Book Review - What to Read When

22 August 2011

What to Read When by Pam Allyn, Founder and Director of LitLife

As a child and as an adult, I've always been a ferocious reader. I was the child who ate with a book on my lap and read books under the covers after lights out. Suffice to say, I love reading. My love for books is one gene in my DNA that I really hope that my daughters got. I can't wait to see the delight on their faces when they read books that transport them to another world. Of course, to grow a reader you have to start early; but I didn't know where to start that is until I saw this book in the library and borrowed it.  

The book is divided into three parts: The power of reading aloud, What to read aloud at every age and The emotional when: 50 essential themes. I really borrowed the book because of Part 2: What to read at every age. The section gives a list of books to read aloud to children from birth to 10 years old.

For the stage we're in - birth to 2 years - the book recommendations include
  • Black and white books for newborns
  • Rhythmic cosy books to build rituals like Chicka Chika Boom Boom and Goodnight Moon
  • Baby face books
  • Board books
  • Tactile books for newborns
  • Concept books like Charlie and Lola's Opposites
From the list of books, I get the impression that Ms Allyn knows what she's talking about.

I also loved the part 3 of the book that recommends books to cover 50 essential emotional themes that a child may go through like adoption, coping with illness, courage, creativity, loneliness, loving science etc. It's a pretty extensive list that I find quite insightful.

In summary, I think this book is a good guide for any parent who wants to encourage a child's reading skills but doesn't know where to start.

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