Monday, March 5, 2012

World Read Aloud Day is March 7th: Read Traction Man!

Traction Man is Here
by Mini Grey

March 7th is World Read Aloud Day, so I want to encourage all of you to find a dynamic story to read to your child.  One of my favorites is Traction Man is Here, by British author Mini Grey.

I originally discovered this book as a gift for my nephew and now I LOVE reading it to Brady.  Traction Man is Here is a story of a superhero doll and his series of fantastical adventures imagined by a young boy. The narrative steps in and out of fantasy and reality; the adventures are interrupted by the boy's mom calling him for breakfast or telling him to get ready to go to grandma's house. The text is accompanied by comic-like illustrations that appeal to kids and help bring the story's inanimate objects, like toast, spoons and scrubbing brushes, to life in colorful and entertaining vignettes. If your child enjoys making up stories with beloved toys, then he will recognize himself in the story of Traction Man.

World Read Aloud Day encourages not just the act of reading aloud to kids, but a more conscious look at how we read aloud. When I look back at my favorite read-aloud books they usually involve stories that invite me to actively participate in storytelling, beyond just the words on the page.  Grey's gift is in getting the reader to play with different voices of some unusual characters, like the poisonous dishcloth or the dolls being rescued by Traction Man. 

Grey also uses a lot of bold and larger print words, which is great for reading the action-packed plot in an expressive way. One thing's for sure: Traction Man is Here is a story that is begging to be read aloud to children.

However much time you have to read aloud to your kids, make it count. Come back to on March 7th, when I'll share a few read-aloud tips for upping your game on World Read Aloud Day!

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