OBSERVATIONS · picture books · reading

The Repeated Reading of Books

chloeYesterday afternoon I pulled out Chloe, instead by Micah Player out of Isabelle’s bookshelf.  While we hadn’t read it together in several weeks, it was clear she remembered the story.  She wanted to read it first.  In fact, she sat on the floor (I was on the couch), pointing to the pictures. Every now and then she said words I could decode (e.g., piano, book, bubble) as she “read aloud” to herself. Finally, she crawled up on to the couch and allowed me to read the book aloud to her.  As soon as I was done reading it to her twice, she took the book and said, “Ih-bah-bel eed” (Isabelle read).

This time when she read Chloe, instead aloud, I noticed her adding new things.  For instance, I told her the girls, Molly and Chloe, were snuggling in bed together at the end of the book when they went to sleep.  This time she added “uggle” (snuggle) and “seep” (sleep) on the last page of the book.  Even though I tired of reading the same stories over and over again (Besides, we have lots of picture books just yearning to be loved by her in this house!), I know rereading kids’ favorites helps them as readers.

“Are children learning to read on e-readers?” came across my Twitter Feed this morning.  At the end of the article by Amy Joyce was a list of tips for parents to use to help them cultivate young readers.  There was a bullet point attributed to Barbara Stripling, the president of the American Library Association, which reflected what I noticed yesterday when I read Chloe, instead for the umpteenth time yesterday:

Sick of reading the same book over and over? Don’t stop, Stripling said. Kids like to be the experts and predictors, to “know what’s coming,” she said. “There’s a reason this book is a favorite book to them. And they continue to enjoy it and it deepens their love of reading if you keep reading it.” So, here we go again, “Library Lion.”

Yep. Exactly. So, here’s to rereading books over and over again!



4 thoughts on “The Repeated Reading of Books

  1. We’ve had the same thing happening at our house! It is so exciting. There are some books we’ve read so often that I can stop and she will finish the sentence. We’ve been reading several of those one or two word per page toddler books in hopes of building her vocabulary and improving speech. It has worked wonders! Weeks ago we got a free book about hand washing from our playgroup. It is BORING! But Claire can now talk through the steps to hand washing.

    Years ago I taught a junior/senior kindergarten class and out of the 10 kids in the class, I would say 7 of them weren’t able to do these sorts of things yet. They had such limited experience with books that they didn’t now how to hold the book, use the pictures for predicting, etc. It really has me thinking about how to get more books into the homes of disadvantaged families that don’t have extra money to buy lots of books, or bus fare to get the library, or money to pay overdue book fees.

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