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The Magic of Reading Aloud this Holiday Season

There are magic tricks, magic cards, magicians and even a team called Magic. However, there is no magic like that created when you read with someone else.  I am fortunate enough to be able to read to children every chance I get as part of my job as a children’s librarian. But, you don’t have to be a librarian to read to children, you just need to take a trip down memory lane and be transported to a time when you were read to and remember the connection that was created. At the risk of dating myself, I can still remember the first book that I heard as a young child: Esphyr Slobodkina’s, Caps for Sale.   I could not get enough of the monkey business and would beg to hear it again and again.  It was the connection that was created while reading with my siblings, mother or father, friends or teacher that started my love affair with reading. 

Take some time to pick a book to read as a family, whether it is a picture book that is shared in one setting or a book that you read as a family. Start a new tradition. Reading aloud is not just for young children, kids of all ages love to be read to even if they will never admit it. I shared books with my children up to the 8th grade. It was a time when we came together and put the day behind us to travel somewhere else and immerse ourselves in another world.  If we weren’t able to read a book together we listened to a book. This was especially true on car rides, sometimes we did not want to get out when we arrived at our destination. Never underestimate the power of a story to create a shared memory.  The reading we do in childhood is what shapes us as readers in adulthood. Give it a try or if you feel bogged down set aside a time and start again.

Not sure where to begin, you might start by reading a favorite book of yours when you were a child. If  you choose to start with a novel try something that is not much more than 200 pages at first. Click here to see a list of possible choices. The books I selected are a mix of old favorites and new books with authors that won’t disappoint. For a complete list of all the new books for children please go to our New to the Collection tab and search by genre. Share your experience with me, and if you have a beloved book, share it with us!

Debra Orado

Children’s Librarian