Read to Them has shared a number of behind the scenes posts in the past– like how we select books to add to our catalog and how we create resources for each of our books. We recently reached out to some of our board members who were delighted to introduce themselves by sharing their fondest memories of reading aloud! Check them out below:
“The Day One Tradition”
by Dan Daglish, President
“Daddy, Daddy – do the funny voices!” It was a familiar refrain as I settled down with my three children for our nightly ritual of reading aloud. Just like our family dinners, all five of us together at the dinner table, reading a bedtime story every night was a family tradition. We began the tradition from day one when our youngest was born and continued until homework began to surreptitiously creep into the evening routine! We would read short stories, long novels with many chapters and illustrated books with plenty to see. Some of them are classics like Madeline, Curious George, The Narnia series and others less so but still fun to read and listen to! My favorite reading sessions were often those when I had the energy to do the funny voices! My children loved it as I tried to find a new accent or affectation that I thought might make them laugh whether due to the ridiculousness of my voice or the totally wild representation of the poor, unsuspecting character in the book. The peels of laughter as I tried to squeak out different voices for the unfortunate “Rats of NIHM” made storytime my favorite time of day.
I miss those days now, with all three of them “adulting” either at college or in the workforce. But when I look at what they are accomplishing in cities far away, I see the impact of those “read aloud” bedtimes in their abilities and confidence to take on the world. I look forward to the day when I can read aloud again with my children’s children.
“Fond memories of reading aloud”
by Liz Blue, Vice President
I have many fond memories of reading aloud with all three of my children when they were young. We literally started reading aloud to our oldest in the hospital within hours of his birth! And we continued this tradition while including older siblings as well at the bedside in the maternity ward. Aside from the hospital read alouds, most memories involve snuggling in bed or on the sofa while we read together. Topics and themes varied from descriptions of transformers and sports figures to enchanting stories and adventure. Sheep in a Jeep was a true favorite from the early days. And we spent hours reading descriptions in a guide book of how to run Great Falls on the Potomac River years before the boys actually became avid white water kayakers and ran it in their kayaks!
“Memories of my Childhood”
by Cathy Plageman, Secretary
I wonder where we will go next?
Will it be Times Square?
Will it be a secret garden?
Will it be a secret hideaway in a hollowed out tree?
How will we get there?
Will we fly on a magic carpet?
Will we pass through a phantom tollbooth?
Will we push past old fur coats at the back of a wardrobe in the Land of Spare Oom?
Who will be there?
Will we meet Some Pig, Charlotte A. Cavatica, and a barnyard of talking animals?
Will we meet Tom, Huck, Jim, and Becky?
Or maybe a Whangdoodle?
What will we do?
Oh, so many adventures await!
Where shall we meet?
On the big sofa in the family room, where we can all get comfy.
When can we go?
Any time at all!
“On Reading: The silliest of journeys”
by Jessica Allison
You might have heard of the Wonky Donkey or Dragons Love Tacos, but have you heard of the Mini Mommy or Unicorns Love Ice Cream?
My favorite read aloud memories start out with books, however my six year old daughter and I always end up in worlds not yet explored and often on the silliest of journeys inspired by our reading. We read together frequently in our house and as we read we laugh, make faces that match the story, and put ourselves in the shoes of the characters. Reading aloud together allows us to unlock creativity as we imagine our favorite animals, places, and even friends and family on their own version of the adventure. For instance, after reading Dragons Love Tacos we will take turns converting the story into Mommys Love Tacos (with shrimp and coleslaw, or chicken and peppers, but still no spicy salsa!). Amelia, my daughter, will often weave our tales to include her favorite animal – unicorns. I love listening to her describe a world where Unicorns Love Ice Cream, with whipped cream and sprinkles, in cones or cups, and where it never melts because that would be a TOTAL disaster. An ice cream party with unicorns would be her dream come true.
The very best part about these memories is that they keep up with us – we’ll build upon them in the car, at the grocery store, or on the way home from school. Do unicorns like chocolate sauce or cherries? Instead of the Wonky Donkey perhaps Amelia has encountered the silly willy nilly, clinky clinky, jingley jangley, mini mommy! From there, the rhyming adventure begins! Wherever it takes us we are guaranteed to have a great laugh and that couldn’t make me happier.
I’m so grateful for organizations like Read to Them, the many great teachers that inspired my love of reading, and my own curious and imaginative little one for these memories. Reading aloud makes all the difference!
Thank you again to our board members for sharing their read aloud memories! You can find the list with the rest of our board members here. Do you have any special memories about reading aloud? Share them in the comments.