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Sunday, May 24, 2015

How To Read A Story, written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Mark Siegel. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2015. $22.99 ages 5 and up

"Step 3
Find a cozy reading spot.

Outside is fun ... but not if it's very cold. Unless you have thick woolen blankets, and hats and scarves, and cups of steaming hot cocoa.

And not if it's very hot."

If you are looking to share a book with children that helps them understand the concept of how-to text for writing workshop, you won't have to look further than this new book by Kate Messner. If you are looking for a book for early readers that helps them understand the concept of reading aloud, and the joy to be found in it, it's just right for you, too.

Step 1 seems pretty simple - Find a Story; not necessarily true as you know if you spend time with children at home and at school. It's easy to find a storybook - not always a 'good' one. We need to be patient when trying to find the 'perfect' book for any child. It's not necessarily the one we pick first.

Ms. Messner reminds us of that is Step 2:

"Make sure your reading buddy is nice and snuggly.
And make sure you both like the book.
If you don't agree ... go back to Step 1.
Sometimes it takes a few tries to find just the right book."

There are ten steps, and each certainly acknowledges the pleasure to be found in reading. It's great fun to read out loud, which I have done often, and to myself.  I haven't read it yet to a group of children, but look forward to doing just that. I have plans to read it to the staff at our public library when I am with them on Tuesday next week. I hope it will become a favorite for all who hear it.

The ink and watercolor images that Mark Siegel has created to accompany the fresh and often humorous text add the perfect touch. Many little details encourage close attention, the colors are bright, and each illustration adds to the charm that this book holds for all those who will share it.


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