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What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read Them Paperback – April 2, 2009


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What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read Them + The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition + Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
Price for all three: $35.49

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Trade; Original edition (April 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583333347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583333341
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This volume by Allyn, director of the literacy organization LitLife, reminds parents that through reading aloud they can teach the beauty of language and joys of rhythm and rhyme and introduce their offspring to the Big Wide World. Part one of this book—a combination of Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook and Anita Silvey's 100 Best Books for Children—offers 10 reasons why parents should read to their kids: to develop shared values, to fall in love with language, to build comprehension, among them. Useful, too, are Allyn's Four Keys, revealed in an apt mnemonic, READ: a Ritual of coming together in an Environment conducive to reading with Access to the right book at the right time for a Dialogue. Chapter Four's 14 landmark books, from Pat the Bunny to Harry Potter (with Margaret Wise Brown, Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak titles included) will resonate with parents, but the best feature may be a brief section called How to Read Aloud, which teaches parents exactly how and why to read to children in order to elicit interest, engagement and response. The bulk of the book is Part three, all the best books for the moments that matter most, an alphabetical listing of 50 themes, from adoption to New Baby to Your Imagination. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Targeted principally at parents, Allyn’s earnestly utilitarian guide to read-aloud books for children promises to “help you find the perfect books for the perfect times.” To that end, she offers a potpourri of self-help tools including a “reader’s ladder” of titles for children from birth to age 10, 50 thematic lists of “all the best books for the moments that matter most,” 10 reasons for reading to kids, and four keys for helping children become lifelong readers. All of this material has its uses, but its presentation is often either cloying (especially when the author invokes her own family) or a bit too rah-rah for some readers. Her knowledge of the history of children’s literature is occasionally a bit spotty (she praises Margaret Wise Brown without ever acknowledging the influence of Lucy Sprague Mitchell), and is Stuart Little really suitable for reading to a six-year-old? Nevertheless, the author is at her best when she is discussing the inarguable—almost ineffable—importance of reading to and sharing books with kids. And here her enthusiasm and genuine passion are infectious. One hopes her spirit is catching. --Michael Cart

More About the Author

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children's rights as readers, writers and learners. She is also the Executive Director and founder of LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. She is the author of the acclaimed and award-winning What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child-And All The Best Times To Read Them (Penguin Avery). Her most recent book is Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives (Scholastic). Her forthcoming book Your Child's Writing Life (Penguin Avery) will debut in August 2011.

Pam is widely known as a motivational speaker advocating for reading and writing as human rights that belong to all people. Her personal quest to bring literacy to every child stems from a deeper desire to bring dignity to every child, and to empower children to read and write powerfully, effectively and with passion in ways that will change their worlds and the worlds of others. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post and in The New York Times.

Pam is on the English Language Arts Scope and Sequence Advisory Group for the New York City Department of Education, and the Advisory Boards of the Dream Charter School in Harlem, the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead, Penguin Publishing's We Give Books and the Millennium Cities Initiative Social Sector.

Visit pamallyn.com for more info on Pam's work.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This book gives great advice, but not in a preachy way.
Altered Librarian
This book is a definite must for any parent or adult looking to find age appropriate books to read to their children on a plethora of topics.
Daenel
I just finished What to Read When and am very impressed with the information on reading aloud that is packed into this book!
Alisa B. Kadus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah B. on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible treasure -- helpful and chock-full of information -- with a warm and wise narrative voice. Discover the best book to read when your child is nervous about going to the doctor or having a first sleep-over, loses a beloved first pet or gains a new sibling. Or simply, peruse the book for good bedtime reads. It's like having a personal shopper to sort though all the books on the shelves, describe them and provide specific recommendations...Sarah
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By emarina on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed in this book. It is not as thorough as I was expecting. I suppose it could be useful to a parent that read no books as a child or has no memory of the books read. The lists offered were very basic. Very few suggestions were new to me and many great books were left out. Book is comprised of very short lists, the introduction to the lists are more detailed than the lists themselves. I would definitely not recommend this book. Time would be much better spent browsing your local library or book store.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daenel on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Even though I'm a librarian, I sometimes have trouble finding age appropriate books. I mean, I know how to help college students conduct research, I know how to preserve documents and I know how to make early American history relevant to today's present but sometimes finding a children's book stumps me.

