The Read-Aloud Connection is dedicated to the importance, the documented benefits, and the joy of shared reading. The information offered here is given in support of read-alouds in all venues of learning, including the home; in intergenerational programs; and in senior memory care communities. Book reviews, plus articles on current research and best practices are included.

Please let us know what you think! Your experiences, ideas and comments are most welcomed.

Rita Akins


The foundation of literacy lies in the unhurried time spent reading to and with our children.


About our read-aloud suggestions for children
The human brain loves story. Engaging classroom read alouds can bring information and knowledge to life for young learners. Reading from more than one genre on a topic helps to expand perspective. To that end, our read-aloud suggestions are carefully chosen from the best works of fiction and non-fiction for children, with two or more books suggested for each of our classroom activities.


“I love the connection that your materials make to children’s literature.”


The Read-Aloud Connection


Three-Part Cards for Older Adults

Three-Part Cards for Older Adults

A beneficial tool for memory care Older adults with dementia who have enjoyed reading all their lives can continue to read in different ways.  While some may read every word ...
The Tide

The Tide

Author Clare Helen Welsh and illustrator Ashling Lindsay deliver on a beautiful story that conveys, with sensitivity, a child’s perspective on the memory loss of her beloved grandfather. Recommended: Ages ...
A Child First - Carmela Full of Wishes

A Child First – Carmela Full of Wishes

Answering the demand for more contemporary stories for children,  the award-winning team of Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson conveys the dreams, wishes and everyday antics of a young ...
A Meaningful Read-Aloud Experience for Older Adults with Dementia

A Meaningful Read-Aloud Experience for Older Adults with Dementia

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the work of award-winning dementia educator, Jennifer Brush, and her use of the Montessori approach with people living with dementia. In ...

Reading with children in a diverse world – Part 2

There’s a lot to unpack about diversity in children’s books. While there are many wonderful stories that celebrate the diversity of human experience; in 2018 there is still a disproportion ...

Reading with children in a diverse world – Part 1

The impact of story in children’s lives is powerful. Children learn how to experience the world through story. They form ideas about themselves and other people and their relationships. They ...
Orange Pear Apple Bear

Orange Pear Apple Bear

British author/illustrator, Emily Gravett, adds a measure of intrigue, and a dash of humor to her deliciously simple, perfectly fun picture book, Orange Pear Apple Bear. With just the four ...

Of Polar Bears and Big Blue Whales

Most of us will never see firsthand the precious Arctic habitat of polar bears, or the ocean depths that are home to the blue whale. Our adult connection to the ...
They all saw a cat - a novel “take” on perspective
Book Reviews, Perspective taking /

They all saw a cat – a novel “take” on perspective

We’ve all seen a cat . . . right? But author/illustrator, Brendan Wenzel, cleverly reminds us in his latest picture book that “seeing” is personal. They All Saw a Cat  ...

Selecting children’s books for your classroom

Selecting literature for the classroom is an important part of preparing the environment. The books that you choose should reflect your students’ needs and interests, while supporting the curriculum.  However, ...
Maybe Something Beautiful

Maybe Something Beautiful

Maybe Something Beautiful How Art Transformed a Neighborhood By F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell Illustrated by Rafael López This truly beautiful picture book is a triumphant celebration of collaboration ...
Articles, Empathy with nature /

Father-child-nature relationship in picture books

My search for picture books that portray the power of fathers to foster empathy with nature. I recall from my childhood that the sight of a fly in the kitchen ...

Wordless Picture Books – Literacy Gold

Wordless picture books are a treasure trove of quality illustrations that engage both younger and older students. Without the support of words, these richly illustrated books offer a visual landscape ...
Water is Water - A Book About the Water Cycle

Water is Water – A Book About the Water Cycle

Water is Water - A Book About the Water Cycle By Miranda Paul; Illustrations by Jason Chin A biracial brother and sister and a diverse group of friends play and ...
Articles, nature play, Storytelling /

Nature Storytelling

Storytelling is an important part of children’s play in nature. It is at the core of how they come to understand their outdoor experiences. Listening closely to the stories can ...
Articles /

World Read Aloud Day 2016

"The read aloud is an absolutely magical and profound tool for inspiring, motivating and engaging readers of all ages."  - Pam Allyn, Founder, Lit World Wednesday, February 24, is World ...

Bringing content to life with creative nonfiction

The lists of read-aloud suggestions found on this website include many nature titles that can be described best as creative nonfiction. What is it? In a nutshell, creative nonfiction employs ...
Diversity

Diversity – The Richness of Human Life

I’ve always found a certain therapy in reading to children - just break open a good book, read aloud and watch the world’s ugliness melt away - at least for ...
Time for Something Magnificent !
Book Reviews, fiction, growth mindset /

Time for Something Magnificent !

As a picture book lover of the genus hoarder, I advocate for classroom read alouds by finding curricular tie-ins to make reading authentic children’s literature an everyday part of the ...
Articles, picture book art /

Elements Revealed in the Art of the Picture Book

Just as the picture book narrative offers a meaningful context for learning language concepts, structures and vocabulary; so, also, picture book art can provide a rich teaching tool for presenting ...
Do Unto Animals
Book Reviews, Empathy with nature /

Do Unto Animals

Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better by Tracey Stewart (Author), Lisel Ashlock (Illustrator) Publisher: Artisan (October 20, 2015) ...

The Whole Book Approach

Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See by Megan Dowd Lambert (Author), Chris Raschka (Foreword), Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Contributor) ...
Our Farm - by the Animals of Farm Sanctuary

Our Farm – by the Animals of Farm Sanctuary

Our Farm -  By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary Author: Maya Gottfried Illustrator: Robert Rahway Zakanitch Short Description: Inspired by and about the non-human residents of Farm Sanctuary - a ...