My wife just finished listening to Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere on audiobook. She’s been gushing all month about how fantastic of a reader Mr. Gaiman is—he narrated the book himself—and how he gets all the accents just right. This is something very important to the two of us, as we both love stories read aloud, but we hate when they aren’t narrated well.
To prepare for our own upcoming adventures in delivering memorable storytimes—our boy is nearing the age where he’ll soon appreciate such things—I thought it would be wise to gather together some resources on reading to children and getting them interested in books.
- The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease. This is the book for parents who want to read to their kids. Trelease first details the benefits for reading to your kids—longer stays in school, better vocabulary and comprehension—and then goes on to discuss methodology and reading materials appropriate for kids of all ages. There’s also a section of read-aloud stories for you and your kids to enjoy. Excerpts of The Read-Aloud Handbook are available online, and Trelease has an additional collection of great read-aloud stories called Hey! Listen to This.
- How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, by Esmé Raji Codell. Another good resource for finding good books to match your kids’ interests. It’s more than an index, though, because Codell has lots of fun experiments and activities to make lasting memories about each story.
- United Through Reading Read Aloud Resources. A few techniques and suggestions for reading to your kids, as well as some recommended books.
- The British Library Collect Britain Project. For those of you planning on reading the Harry Potter books to your geeklets, spend a few hours here listening to over 650 extracts from the Survey of English Dialects. Search by place name or date to find that perfect Hagrid accent.