A Guide to Reading Aloud this Advent (Scroll down to see the books)

Choose books that you consider to be beautiful and that you have a desire to share with your children.

Read slowly; enjoy the beauty of the language and the act of sharing the books.

– "Read slowly enough for the child to build mental pictures of what he just heard you read. Slow down enough for the child to see the pictures in the book without feeling hurried.” – Jim Trelease

– “Book-a-day” Advent calendars are popular but encourage rapid consumption; we want to emphasize instead the experience of awaiting together the great event of Christmas.

– Longer picture books can be broken up into parts and enjoyed over several days. This builds anticipation and encourages dialogue about the story.

– If reading a chapter or longer picture book, begin by asking what happened the last time you read.

– Young children delight in repetition and in becoming familiar with a few good books. On the other hand, having too many books around encourages distraction.

If reading together is proving challenging, try a different time of day or reading spot. Some more ideas:

– If kids are fighting about who sits where, try moving to the floor or a different room.

– Some families enjoy reading aloud at the breakfast table, during snack time, or after dinner, perhaps while the other parent is cleaning up the meal.

– The littlest could read with mom while dad reads to the older kids. Or, read a picture book first for the youngest and then move on to titles geared at the older kids.