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Reading magic : why reading aloud to our…

Reading magic : why reading aloud to our children will change their lives… (edition 2008)

by Mem Fox

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Title:Reading magic : why reading aloud to our children will change their lives forever
Authors:Mem Fox
Info:Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, c2008.
Collections:Children's Lit, Your library

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Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox



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As a literacy expert and advocate, successful children's author, Mem Fox makes a strong and comendable case for reading to children from birth in "Reading Magic." Throughout the book, Fox mentions scientific studies regarding the connection between reading aloud and educational engagement as well as her personal accounts of how reading to children (and at times, even adults) have helped to build strong, loving relationships among families as well as a lifelong love of reading among everyone involved.

While the book is not a manual meant to teach parents how to be educators, Fox offers useful tips that will help children become prepared to learn how to read. The tips rely on making reading fun and enjoyable for the child and the adult reading aloud. Reading aloud should not be not merely understood as a tried and tested means for assuring future academic success for children. Reading aloud is a means of creating wonderful memories and bonds that will last a lifetime. ( )
  thelittlestacks | Mar 27, 2015 |
Listened to this book orally. This was amazing listening to Mem Fox read aloud. She had a lot of great tips and strategies for read alouds that I hope to use in the future. Would be good for high school students to read/hear for public speaking classes.
  bzittlosen | Dec 17, 2014 |
After listening to several online versions of this book, I learned that Mem Fox talks about the magic of reading aloud and how kids can benefit from the ability to hear words. One thing I thought was very interesting about her voice was just the way she talked. Her British accent really drew me and engaged me in the first sentence. She also talked about reading with a sense that you are singing to children, because kids love music. When she reads her book Koala Lou she makes sure she reads it the same way every time so it is easy for students to understand. I think by incorporating this in my classroom children can flourish from a different variety of literature. Other than that basic read aloud.
  Jclark5 | Nov 17, 2014 |
A bit soapbox-y, heavy on anecdotes and short on data, but it's good to know that something so simple and obvious (to some, anyway) can help so much.


We can do at least seven things with our voices to keep our listeners engaged. Six of these seven vocal gymnastics are contrasts: loud and soft, fast and slow, and high and low. And we can p-a-u-s-e. The words on the page will tell us which of these to choose. (42)

What we love, our listeners will love....If [children] love the sounds of the words, they'll understand them better when they come to read them later....familiar words...are always easier to read than unfamiliar words. (47)

While phonics is one element in learning to read, the stories-first approach to reading achieves better results than the letters-and-phonics-first approach. Stories-first takes care of the essential attitude problem. Children who have been endlessly entertained by wonderful stories have a joyful attitude toward learning to read. (63)

...reading means the ability to make sense out of the print, not sound out of the print. (85)

If we want our children to learn how to read anything - let alone to read more, or to read more diverse or difficult material - it helps immeasurably if we can give them as much experience of [language/the world] as possible. (88, 104)

Suggested: The Golden Books Family Treasury of Poetry (for songs and nursery rhymes) (91)

[Reading aloud vs. silently] The slowness of our progress overloads our memory and blocks out meaning. (116)

Astonishing and "soft" though this may seem, we should tell children the words they don't know...We need to hurry them along so their memory isn't overloaded, so they can use all the information they've picked up so far in the story...to get accurate meaning as they read. Anything that slows them down is a bad thing. (121)

Fairy stories require the mind to be attentive to detail, to be highly active in problem solving, to roll through tunnels of prediction and making meaning, and to tumble down hills of emotion and run back up again. (138)

The whole point of books is to allow us to experience troubled realities that are different from our own, to feel the appropriate emotions, to empathize, to make judgments, and to have our interest held. If we sanitize everything children read, how much more shocking and confusing will the real world be when they finally have to face it? (142)

When a child is reading aloud to us with great aplomb and mostly correctly, it's very tempting to comment only when the child slips up and makes a mistake, as if mistakes are all we're listening for. This is very discouraging for young readers...be encouraging instead...[but don't overpraise]. (153)

Pressure and a sense of failure are no help at all to learners. (156)

Phonics is the ability to translate the print on the page into sound. (157)

Learning to read is more about learning language than it is about making sounds from the letters on a page. (163)

The big thing to remember is to read aloud with happiness in mind, not education. We'll get it all wrong if we think only about education. Learning to read comes from the happiness of reading. (178)

191-192 list of "Twenty Books That Children Love," including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Alexander's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Where the Wild Things Are, Where's Spot?, Madeline, Green Eggs and Ham, Are You My Mother?, etc. ( )
  JennyArch | Feb 3, 2014 |
Mem Fox is so positive and cheerful throughout, it seems inconceivable that after reading this book anyone would NOT want to read aloud to their children! I enjoyed her instruction, even in the simplest of ways, about making language musical. ( )
  SylviaSmile | May 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mem Foxprimary authorall editionscalculated
Horacek, JudyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Jim Trelease, King of the Read-Alouds
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In 1975 our daughter, Chloe, came home from school in a state of excitement and said, "I can read!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156010763, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A new and revised edition! Bestselling children's author and internationally respected literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read. With passion and humor, Fox 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 discusses the three secrets of reading, offers guidance on defining and choosing good books, and addresses the challenges that can arise. And this new edition boasts twenty pages of fresh material, including two new chapters on boy readers and phonics, a foreword, and a list of "Twenty Books that Children Love." Filled with practical advice, activities, and inspiring true read-aloud miracles, this book is a favorite of educators and parents and a must-have for anyone interested in how children learn to read.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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