The Reader

Grammy:  “Do you want me to read you a book?  It’s so good!  It’s about a little girl like you who moves to America.  Here’s the book.”

A Patricia MacLachlan book. Nora moves from Russia to the prairie of North Dakota.  She is homesick and shy.  Her father brings home some chicks, and everything changes.  The story goes from worrisome to adventure to humor and to finding that home is where the heart is – and the chicks, too. 

Granddaughter looks at the book and asks, “Grammy, can I read it to you?”

Wow!  Magic words.

Grammy:  “Of course you can!”

And she did.  Every word.  Every page.  I didn’t miss hearing a word.  She didn’t miss reading a word.  After years of my reading aloud, she now wants to be the reader-aloud.  Just as it should be.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”  
-Albert Einstein-


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Book Review, books, children's books, Early Education, Particia MacLachlan, picture books, reading, reading aloud, reading aloud and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to The Reader

  1. Goff James says:

    Hi, Jennie. Happy Sunday. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Very true and beautiful; filled with the eternal magic of reading – adult to child, child to adult a fusion of love and understanding. Have a wonderful day. Goff

  2. Ritu says:

    So touching, Jennie 💜

  3. Darlene says:

    How wonderful! I´m sure she loved reading it to you. The story is similar to my family history too.

    • Jennie says:

      I thought of your family on the prairies of Canada, Darlene. This must have been similar. I was thrilled when she asked to read it to me! She was, too. 🙂

  4. beth says:

    that is amazing, what a magic moment

  5. That has made me curious although I’m not in the USA. You will all understand when I say how delighted I was when I found out our six year old granddaughter was reading “The Wind in the Willows.” Our family has always been good with words and it seems it has continued into the next generation. I’m going to get her the “Alice” books for Christmas and just wish I lived near enough to read to her.It’s great to connect with other teachers. I miss being in school but probably wouldn’t recognise it now. It was getting stressful when I retired.

    • Jennie says:

      How wonderful that your your six year old granddaughter is reading! I know how hard it is to be away, as we only get to see our children and grandchildren a few times a year. Perhaps that’s why this ‘moment’ was so special. I am a big reader-aloud in my preschool classroom. When I retire, that’s the part of my teaching day I will miss the most. Thank you, Julie.

  6. quiall says:

    We learn by seeing, we teach by doing.

  7. Opher says:

    How lovely – reading is contagious!!

  8. Rest assured SHE will never forget the day she read a favorite book to her GrandMa. I distinctly remember when I read ‘My Father’s Dragon’ to my GrandMa one Sunday afternoon after Family Dinner.

  9. Aw, that’s a perfect way to spend some time reading!

  10. Sue Vincent says:

    I babysat my two little granddaughters the other night and, before we were all caught in mischief when their parents came home, we cuddled up while Hollie, just five, read me a book. Pure magic.

  11. beetleypete says:

    The tradition continues in your family, Jennie. Hopefully, she will one day delight young readers of her own. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  12. petespringerauthor says:

    And the cycle begins again. I loved reading to my son, and it was equally special when he started reading to me. When we read to children, we are not only teaching them enriching vocabulary and life lessons, but we are also teaching that there is value in stories/literature.

    • Jennie says:

      The reading cycle is a great joy. We are lucky to have been there. After a gazillion years of teaching and reading aloud, that moment with a grandchild is much sweeter, perhaps because I know more now than I knew with my children. And, all that we teach through reading aloud is life learning and life changing. Sigh! I just love reading aloud. Thank you, Pete. 🙂

  13. John Fioravanti says:

    Great story, Jennie!

  14. So wonderful when they can (and WANT TO) read to you! Sounds like a great book, too!

  15. Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment, Jennie.

  16. A perfect post!! It brought a smile to my face as I’m winding down after a busy weekend.

  17. abbiosbiston says:

    My little boy has started “telling” me the stories from his favourite books. I can’t wait till he starts learning to read.

  18. Jennie, it works! 🙂 According to Einstein’s quote: Does it have the same effect if our honorable policy has been broadcasting new fairytale films on public television programmes for several years? Lol Sometimes i really think i am in the wrong country. 😉 Michael

    • Jennie says:

      It does work, and I understand what you mean. Thank you, Michael. 🙂

      • Thank you Jennie! Great work. Have you heared. A new European test for pupils has shown, they have less skills in reading and mathematics. I am not wondering about. They should rent you for teaching. Michael

      • Jennie says:

        What a shame that skills levels are going down. Do you know that America is 26th in reading across all countries the world. That is terrible! I wish I could be in all schools reading aloud…

      • So true, Jennie! But the USA had and have more migration as here in Germany. Honestly this new study is a fake, powered by the industries. Only this way they will get more financial help for teaching inside. The quote of self employed people here in Germany is less than 5 percent (included lawyers). A country without a big part of self employed people in my meaning isnt on a democratic way.

      • Jennie says:

        Well said, Michael, and very interesting. Less than 5% self employed certainly doesn’t sound democratic, and industry controlling financial help for teaching sounds worrisome.

      • That is pur problem here. Hope someone will find a solution, very soon.

      • Jennie says:

        I hope so, too, Michael.

  19. Dan Antion says:

    Isn’t that the best feeling? I remember when our daughter started reading to us – wonderful!

  20. Another great book, Jennie.

  21. Ren says:

    Fairy tales is actually how life really works. Imagination is key!

  22. srbottch says:

    And Einstein knew a thing, or two, about intelligence. Wonderful story, Jennie.

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