Shel Silverstein & the Art of Interactive Reading

Where_the_Sidewalk_Ends_40th_AnniversaryWhen I was in grade school, Shel Silverstein’s books were perpetually checked out at the library. His silly and mischievous poems will inspire any kid. It was the first poetry I encountered as a young reader.

If you struggle to keep kids entertained while reading a book, you should listen to Silverstein’s rock star reading style. He can make any kid giggle and his poetry begs to be read out loud. Listening to his readings is like a graduate level course in the art of interactive reading.

Below, I’ve built two free playlists illustrating his superb reading style. If you go to Spotify and open up a free account, you can listen to the master read nearly 100 poems.

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Mark Frauenfelder & Interactive Apps

storydicess2While writing Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, I consulted with Boing Boing co-founder and MAKE editor Mark Frauenfelder to find the best interactive apps for kids.

Frauenfelder recommended that parents try the Story Dice app. It will help anyone (from three-year-olds to high schoolers) tell better stories: “a creative writing prompt tool to come up with ideas for plot, character, and setting.”

Apps like these can be powerful tools for parents. In an essay at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, I explained why kids need truly interactive experiences:

“We don’t need to stop using digital devices with children, but we need to make sure these experiences are truly interactive. Apps, e-books and even television time can all be improved when a caregiver participates in the process. No matter what kind of media you use with a child, ask them questions to help them process the experience.”

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Join Us at the Santa Monica Library

smplNothing is better than sharing a few great books. Over the last few months, I’ve visited libraries and bookstores to illustrate the interactive reading techniques outlined in Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age.

On Saturday, September 13 at 10:30 am, parents and kids can join us at Santa Monica Public Library to explore the best books and apps: “In this interactive workshop, Born Reading author Jason Boog helps parents/caregivers and educators discover new ways to engage young children in reading stories in both print and digital formats. Workshop includes storytelling demonstrations and reading-related craft activities. A book sale and signing follows the program. For adults and children ages 2-5 years.”

Come out and say hello! We’ll be at the main branch of the Santa Monica Public Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, California 90401)

How Books Can Change Your Baby’s Life

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Are you reading the right way with the child in your life?

In Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, I share simple, yet effective interactive reading techniques to maximize the benefits and enjoyment of storytime.

It’s not only important THAT we read with children, but also HOW we read with children. Born Reading will show anyone who loves kids how to make sure the children they care about are building a powerful foundation in literacy from the beginning of life.