Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
May 2020

In this Rais­ing Star Read­ers update, Ann Angel shares how read­ing aloud helps car­ry on her family’s her­itage of sto­ry­telling. Here’s how Ann describes it: 

Ann Angel and her grandson Teddy
Ann Angel and her grand­son Teddy

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Richard Scarry

With Stay-at-Home a require­ment in most states, mine includ­ed, I only see some of my grand­kids via Skype and Zoom. But I have a daugh­ter and grand­son liv­ing with us. That means we’re bal­anc­ing work and Teddy’s school, so, of course, I get involved. Some­times my grand­son Ted­dy insists on read­ing to me. And when he does, pic­ture books take on a whole new lev­el of sil­ly and seri­ous. This is most often the case when I let him pick out his favorites. Of course we go through the usu­al count­ing books and ani­mal sound books which always enter­tain. But then Ted­dy reach­es for books he knows by heart, such as Richard Scarry’s edu­ca­tion­al clas­sics or Lau­ra Numeroff’s If you Give books. Then his imag­i­na­tion kick into high gear. I’m enter­tained like crazy and he devel­ops skills in interpretation.

Richard Scarry Cars and Trucks from A to ZThe sto­ry takes on twists and turns and amaz­ing details. Recent­ly Ted­dy read to me from Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z. Ted­dy was con­cerned that an apple car might arrive instead of an ambu­lance. “Would the work­er take you to a farm?” he asked. “Would you get bet­ter or worse?” When we reached an image of a pick­le car, Ted­dy asked, “Who dri­ves a pick­le car? Do you?”

The pump­kin truck cre­at­ed a prob­lem: “Some­one is going to miss Hal­loween. All the pump­kins are falling out of the truck.” Water­mel­ons cas­cad­ing from anoth­er pick­up led Ted­dy to frown and point out, “There won’t be any water­mel­on tonight!”

When read­ing If you Give a Mouse a Cook­ie (Lau­ra Numeroff, illus­trat­ed by Feli­cia Bond), Ted­dy loves to iden­ti­fy the entire mouse fam­i­ly in one of the first illus­tra­tions. The last time we shared this sto­ry, he point­ed out that at one point, the mouse dis­ap­pears from the page. “He’s in the mid­dle of that dust because he’s sweep­ing,” Ted­dy informed me, adding a lay­er to the sto­ry on the page. By the way, we end­ed this sto­ry time by mak­ing our own cookies.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

While these sim­ple excla­ma­tions might be writ­ten off as a kid’s per­spec­tive, what’s going on inside our kids’ minds when we encour­age them to read to us is so much more. My grand­kids have dis­cov­ered the art of sto­ry­telling with our shared sto­ries and they’re devel­op­ing this tal­ent and skill. Mean­while, I’ve dis­cov­ered the pure bliss of know­ing my grand­kids have this gift and will pass sto­ries along for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Teddy reading


Bookol­o­gy is always look­ing for new Read­ing Teams to help us cel­e­brate the joys of read­ing aloud togeth­er. Con­tact Lisa Bullard for fur­ther infor­ma­tion if you’re inter­est­ed in participating.

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