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:
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.
The 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.
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.
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.