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Reading Magic


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About the Author

MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia. Memfox.com JUDY HORACEK is the creator of the cartoons in Mem Fox's Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She also writes and illustrates books of her own and creates cartoons that are featured regularly in national magazines and newspapers in Australia. She lives in Dickson, Australia.


Beginning with copious suggestions and ideas for preparing and presenting the scripts, Fredericks then provides directions for staging, using props, delivery, and post presentations. Scripts are presented in five parts and cover the land and early people of North America, the beginnings of a new nation, changes in the 19th century, new directions of the 20th century, and the recent challenges of the 20th and 21st centuries. A list of possible extensions to continue the historical lesson through research and discussion follows each script. Dialogue is simple yet engaging enough for students. Most scripts involve anywhere from 4 to 10 characters. Students should find American history more meaningful through fun and active participation in historical events, becoming major characters of history, and developing the ability to communicate through storytelling via readers theatre.-Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Two books for adults pay tribute to children's books and to the artists and writers who create them. In Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, bestselling picture book author Mem Fox extols the benefits of reading to preschoolers even newborns and gives suggestions for helping children learn to read by themselves. Line drawings by Judy Horacek inject some levity. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

This rah-rah book on the benefits of reading aloud to children does not present many new ideas. People interested in reading aloud are probably already intuitively doing the things recommended here. It is not clear for whom Fox, author of numerous children's books and adult books dealing with literacy, wrote this work. Perhaps for those poor souls who've never been read to and don't know how to begin. Fox offers tips on how to read most effectively, reminding parents that they should always be playful. Comments about reading as it is taught in school and the influence of television are well taken. Unfortunately, she dispenses with the whole word vs. phonics debate in one paragraph. There is no documentation to support any of her assertions regarding how children learn, nor is there a bibliography. A marginal purchase for public libraries. Margaret Cardwell, Christian Brothers Univ., Memphis, TN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

If you're not a dad, pass this along to one. Encourage fathers or other male role models to read to children, and watch the magic happen!

-- "Reading Rockets" (7/24/2008 12:00:00 AM)

In short, vivacious chapters, Fox describes the sheer, rollicking joy of sharing books with babies and pre-schoolers.--The Toronto Star PRAISE FOR MEM FOX Fox writes with a light touch, going straight to the heart of preschool concerns with affection and wit.--The New York Times Book Review

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