Review: Unlike my original assumption, this is not a book that teaches one how to be better at reading stories aloud. The author does have some pointers, but they are a very, very small portion of what this book’s content. What this book excels at is presenting a convincing, study-driven argument for why reading (and exchange of words in any form) is so important in the lives of children.
However, everyone knows reading to children is good. This book goes one step further and makes several points which are slightly more controversial, such as: 1) You should make your kids read if they won’t. 2) You should continue reading to your children long after they learn how to read. 3) It is extremely important that dads and other male role models be involved in the reading aloud process and be viewed reading for pleasure.
Trelease also makes the point that the reason US children are behind when it comes to reading, writing, and vocabulary is primarily the fault of the parent and not the schools. He shows through numerous studies that rather than drilling kids on letters and sounds, parents and teachers should be instilling a love of reading (motivation) in the children through lots and lots of sharing of stories.
Finally, the book contains several book lists of good read-aloud stories in the appendix along with appropriate listener age ranges, which is very handy. I think every parent should have a copy of this book. (Personal Rating: 10/10)