That is where What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child ~ and All the Best Time to Read Them by Pam Allyn comes in handy. Pam Allyn is the the founder and executive director of LitLife, an internationally recognized organization that trains hundreds of K~12 teachers each year. She is also the founding director of Books for Boys, an award~winning mentoring and reading initiative at The Children's Village. Allyn is also the recipient of a Points of Light/Disney award and two James Patterson PageTurner Awards for excellence in bringing literacy to underserved populations. In other words, a librarian's dream...

The idea behind the book is the belief that reading aloud to your children is important in the development of happy, healthy, well~rounded children. And while most read~aloud book guides are geared towards children from birth until roughly 5 years of age, this book also offers book suggestions for children up to the age of 10. Yes, it is just as important to read to older children as it is to younger children.

The book begins by explaining why parents should read aloud to their children ~ think bonding, developing an interest in reading and expanding your child's imagination. The next part provides an annotated list of what to read to your child at every age and ends with a reading guide for books by theme, such as adoption, courage, death, loneliness and spirituality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Coleman on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This books is absolutely wonderful! I have just ordered it for all of my friends with children. Whether an aunt or uncle, grandparent, parent or friend of a child, this is the perfect book for you! The titles that Ms. Allyn recommends are fantastic and the gentle but informative way in which she teaches about the read aloud can benefit all. I am expecting my first child and cannot wait to begin the journey of reading aloud to him or her. Thank you, Ms. Allyn!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janette Fuller on July 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
"What to Read When", by Pam Allyn, is a new book that will benefit parents, teachers and librarians. This book features an annotated list of more than 300 titles addressing childhood themes that range from friendship to thankfulness, courage, separation, creativity, spirituality, and more.

I really like the thought-provoking annotations that the author has written to accompany the recommended books. Many annotations include a "Talk About It" segment that include discussion questions and comments.

Ms. Allyn uses the acronym R(Ritual), E(Environment), A(Access) and D(Dialogue)to define four keys to helping your child become a lifelong reader. This article should be must-reading for every parent.

I checked-out this book from the public library but I plan on ordering a copy to keep as a reference book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in children and reading. It will be a wonderful companion to your "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Lee on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't wait to share this book with every parent I know, and some non-parents too... I have some catching-up to do on my own reading of children's books! How fortunate we are to have this great resource going forward.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered how best to influence your child's thoughts?

Are you a good example of an avid reader?

Or, have you ever said, "I want my child to be a good reader. But I don't like to read?"

It all starts with your attitude about reading and how you identify yourself as a reader.

No one can exist without reading something. You might like the sports page. Or, maybe you like the comics. How about the online blogs? You do read. And, it's important that you start identifying yourself as a reader, and that you share with your child what you like to read.

It's also important to inspire your child to choose books that resonate with your child.

Maybe you remember landmark books from childhood, like "Curious George," or "Charlotte's Web."

While these are great examples of books to read aloud, and for your child to read, at the appropriate age, what about books on subjects that reflect how the world has changed?

Allyn has identified, in "What to Read When," many examples of landmark books, most of which were published between 1990 and 1999, reflecting subjects that can help you to discuss with your children what they think, need, want and feel.

And when you or your child has chosen a book for you to read aloud, it's important that you show a physical appreciation for the book; that you pause and talk between the pages; and that you reflect back, with your child about the book. By doing so, you inspire choices, in your child. You also encourage dialogues and a love for language.

While not all books are appropriate at any age, Allyn has listed the chronological "when," and the emotional "when," to select certain books with your child.
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