The website is no longer being updated. Please be aware that information has not been updated since 2015.



Talk and Play, Everyday!: Books, Books, Books!

June 2nd, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

“Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.”


One of the most important things you can do for your child, deaf or not, is READ, READ, READ.  Read to them, read with them, encourage them to read to themselves and to you.  Set a good example by reading a lot yourself, and show them everyday situations where reading and literacy are part of a productive, enriched adult life.  Reading can open worlds to your child, and it is a key skill for success in all other academic disciplines.  Here are just a few of my favorite reading-related resources for parents:


  • “Ten Books a Day Keep the Doctor Away” by Lea Donovan Watson, MS, CCC, Cert. AVT.  This article gives a quick, concise rationale for the importance of including books in listening and spoken language therapy for children with hearing loss.

  • The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.  This book is an amazing resource and a primer for parents, teachers, and therapists on reading aloud to children.  The book is full of fascinating facts and solid research on the importance of early literacy, yet, despite its academic foundation, the text is easily understood and accessible to parents.  The last section of the book includes a great index of books for every age, reading level, and topic of interest.  It’s a must-read for anyone who works with children, and you’ll feel like a master story-teller in no time!

  • Wordless books can be great as well!  Have your child “read” to you — their ability to narrate a story can speak volumes about their language development.  What aspects of a story (sequencing, descriptors, characters, pronouns, etc. — all aspects of language and grammar are in there somewhere) has your child mastered?  Which need work?  This is a great way to do a “spot-check” of the child’s language while engaging in some literary enrichment in a non-threatening, non-testing way.  Great wordless books include the “Carl” series by Alexandra Day and several of Tomie dePaola’s books.  (There are MANY more.  Ask your children’s library at your local public library!)

Some things to keep in mind when reading to/with children:


  • DON’T follow the rules!  You don’t have to finish the book, you don’t have to read the pages in order, and you CAN change the words if you see fit!  A good storyteller can adapt to the child’s needs and responses.  If your child LOVES the illustration on page three and wants to talk about it until the cows come home… great!  You might not make it to the end of the story, but the benefits of child-centered language development are well worth the detour!

  • DO encourage all children to read, and acknowledge reading in ALL of its forms.  As children outgrow the “picture book” stage, many seem to lose interest in reading.  But do they really?  Or are their reading interests simply outside the realm of what schools traditionally consider “acceptable” reading material (i.e. novels and young-adult fiction).  Some children may claim they “hate” reading in school, but will happily sit down and devour the manual to their newest video game, or spend hours pouring over the directions on how to assemble their latest model car.  While this might not be “school reading” it is still reading, and uses many of the same valuable skills as reading a novel would.  Reading a recipe, reading a magazine, reading baseball statistics — it’s all reading!  Find what works for your child… the only “bad” reading is no reading at all!

Happy Hearing and Happy Reading, Everyone!

Written by

Elizabeth Rosenzweig MS CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. She provides auditory verbal therapy, aural rehabilitation, IEP advocacy, consultation, and LSLS mentoring for clients around the world via teletherapy. You can learn more about Elizabeth's services on her Website or Facebook.


June 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

Elizabeth ..

What book are you reading now? Got any particular genres that you prefer?

Book I am reading now: “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” – Marisha Pessl.



June 2, 2008 at 11:58 am

You are so right, I get Gage to help me read signs while driving. I’ll think of something I know he’s going to see and I’ll ask him to look for the “Park Road” sign…or help me find the sign that says “cookies” if we are in the grocery store.

June 3, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I loved what you said here! Reading, reading, reading to your kids when little will not only encourage the love of books, but also will help them with early literacy skills.

At the library I work we offer early literacy workshops and storytimes. The Jim Trelease book is good, but libraries, and especially children’s librarians can make great recommendations as well.

We usually tell a parent to look for books that will excite the child. Parents sometimes feel bored reading a million, gazillion dinosaur books. They want to read what an expert recommended. But if their child loves Thomas the Tank Engine, then it’s better to go with the flow.

Books with language rhythm, rhyming and repetitive lines are especially appealing to babies.

One of my kids favorite books as toddlers was Where the Wild Things Are. When we got to the part where the wild things were, I adlibbed by singing a marching song and bouncing them on my knees. They loved this and still remember it. They are all avid readers as adults, and I don’t mean to brag, but they’ve all done well in school too.

August 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.