accomplishments · bedtime stories · OBSERVATIONS · read aloud

The Benefit of Reading the Author and Illustrator Names at the Start of Each Read Aloud Book

We’ve been reading the name of the title, author, and illustrator every time we’ve read a book with Isabelle for the past few months. Yesterday, for the first time, I understood that it’s been having an impact on her since she knows who writes some of her favorite books.

We were eating lunch with my parents and we were talking about bedtime stories (since they were going to be watching Isabelle while my husband and I went out to dinner and a movie). My dad said something like “On the day you were born” for one of the books they might read at night.

“It’s actually On the Night You Were Born, Dad,” I said.

“By Nancy Tillman!” Isabelle said.

“What?” I asked.

“Nancy TIllman!” she declared.

“Did you hear that?” I asked my parents and Marc. “She said ‘Nancy Tillman’! Wow!” Then I turned my attention back towards Isabelle. “You know who writes On the Night You Were Born! Is that one of your favorite books?”


Tonight when we were about to read bedtime stories I asked Isabelle to “hand me a book by Nancy Tillman.”

“No, pigeon!” she said.

“Huh?” I asked.

“I want pigeon!” she said.

“Is that book by Nancy Tillman?” I asked.

“No!” she said.

“Do you want to read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Okay. We’ll read that one. Hand it to me.” She did.

“Now, would you hand me a book by Nancy Tillman?”

She searched through the stack carefully. After a moment she picked up Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You. “This book Nancy Tillman!”

“You’re right,” I said. “It is by Nancy Tillman.”

{Proud Mama Moment}

UPDATED on 1/20/14: An impromptu podcast of Izzy “reading” Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late last night. (Because I couldn’t resist.)

20 thoughts on “The Benefit of Reading the Author and Illustrator Names at the Start of Each Read Aloud Book

  1. It seems like this also lays the foundation for them to be thinking about the authors/illustrators behind the books, noticing the style, and thinking about themselves as authors/illustrators. Isn’t it fun to experience all of these ages and stages, being able to notice literacy development?

  2. I love hearing this, Stacey. I think you should share this on TWT too. Many teachers of primary students might love the idea of their students learning authors and illustrators through just emphasizing the names when reading aloud. Isabelle has a terrific memory, doesn’t she?

  3. Oh my gosh this is the absolute best! I love the enthusiasm in her. She knows exactly how it goes. Proud momma indeed. Thanks so much for sharing your Izzy moment. Makes us all proud.

  4. This was wonderful. Isabelle is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic reader. I loved hearing her expressive voice, the family cheer and your specific feedback to her.

  5. Your buttons must be busting with pride! You are raising a literate human and she is too cute! Isn’t it fascinating to discover the incidental learning happening?

  6. Best. Moment. I’m so glad you decided to slice about this. I’m reminded to bring some of my own wild reading self to my daughter and not only to the classes of students I encounter.

  7. You are giving your daughter a very strong message that she will remember for a lifetime. She did a wonderful job reading. Lots to be proud of.

  8. I love that! You’re already laying the foundation that there is a writer behind those words and an illustrator behind those pictures. Love it! The recording is adorable.

  9. First of all, “On the Night You Were Born” is one of MY favorite books! We have read that book SO many times in our house and it’s usually my go-to book for a baby shower! And furthermore, what an awesome surprise from Isabelle! I can feel your excitement. 🙂 Brings joy to your ears to know that Isabelle is part of the #nerdybookclub at such a young age and understands that authors are rock stars!

    Side note: Last Friday I had one sick kiddo at home with me. I suggested that she watch a little Mickey Club House to rest (so I could catch up on some dishes) and she replied, “No, Mommy. I’d rather read books with you.” Yes, melted my heart too! And so we did!

    Keep it up Stacey! I love hearing these stories!

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