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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Criticsm » Children's Literature » Storytelling

Reading Magic

By Mem Fox, Judy Horacek

Elsewhere $29.87 $17.23   Save $12.64 (42%)
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Format: Paperback, 192 pages, Updated, Revise Edition
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: USA, 01 July 2008

Product Description:

An introduction for parents about reading aloud to their children. Fox explains that babies are born learners, discusses the importance of books in the home, and stresses the value of a read-aloud ritual. She also includes a chapter on how to read aloud, which novice readers will find useful. Anecdotal stories are widespread, and "success stories" might intimidate parents whose children do not learn to read by age five, even with mom or dad reading aloud to them. Theories provided do not include reference to supporting research. In the chapter "Birth, Brains, and Beyond," Fox writes that "having deep-and-meaningful conversations with our kids.-[has] also been linked positively to IQ development" without reference to her source for this information. Proponents of phonics-based reading instruction will take issue with the author's "whole stories" approach. There are no age-appropriate reading lists for busy parents, and there is no bibliography for the works cited in the text. Libraries that already own Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud Handbook (Penguin, 1995) or Bernice E. Cullinan's Read to Me: Raising Kids Who Love to Read (Scholastic, 1992) will find this new title an additional purchase.

Shauna Yusko, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"I would urge everyone to get a copy and read it. It is, quite simply, excellent.... 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."--Kendal Rautzhan"Danville News" (07/24/2008)"

EAN: 9780156035101
ISBN: 0156035103
Publisher: Harvest Books
Dimensions: 20.07 x 13.21 x 1.52 centimetres (0.18 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
Rahul Sood on
I have read this book and all of the editorial reviews and customer reviews of this book. I have to respectfully disagree with much of what was written. Mem Fox is trying to get parents to understand the unique and positive benefits of reading aloud. I taught kindergarten and first grade for 11 years and believe me, there is a distinct difference in children who have been read to and those who have not. I live in Boca Raton, FL which has a fairly educated population and affluent one at that, and I was astounded by the number of women in my Mommies groups who did not think you should read to kids until they were three or four. So to wonder to whom Mem is writing for is ridiculous. ALL types of parents can benefit from this knowledge. There is sufficient research to suggest the benefits, but parents would not be interested in reading a research- based book. As for her taking on the wholistic vs. phonics debate, it is clear what side the reviewers are on. As a reading/writing specialist, I can assure you, Mem was not discounting phonics at all. She was merely saying that phonics alone will not make someone a good reader. There are two other cueing systems at work when people read and phonics is only a third of the process. I could spew research here but I won't. I believe she was suggesting to not make it the be all and end all of learning to read. I can assure you the children who could read by the end of kindergarten were not using phonics alone in their strategies for reading. And if you want a book with lists of books to read to kids, Jim Trelease has already written that one. Why would she duplicate that?
Abby Emery on
If you are a parent who loves to read to your child and wants to help them learn to read then this book is for you. If you don't read aloud to your children but want to help them learn to read then this book is a must. The advice in this book is simple, nothing new but it is reassuring for parents who want the best for their children to know that they are doing something right or can make simple changes to get the best from their child. A great book for kindergartens and preschools to have on offer in their parent library so parents can do all they can to prepare their children for reading.

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