Children, Literacy, & Prizes

To see your child’s eyes sparkle with anticipation as you turn the page in a favorite bedtime story can be one of a parents greatest delights.  Fostering a love for reading in your child is not only beneficial to his academic success, but also to his imagination.  Without the ability to visualize the unseen, creativity does not develop. 

Today we begin reading to our children in utero hoping to stimulate their rapidly forming minds and connect with them audibly.

In her book What To Read When, Pam Allyn reminds us that “the sound of the human voice can reach across the gulf of age, of all the things that keep us apart, and create a bridge that lasts a lifetime and extends through generations.” (p. 2) 

What To Read When is an invaluable tool for parents.  Because a child’s interest changes with each milestone in their development, parents are often intimidated by the immense variety of available books.  They can become disheartened when their child displays a lack of interest in their selection.  Pam Allyn removes all guesswork for parents by recommending appropriate reading for each age and developmental level.  Keep in mind, her selections are meant to be read to your child.

What To Read When is divided into three easy to navigate sections. They are as follows:

Part I:  The Power of Reading Aloud

This first section not only explains why reading aloud is so important, but it also gives parents four keys to developing lifelong readers.  Answers to frequently asked questions are also given.   

Part II:  What to Read Aloud at Every Age

Section two introduces the “Reader’s Ladder,” a chronological guide to choosing reading material.

Part III:  The Emotional “When”:  Fifty Essential Themes

This section recommends books that explore topics ranging from adoption to the body.  The author provides literature that stimulates meaningful and emotional discussion between parent and child on topics that are relevant both to themselves and their world. 

Pam Allyn, founder and director of LitLife, poignantly closes What To Read When with the following paragraph.

Here’s to the journey that is full of hope, courage, imagination, and possibility.  This is all we can ask for.  This is all we can do:  sit down and read to our children and give them the stories that might teach them all of those things.  So that when they step up for their diploma, or have their hearts broken for the first time, or reach a hand to someone who needs help, or struggle through hard times, they will never be alone.

And neither will you. (p. 306)


Penguin Group has given me this book so that I might host a little give-away.  I’m excited because I love prizes!

To enter, leave me a comment indicating you’d like to be considered for the drawing and tell me either about your favorite book from childhood or about your favorite book to read to your child.

All entries must be in by midnight tomorrow, Sunday.  Winners will be announced Monday.

Spread the word!


  1. says

    I’ve heard about this book and would love to own it. One of my favorite books as a child was “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.” Also loved Katy No-Pocket. My daughter currently likes to read, Otto Grows Down. My son likes Moo, Baa, La La La. Thanks so much!

  2. says

    I SO want to be entered in this drawing. It was meant to be, I am NEVER on the computer on the weekends and I just happened to pop on tonight and see your giveaway! YAY!

    my favorite book as a child was Button Soup. The one with daffy duck, of course. It is no longer in production and I am about 99% sure it got tossed in a move years ago.

    my favorite book to read to my daughter, one, is pretty much anything she laughs at. It varies from week to week. Right now it is “the going to bed book”.

  3. says

    As a child, I remember that ANY book that had my name it it was a favorite. I remember my big sister reading and rereading a story from a collection of stories about all kinds of things. The story I loved the most was about a little scotty dog named Tammy. Her family left her behind accidently when they went out on a picnic.

    I also remember a book called “Christopher’s Hoppy Day” about a boy who loved animals that hopped. One of the animals was named “Tammy”

    When I became a mother, I felt it was necessary that anytime I found a book with either of my daughter’s names in it that I would purchase it. It is always fun to “see your name in lights” so to speak. These books became treasures in our book collection and remain so today.

  4. says

    Hi! Nice to meet you. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

    I’ve always believed that reading aloud to kids is one of the most important things you can do for them. My girls are 12 and 9, and we still read out loud (although they take their turns, too). Right now we’re nearly finished with the “Little House on the Prairie” series. My all-time favorite that I’ve read to them was “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.”

  5. says

    Thanks for such a great article…I’m a Grandma and I got to read to one of my claimed children since he was a tiny baby…..the other child I did not get to see as much or get to read to her and you can tell the difference….although she is extremely expressive as an artist at age 7! Reading is wonderful and they crave it….thanks for such a nice blog site….sherry

  6. robinaltman says

    I was a crazed reader to my kids when they were younger. We read all the Harry Potter books, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, . . .

    I only stopped reading to Kevin a couple of years ago. He loved it. I miss those days. I prided myself on being a good reader. I’d give each character a different voice and everything!

  7. says

    I would love to be entered. My favorite book from childhood was Where the Wild Things Are. Right now I REALLY like Janet Stevens. Her sister illustrates her books as well. The two sisters even visited my sons school and autographed books for the children.

  8. says

    I’m not entering because my kids are too old, but I just wanted to say that reading to them when they were little is one of the best and brightest joys of my life.

  9. says

    Thank you for telling me about your give away – quite caught up in myself. Needed to get out!!

    I would love to enter you drawing!

    My favorite book as a child was James and the Giant Peach. I loved our librarian reading it to us!

    Thank you Fringe Girl!

  10. says

    Ooh, my motor’s runnin’! I’d love to be entered into the drawing.

    So many books stick out from my childhood, because we read all the time. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I really loved The Berenstain Bears.

    Now, I really love to read Shel Silverstein to my girls (especially the giving tree), and Fancy Nancy goes over well, too. :) My kindergartner brings home a library book every day, and we’ve had so many cute ones!

  11. says

    I feel like I haven’t been here forever! I’ve been doing the UBP at 5 minutes for mom this week… can we say time consuming?!?!
    I would love to be entered in this… we are huge readers.
    My favorite book as a child was Pat the Bunny.
    My favorite book to read to Eli is Green Eggs and Ham.

  12. says

    I would delight in being considered for this happy drawing! My children thrill to reading Taro Gami’s “Everbody Poops!” This has caused a bad fascination so right now we are enjoying reading From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler!

  13. says

    that’s great that they are giving you a book for a giveaway. I’m a wanna a be children’s writer. I’ve written many picture books, but keep getting rejections in the mail. I loved reading with my children when they were young. My youngest son loved the Goosebump books! I remember one time we laughed so hard we cried at one of the stories we were reading. Please put me in the drawing.

  14. says

    Oh, this is great! I just checked out a couple of books yesterday to begin reading to my 4 yo. We’re trying to do a chapter from The Magician’s Nephew (Lewis) each day, and then tackle one of my childhood favorites, Little House on the Prairie (Wilder). Lately, I’ve been motivated (convicted) lately to dial down the TV viewing and ratchet up our reading as a family. I’m already enjoying the first few chapters we’ve tackled together–it brings back lots of great memories!

    (And yes, I’d love to be considered in the drawing!)

  15. says

    I have several…..but probably my favorite kids book to read to my children is There’s a Duck in My Closet by John T. Trent.

    It was a paperback that I bought at the Dollar Tree but was destroyed long ago…I can recite most of it from heart, but would love another copy….

    Thanks for the give away!


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