asked by parents and teachers for recommendations for other humorous picture books. Now I can recommend they read Silly Books to Read Aloud, the ultimate guide to saving valuable time and making great choices when it comes to children’s book that are fun to read.

Reviewed by Debbie Glade.

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Read With Me, Please

Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers by Stephanie Zvirin is reviewed by Krista Jefferies.

In her book, Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers ($18.95, Huron Street Press), Stephanie Zvirin offers parents numerous helpful tips to encourage their children to read, along with a comprehensive catalog of kid-friendly books. Zvirin, an editor for the American Library Association (ALA), provides insight about the types of books that are appropriate for each age group and how to share the experience of reading with children at the various stages of their early lives. 

This book is logically organized, each chapter building on the previous one like adding train cars to a locomotive on this journey to literacy.  Each list of suggested reading is alphabetically ordered, and filled with a variety of books for both boys and girls.  Among Zvirin’s recommendations for infants and toddlers are books that include bright colors and vibrant pictures, subjects that include everything from animals to sports, stories that teach anything from opposites to counting (in English and Spanish), and multi-cultural characters that expand a child’s scope of the world.  Her lists for older children, ages 4-8, include books that adhere to a child’s growing sense of the world, offering themes like family, friendship, nature, and make believe.

This book is a great tool for parents, but it’s also useful for family members, friends, daycare providers, and anyone else with an opportunity to read to kids. I recognized strategies I’ve used with my nieces and nephews, and even my students while reading aloud with them, such as changing inflection to capture characters’ voices or to show enthusiasm.  There are also plenty more to try out in the future, simple tips that make reading a constant fixture in a child’s life.  I plan to pass this book along to a friend who has recently mentioned he’d like to read more with his children but doesn’t really know where to start.  This is a terrific starting point for any parent, and Zvirin’s advices don’t stop here—the final pages offer an array of reputable resources for reading guides and book blogs that will connect anyone to the wide world of words. 

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