Reading Aloud Heals Just About Everything

PRINCESS BRIDE, THE, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, 1987, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved

My favorite ‘reading aloud movie’ is “The Princess Bride.”  Yes, it’s a wonderful movie about a fairy tale…but more importantly it’s a grandfather reading aloud the book to his sick grandson, a reluctant listener.  Eventually the grandson is fully engrossed in the book and his grandfather’s reading aloud.

Even when you’re sick, your ears hear the words, and your brain makes wonderful connections, often to the heart.  Sick people smile when they are read aloud to.  Yes, they do.

I have been sick.  Staying home for a week has been sometimes blurry, yet I was able to read aloud to the children at school on Zoom.  What a treat!  I read a Todd Parr book, The Thankful Book.

It was perfect.  We talked about all the things we’re thankful for.

Yet, the tables were turned, I was the sick one.  Reading aloud was healing for me, too.  Yes, reading aloud heals just about everything.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty 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 am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in children's books, Expressing words and feelings, picture books, reading aloud, Teaching young children and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Reading Aloud Heals Just About Everything

  1. Hope you feel better soon! I love reading to my kids.

  2. CarolCooks2 says:

    Poor you, Jennie I hope you are on the mend but what a trooper you still didn’t forget your kiddies and its sounds as if it helped you too…How wonderful 🙂 x

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I hope you’re feeling better, Jennie. I can only imagine the love that flowed back to you as you were reading. That is a powerful source of healing energy. Take care.

  4. beth says:

    hope you’re feeling better soon, Jennie. I’m sure the kids miss you terribly. tell them to look forward to getting mail from us soon, I sent it out earlier this week. you are so right about reading, it is so therapeutic for the reader as well as the listener. )i love Todd Parr books –

  5. srbottch says:

    Our kids loved to be read to at night. And they always went to bed without a problem. I agree, it’s great therapy. Why, I enjoy reading my own stories aloud. Makes me smile. Have a great day, Jennie!

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Yes and I love to read to my grandchildren 💜💜

  7. Good for you for being able to still share your passion while ill. Hope you are feeling better!

  8. Ritu says:

    Love love love this, Jennie!💛

  9. I hope you feel better soon! 💗

  10. beetleypete says:

    It is great when it works both ways. I hope you are feeling much better now, Jennie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, it is- a real win-win. I’m on the mend. I don’t think I had Covid as bad as you, but I missed a whole week of school (a first). The week ahead is school vacation week, so I’m lucky to have more time to heal and get rid of the dreaded cough. My fog-brain remains in a fog. Best to you, Pete.

  11. Hope your feeling better soon Jennie!

  12. Fraggle says:

    Oh no, sorry to hear you’ve had the lurgy, hope you feel better soon!

  13. Don Ostertag says:

    Hope you get well real soon, Jennie. Reading via Zoom robs you of seeing the little faces and their reactions.

  14. quiall says:

    Few days before my father died I was reading to him. I don’t remember what the book was. He wasn’t aware of what the story was but he told my mother that the fact that I was reading to him gave him such a sense of peace that he would smile. I’m always proudest of that.

    • Jennie says:

      Oh my goodness… I have chills. What a wonderful memory for you, thank goodness your mother told you what he said. She knew it was a big deal, and so did your father. I will think of this often, Pam. Thank you.

  15. johnrieber says:

    As a book lover, I have pushed reading on my kids and they will do the same…as for “The Princess Bride” two things: one, most don’t know it was a novel BEFORE it was a great movie, and two, it was written by William Goldman, who also wrote many terrific screenplays like “Butch Cassisdy & The Sundance Kid” – and it was his line that iconically summed up Hollywood: “nobody knows anything.”

    • Jennie says:

      Good for you, John! Yes, your kids will do the same. BTW, if grandkids are ever in the picture, you’d better pick my brain for books. I know… what a surprise that people don’t realize the movie was first a book. That happens a lot. I did not know William Goldman wrote the book! Thank you for telling me! He was terrific. How many writers have success with both novels and screenplays? Yes, “nobody knows anything.”

  16. Darlene says:

    So sorry to hear you have been sick. But reading fixes everything. I read to mom in her later years and even though she had dementia, she loved it and it made her smile. 😊 I hope you will be better soon and back to school with the children.

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks, Darlene. I’m on the mend. Yes reading pretty much fixes everything. 😀 What a wonderful story about your mom. Knowing she loved it and knowing it made her smile is a great memory for you.

  17. So sorry but so pleased you could show the children in a practical way how happy reading can make them even when ill. You never miss a good opportunity. I hope you are really well now !!!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Sandra! Yes, I was so glad to show them reading can always be happy. I always try to seize the moment with children. 🙂 I am on the mend!

  18. petespringerauthor says:

    I hope you’re feeling better, my friend. When you do, it might be time to return with Rapper Jennie. Goodnight Moon never sounded so good. 😊

    • Jennie says:

      Hi Pete! I think I’m the last teacher at school to get Covid. I’ve never missed a whole week of school. Of course Steve got whacked, too. We are better, and the good news is that it’s now February school vacation week. More time to heal and get back to normal. It was SO wonderful to Zoom with the children yesterday and read a book. Made my day. Also, I think you are absolutely right about Rapper Jennie and Goodnight Moon. It’s time! Stay tuned!! 😀

  19. I hope you feel better, Jennie. Sorry to hear you were sick.

  20. From what I can see in the comments, it appears you’re on the mend. Yay! As to the healing art of reading aloud – during ‘lockdown’ hubby started reading the book he was reading to me as a sort of bedtime ritual. The book? No, not The Princess Bride, but we have both the book and the video. The book is called, “The Soul of an Octopus – A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. As the isolation of COVID continued, I then began to read aloud the same book again to hubby! It’s now part of our history together as is COVID itself.

  21. Norah says:

    I’m sorry to hear you were unwell, Jennie. I hope you feel better now. I’m glad reading helps. Magic!

  22. Annika Perry says:

    Bless, even when poorly you ensure you are there for students – a deep moment of thankfulness for them and for you too. I’m happy to see from the comments that you are doing much better! Take care and look after yourself, Jennie! xx

  23. srbottch says:

    Hope you’re feeling better, Jennie. You know ‘your kids’ are missing you.

  24. I’m so sorry to hear that you caught it too, Jennie. I was back up after a week but the fatigue lingered for several weeks. Then I got something different but it felt the same. I tested negative but once again, down for the count. Give yourself extra time and space to build back up. It’s sneaky, that stuff. Glad reading to the children helped all of you.

    • Jennie says:

      That’s good to know, Marlene. I’m 10 days from when I got sick and feeling much better, except for the fatigue. I call it fog brain. This is school vacation week, so that’s a lucky break. I have another week to heal. I will be cautious about taking care of myself. Yes, the children helped- they’re always a bright light.

  25. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for a wonderful post! I hope you feel better soon.

  26. Opher says:

    Sure does Jennie. You’re a star!

  27. Carla says:

    I’m sorry to hear you were sick, Jennie and hope you are better now. What a great way to stay connected to your children and do something you love together. 💖🤗

  28. You are very dedicated to read to the children when you are sick, Jennie. I took my first sick leave in 11 years this week. I just wasn’t well enough to work although I did a few things.

  29. CUP says:

    Hope you’re alright!

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