March is Read Aloud Month. Reading aloud to your young children builds pre-literacy skills and promotes a love of reading and books. Even after kids start reading on their own, reading aloud to your children has many benefits, including listening and story comprehension, building vocabulary, and encouraging reluctant or struggling readers.

floraandulyssesA great read aloud for school-age children is the 2014 Newbery winning-book Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. It’s a humorous tale of friendship between 10-year-old Flora and a superhero squirrel named Ulysses. The advanced vocabulary of this novel make it a good read aloud because children are able to listen to stories above their own reading level.

Beginning this month, try to read aloud to your children at least 15 minutes per day and see what a difference it makes in your family.

Parent Patter is a blog series for parents about early literacy, books, and children’s programs at the Dublin Library.