The Book Blab Episode 12: The Joy of Reading Aloud

Mar 28, 2017

This just might be my favorite episode of the Book Blab yet. Suzanne and I discussed the ins and outs of reading aloud, a subject that I am quite passionate about (I definitely do more than my fair share of talking in the video--sorry, Suzanne!). Enjoy, and please share your own thoughts, tips, and read-aloud recommendations in the comments!

0:24 - The topic of this episode: How to make reading aloud a part of your family
0:58 - Reading aloud can be enjoyed by anyone of any age
1:58 - Why is reading aloud so important?
  • 3:38 - Great relationship builder
  • 4:51 - Navigate difficult topics
  • 5:30 - Physical closeness
7:15 - Tips and tricks for making reading aloud work in your family
  • 7:25 - How to make time/fit in reading aloud
  • 10:50 - How to manage different ages/levels/interests
  • 13:25 - How to pick interesting books to read aloud
  • 17:00 - How to keep kids engaged while reading aloud (quiet activities)
20:35 - When is an appropriate age to begin reading aloud chapter books?
23:42 - A few fun read-aloud recommendations
31:50 - Two favorite read-alouds from our own childhoods:
  • 32:15 - Suzanne's recommendation
  • 34:30 - Amy's recommendation
37:15 - Conclusion and reminder: Mini-book club next episode: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Links and books talked about during the show:

The Read-Aloud Revival with Sarah MacKenzie (podcast and website)
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Amy's review)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (Suzanne's review)
Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary (Amy's review)
Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary (Amy's review)
The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling (Amy's review)
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (Amy's review)
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman (Amy's review
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat (Amy's review)
Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown (Suzanne's review)
Rascal by Sterling North (Amy's review)
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
Little Britches series by Ralph Moody


  1. I really have so few memories of being read to as a child. I'm guessing that as the youngest in my family, life just got too crazy and it wasn't a huge priority. That said, one of my fondest memories of my entire childhood is when I procrastinated a reading assignment from school and at age 11 or 12, I was "rescued" by my mom who sat and read Where The Red Fern Grows aloud with me over two or three days. We both sobbed through the end. I remember the room where we read it, the furniture, how the hours seemed to pass so quickly as we made our way through the story. To this day it is one of my favorite books and I can't wait to share it with my kids.

    1. Oh, this is such a sweet memory! I love it!

  2. This was a fun episode! Yay for reading aloud! My kids have really liked "McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm" and its sequel, by Sid Fleishman, as well as the 2 "Gooseberry Park" books by Cynthia Rylant.

    1. I actually purchased McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm on your recommendation but haven't gifted it to my kids yet. I think it will be making an appearance this summer! ;-)

  3. I loved this Blab! I'm also a huge fan of read-alouds, although I admit that now that my sons are 15 and 18 we don't do much anymore, although we still love long car rides as an excuse for audio books.

    I started reading aloud when the kids were infants, because the oldest really resisted sleeping on his own, and I'd hang out in his room reading a book aloud after putting him down. That was nice because I could read anything I wanted. Later on our bedtime routine would start with picture books on my bed (so we could spread them out -- I'd usually put out 4-10 and we'd take turns picking until time ran out), then bath & teeth, and then they'd get into their beds and we'd read chapter books.

    Sometimes I'd let them pick the read aloud, so I did read some clunkers before I resisted (Pokemon chapter books, I'm looking at you!). I just went to ask them if they remembered anything fondly, and both shouted "THE THIEF" which is by Megan Whelan Turner. I think they were about 8 and 10 when I read it, though. They also remembered Harry Potter, The Hobbit and Tom Sawyer, and I remember them loving The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes (although you have to decide how to deal with the Spelling Bee). I loved reading Just So stories by Kipling, but that's probably just me.

    I had no idea Little Britches was a series! I've only read the first one. Now I have to go looking for the other seven.

    PS. I just checked my library for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and I'm 90th on the hold list. Apparently everyone heard about your book club and snatched it up...

    1. Oh, I love getting a little glimpse of your family's timeline with reading aloud. And I remember you mentioned The Thief before, but now that it's also the first book your boys mentioned, I think I'm definitely going to have to make it a priority in the future!

      Sorry about the long hold list! I actually snatched it up from Audible a couple months ago when it went on sale for $4.95, and it's been so nice not to have to rely on the library!

  4. I enjoyed listening to this blab. My daughter who is 7 years and in first grade, has to put the number of pages she has read each day in a reading log. A lot of times, She is very anxious to show higher number of pages rather than experiencing the joy of reading. I would appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this in one of your future book blabs.

    1. That is a great idea for a future episode! I know this is a problem for many parents, so thanks for the suggestion!


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