Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Baby Read-Aloud Basics
By Caroline J. Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez, published by AMACOM, 2006.
I was given this book from my student teacher last Spring. Perhaps it was a thank you gift for all of the wisdom I imparted, or maybe he was trying to bribe me into not returning to work so he could get my job. Either way, I appreciate it, even if I just got around to reading it.
I highly recommend this book to all the parents out there, whether you have one child or five. The first part is sort of a testimonial about why reading aloud to your child is great, from your basic bonding experience to your major mind and language development, with some interesting scientific evidence (for example, you can read aloud to your newborn whether she is awake or asleep--brain patterns are the same). The next section of the book defines 6 stages, from the listener (birth to 2 months), to the cooer (4 to 8 months), to the phrase maker (18 to 24 months). Though I must admit that my child is so smart that she is a babbler (8 to 12 months) though she is only 6 months old. "Ba ba ba" that! :)
My absolute favorite part of the book are the lists of childrens books. Some are classics that you read with your parents as a wee one, and some I've never even heard of. (A disclaimer: I know some of you frequent the library with your kids and know tons of excellent books. So please share your favorties!) What I love is the sheer variety of the books. From a basic cloth book with pictures, to catchy ABC rhymes, to a touch-and-feel book about animals with bumpy backs. Does reading get any better than this? I love them all, and Emma seems to enjoy them too. The books gives suggestions on how to "read" these books to your babies, which often doesn't even include reading at all, sometimes just talking about the pictures and letting your child hear new words while repeating old favorites. This is all new to me, but we're having a great time reading. Anyway, if you have kids, get this book, or at least borrow it from the library or me for some great book suggestions.