OBSERVATIONS · picture books

The Importance of Sharing the Title, Author, & Illustrator When Reading Aloud

“Hand me Sweet Dreams Lullaby,” I said to Isabelle as I placed her in her crib last night.

She bent over, grabbed the correct book from the eight or so that she keeps in her crib, and handed it to me.

I paused, satisfied, to take in the fact that she knew (for the second night in a row) exactly which book to grab when I said the title.

This isn’t the first time she’s recognized the title of a book and has grabbed it.  She’s been doing this with Chloe, Instead for at least a month.

I often feel silly when I read the title of a book, followed by the author’s (and illustrator’s) name to Isabelle.  It feels very school-ey.  While I may be a former classroom teacher and a certified literacy specialist, I have to remind myself that I’m not running a school in my house.  It’s not fair to make every day into reading workshop.  (I’ll admit to also starting sentences with the words, “Good readers…,” when I want to tell her about a strategy smart readers use.  I know, I have to stop!)  However, I’ve come to realize, by observing Isabelle, that some of the readerly habits I’m teaching her are okay.  In fact, they’re going to help her, as a reader, in the years to come.

Therefore, even though it sometimes feels like it’s a bit much, I’m going to keep naming the title, author, and illustrator of every book, even the ones I know she knows, to her before I read them aloud.  Perhaps in a few years she’ll even be able to gather stacks of books by her favorite authors since she’ll know their writing so well.  😉


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