As a children’s book author, I cringe when I hear people reading children stories with the same kind of fervor that they would use to read a textbook. If we want our children to love reading and trade their electronic devices for books (at least occasionally), we need to make books lovable–or at least, not make them drab. Follow these tips to read your little people stories in a way that will keep them coming back for more:
- Follow the book’s written cues for expressive reading. A well-written children’s book will give you cues as to how to read it for maximum listener enjoyment. So, follow them. Ex: If the story says, “he whispered”, then you should whisper the statement.
- Read the book using character voices. Don’t be scared to act silly in front of your kiddos! Each character should have a unique voice that reflects his/her personality. Stumped for voice ideas? Draw from your own repertoire of Movies/TV/Radio–no one said that the voices had to be original.
- Read every word as written.* Reading every word allows the reading experience to be replicated for the child by anyone who picks up the book. It also emphasizes to the child that words on the page are indeed important.
- Snuggle as closely as possible. Nothing makes reading more fun than adding snuggles–just ask my toddler! Sit your little listener on your lap with a cozy blanket to share or huddle up with a couple little listeners on the floor–either way, you and your crew are sure to have a great time 🙂
*unless there is an editorial error that makes the text grammatically incorrect