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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

We Didn’t Always Know the Way

by Vicki Palmquist

How to Read a StoryA step-by-step, slightly tongue-in-cheek but mostly sincere, guide to reading a book, How to Read a Story by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel (Chronicle Books), will have you and your young readers feeling all warm and cozy and smart.

With advice in Step 2 to Find a Reading Buddy, we are cautioned “And make sure you both like the book.” That makes perfect sense. Reading buddies, as drawn in a colorful palette by illustrator and cartoonist Mark Siegel, can be older, younger, “or maybe not a person at all.” Perhaps a blue dog will wish to read with you.

In Step 6, the suggestion is to read the dialogue by saying it “in a voice to match who’s talking.” The ink-and-watercolor illustrations take up the narrative, giving us irresistible words with which to practice, a lion, a mouse who says “I am the most POWERFUL in all the land!” and a robot who merely says “Beep.” It’s excellent practice for interpreting pictures and putting meaning into the words.

We’re invited to try our minds at prediction in Step 8, as our reader and his reading buddy, the blue dog, contemplate what will happen next.

It’s a book that will make you smile, a good match between well-chosen words and playful illustrations, yet it’s a useful book for home and school and story hour. How can children learn the way to read out loud? How to Read a Story will have them trying before you know it.


2 Responses to We Didn’t Always Know the Way

  1. Norma Gaffron April 21, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    That sounds like such a great book! I’m waiting for great grandchildren so I can buy books like this again. And I loved seeing your smiling face, Vicki.
    Thanks for Bookology – it’s like a visit.
    Norma Gaffron

  2. Vicki April 21, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Why, thank you, Norma. It’s thrilling to see the new, good books that are coming out by such skilled artists. But I also remember the mentors and teachers–people like you–who keep that talent growing.

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