Title: What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child–and All the Best Times to Read Them
Author: Pam Allyn
Publication Year: 2009
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Review: In my opinion, there are much better resources of great children’s literature, not that there’s anything wrong with this work in particular. This book is a thorough resource of books to read at different ages and for different reasons. The work is divided up into three parts. The first part covers the motivation for reading to children.
If you’re interested in this book in the first place, you probably don’t need to be convinced, but I still think it’s important this section be there. The second part is called “What to Read Aloud at Every Age” and divides the first 10 years of a child’s life into 8 age ranges, so it’s pretty specific to each age, which is nice.
The third section is what the author calls “The Emotional ‘When’: Fifty Essential Themes” and covers topic ranging from “Bath Time” and “Feeling Silly” to “Death” and “Divorce”. What I didn’t really love about this book is that to me it seems completely indiscriminating. Instead of just including the books which the author felt were of the highest quality, it seems like she included EVERY book she’s ever read.
They’re just handed out like candy, the greats along with the ones that make you think “Really? That’s what you’re passing out?” I much prefer The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease or Valerie and Walter’s Best Books for Children by Valerie Lewis and Walter Mayes, since in those books you get the impression that the authors really tried out and stood behind the books they chose to include on their lists. (Personal Rating: 6/10)