If you are here and reading this blog post I can only imagine that you value children's books and place importance on reading aloud. ...

Reading Magic

Monday, February 19, 2018 BookBairn 6 Comments

If you are here and reading this blog post I can only imagine that you value children's books and place importance on reading aloud. Obviously in our house reading aloud is intrinsic - we do it without a second thought. But I didn't realise quite how valuable it really is until I read 'Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever' by Mem Fox.

As a teacher, I thought I knew a lot about teaching children to read - phonics, sight words, reading for enjoyment. But this book has put a new perspective on learning to read.

In short, this book argues that being reading aloud to and reading aloud with our children is the key element in learning to read. Reading aloud "advances their speech, enlarges their brain, makes them happy, and helps them to be successful at school and in life. It also gives them sky-high self-esteem. They realise that we love them dearly."

So I thought I would share some of the snippets of wisdom that I gathered from this book but I highly recommend getting a copy, and a highlighter pen, and reading it yourself.

Why reading aloud from an early age, even to tiny babies, creates a wonderful experience and how it advances their literacy skills as they grow.

"Children who realise in their first few weeks and months of life that listening to stories is the purest heaven; who understands that books are filled with delights, facts, fun, and food for thought; who fall in love with their parents, and their parents with them, while stories are being shared; and who are read aloud to for ten minutes a day in their first five years, usually learn to read quickly, happily, and easily."

Why, even when you're exhausted, and they are overtired and you quite simply just want them to go to bed, it's worth taking a deep breath and embracing those ten minutes before bed.

"But what could be more important than our children's literacy and the loving interactions that occur during a read-aloud session? Is feeling too tired a valid excuse? Surely not. The price of not reading aloud is too high."

Why our theory about 'baby-led reading' is a great way to bring up readers. Book mess is the best mess.

"How can books become attractive if there aren't any lying around to flick through or to become absorbed in?"

Why libraries are amazing!

"[A child's] sublime ability to connect libraries to books and books to happiness at such an early age will give her a head start in life."

How to choose which books to take home.

"It won't be difficult deciding which books to take home. The really good ones won't let us leave without them."

Solving literacy problems one book at a time.

"Whatever happens in the world of school, continuing to read aloud to our children at home should solve most reading problems and will always be a lifeline to their happiness, their literacy, and their future."

But don't force it! It should be fun.

"The big thing to remember is to read aloud with happiness in mind, not education."


"The aim should be to make reading seem as fabulous as it is for most of us: fun, hilarious, thrilling, useful, interesting, amazing, essential, and desirable."

This book really has changed my views on reading and our reading habits at home. And it was such an easy read. I'm lending my copy to a friend tomorrow because this is a book that all teachers and parents will benefit from reading.

Reading really is magic!

Mummy x


  1. Reading out loud to children is also fun for the reader. You have to learn to read upside down and sometimes quickly before the page is turned. You also need to learn to make all sorts of noises. Magic fun!

    1. Well summarised! You certainly have to read fast before the page is turned!

  2. sounds like a great book. I've read a loud to my girls since birth. we have books every where and visit the library too.

  3. It's my favourite time of the day to read to the boys. The whole experience of joining together and immersing ourselves into a story is a happy time for all.

    1. You are so very right! It's those magic moments we will treasure!