Reading aloud can be a hoot. We read to our youngest every night, she sees it as her birthright. This has been the case with each child beginning before they were born, and so far, I’ve got two out of three who love to read and are excellent at it. The youngest is still clinging stubbornly to the idea that she shouldn’t have to read since she has us to do it for her. I’m not worried, you see, I have a strategy.
The biggest rule in my game plan is to not push, I’ve tutored enough kids in reading to know the last thing they want is to be forced. My bag of tricks includes finding stories they will like. I’m not a personal fan of David Lubar’s “Weenie” books, compilations of short stories, that kind of creep me out. But if the kid likes them, then okay, we’ll read from “Beware The Ninja Weenies”. and my middle kid loves them, I think she has ALL of the Weenie series, and I admit, Lubar is an amazing story teller.
When, a couple of years ago, she was reluctant to make the transition from easy chapter books with pictures to stories with no pictures, I read out loud every night, so she could hear that the stories were good, despite the lack of pictures. We’d stop often and talk about the scene being described, and her eyes would sparkle as it came to life in her imagination. I don’t know why anyone ever worried, she’s able to read at a 12th grade level, and she can plow through a book a day. Thank goodness for libraries.
Lately, the youngest listens while me and her big sister take turns reading chapters. After, we read together stories for the youngest. Recently we took turns reading out loud from “Walter The Farting Dog”, by William Kotzwinkle and Glen Murray, illustrated by Audrey Colman. When it was my turn to read a page, I used a sort of Boston accent. I’m certain it was terrible, but I still ended up saying things that sounded like, Walltah Faahted. Which was the whole point, to my six-year-old, it was gold. As any George Carlin fan knows, farts are funny, kids love farts. Older sister took the cue and read her pages in her best fake, posh British accent. The little one was laughing like mad and even us readers had trouble getting the words out for all the giggling. If you’ve never tried a fake accent on when reading out loud, I whole heartedly suggest it.