My read-aloud secret weapon!

2017-02-01T14:47:18+00:00April 2nd, 2011|Categories: Reviews|6 Comments

We all know the importance of reading aloud to our kids, well beyond the age when they are able to read on their own. One of the keys to read aloud success? Choosing books that are age appropriate for the kids. But what happens when, like me, you have kids that vary in ages quite significantly? Adding to my personal struggles with reading aloud to my 3 children at once is the fact that my daughter is only just really starting to speak English. Most blogs I read and follow give great suggestions for English read-alouds.

Because many of the stories that my daughter (age 5) enjoys bore my boys silly, a lot of the time, sadly, I tend to read aloud to her alone, and my boys (10 & 12) go off to read in their room. But how they’re missing out! As am I. And at their ages, research shows that read-alouds are still very important.

I had all but given up trying reading to them at the same time. But last week, my little miracle happened. After reading ReadAloudDad’s post about the Mad About Madeline Treasury, I immediately purchased it. All 3 of my kids were captivated! Why? Well, this is not your usual girly bedtime story! In Madeline’s Rescue, the boys giggled and were shocked to read that “Poor Madeline would now be dead” after falling into the River Seine. And in Madeline and the Bad Hat, they couldn’t believe that Pepito would build a guillotine, and found it hilarious when he’d use his slingshot on the poor girls’ bottoms. Not to mention all the clever rhymes. And I don’t need to talk about why my daughter loves Madeline. Madeline’s appeal is globally accepted. 🙂

This morning, my eldest son asked me if there were any Madeline stories in the Treasury that we had not yet read.

“Yes, hurray, we still have 3!

This is truly a Read Aloud victory!”

Ok, so I’m no rhyming genius, but I’m truly grateful for a read-aloud book for all 3 of my kids. Thank you again, Mr. Bemelmans!

Do you have any recommendations for read alouds for kids of varying ages? I would SO love to hear from you.

Happy Reading,


About the Author:

Reading Rewards
Reading Rewards is a comprehensive & interactive reading log & reading incentive program that is used worldwide by hundreds of thousands of children, parents, teachers and librarians. Find out more about our reading program.


  1. Read Aloud Dad April 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm - Reply


    What a great thing that your kids loved the treasury! Plus your unique experience of reading aloud to three age groups!

    Madeline’s stories made my kids so happy and now she made your family happy… An international circle of happiness… and now, best thing of all, you are going to make new families happy, after they read this post!

    By the way, isn’t it interesting how Mad About Madeline initially works best as a read aloud? It is a book that could fall flat with some kids, if there wasn’t a parent/teacher reading it.

    Michelle is right … it is high time to get mad.

    Mad About Madeline!

    Read Aloud Dad

    • Michelle Skamene April 3, 2011 at 2:09 am - Reply

      I love it. International circle of happiness..Yes, the read aloud element is so important with this book. By the third story, all 3 were reciting: in old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in 2 straight lines, using the exact same intonations as I’d used. As if it could not longer be read any other way. And I’ll occasionally catch my daughter saying ‘Pooh-pooh’, waving her hand, the same way I did reading her the passage about the tiger in the zoo. It takes a great story, good illustrations, and a loving parent to truly bring a story to life for the little ones… Thanks, Read Aloud Dad!

  2. SolvangSherrie April 3, 2011 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I have this challenge with an 8yo girl who likes fairies and an 11yo boy who would rather poke his eyeballs out than hear about fairies 🙂 Your gap is even bigger, but I would suggest Roald Dahl. Both my kids love his books and while some may be a little advanced for a 5yo, plenty of them reach across that age gap, like The Witches, The Twits and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. And that last one — don’t even bother with the movie. It has so little to do with the book it just irritated us all. Read the book. It’s fantastic! And the audiobook version is very good, too. If you want a longer book, The Indian in the Cupboard is wonderful and equally enjoyable as an audiobook because the author reads it herself and does a brilliant job.

    • Michelle Skamene April 3, 2011 at 2:03 am - Reply

      I forgot about one that worked really well for us a while ago: Robot Dreams. A graphic novel, all 3 got something out of it, and I didn’t have the language issue with my daughter. She was born in Montreal, and her first language is French. Her English is still very basic, which is why Madeline’s simplicity worked well. The boys, born in England, speak both English and French fluently. Advanced English read-alouds won’t work just yet, because she’ll constantly be asking for translation. Sigh! But Roald Dahl *would* be a great idea if not for the language. I may just try and carve out some time just with the boys. Not easy, but I’ll try! Thanks so much for your comment, and I can totally relate to fairies vs. anything BUT fairies! Ah, the joys… 🙂

  3. Kelly Butcher April 6, 2011 at 1:54 am - Reply

    Don’t you love Read Aloud Dads?!?! Thanks for stopping by Book Talk Tuesday this week! I can imagine that it can be hard to read to both boys and girls at the same time… lots of groans and eye rolls! I have been lucky (so far) that both of my girls 3 and 7 can enjoy the same books.

    • Michelle Skamene April 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Kelly, yes, ReadAloudDad is great! 🙂 Lucky for you your girls enjoy the same books. That might still change as they grow older, but enjoy it for now! Thanks for stopping by, look forward to Book Talk Tuesday next week!

Leave A Comment