On April 6th, at 8:00am, more than 35,000 people will come together on the South Lawn of the White House to hear Elmo, Cookie Monster, and more of your favorite friends read aloud our newest Sesame Street book, Just One You!
Happy World Read Aloud Day: Raise your child to be a lifelong reader and an eager learner by reading aloud to your child!
(Artwork from Marianne Richmond's Hooray for You!)
First and foremost, it's never too early to start reading aloud to your child, or even to the bump in your belly! Reading to your little one, or simply reading together, no matter your child's age, is one of the most organic ways to bond with your child.
Furthermore, reading aloud helps develop your child's literacy skills at a young age. From vocabulary to phonics to comprehension, storytelling, and interaction with the printed word, reading books to children is a powerful tool for any parent looking to instill an early love of reading and learning!
If your child is getting ready to enter preschool or kindergarten, reading aloud together is a great preparation for this big, exciting change in his or her life. By reading books and stories aloud as often as possible, you're already introducing them to the importance of reading and getting them ready to start on their amazing journey of education.
If you have a baby or children and you're still feeling a smidge nervous to read aloud to your child (yes, it's normal!), choose books with a natural rhythm or rhyme to them. Perhaps practice when you're alone if you think it would help, and make sure you put yourself in a comfortable situation. Despite any sort of nerves you may feel, your child will be delighted and enthralled by the sound of your voice, even if you stumble over words or mispronounce a character's name. Go for it! You'll get used to it and learn to love it, we promise!
Every Parent Needs to Hear Some Positive Reinforcement…
• Babies love, love, love the sound of your voice! They also love to look at colorful pictures. Reading a book with your baby in your lap is one of the easiest, and most natural, ways to bond.
• Even if you think your child is too old to be read aloud to, think again! Reading aloud is great for older kids who are just starting to read aloud at school as well as voice their opinions in class. Take turns reading chapter books aloud, or let your child read the chapter book to you. Your child is never too old to enjoy a good book read aloud. Even though they may fight it at first, fight back and read aloud anyway!
Before You Read
• Start by turning off all distractions. This includes phones, televisions, laptops, etc.
• Find a comfortable place to read—a special rocking chair, find a seat on your favorite comfy couch or chair, or make a nest by the fireplace. Find somewhere that you can call your special reading spot.
• Commit to a routine time (morning or evening) and do your best to fit in reading aloud whenever possible. Reading aloud for at least 15 minutes each day will really make a positive difference in your child's development, as well as enhance their willingness to learn and read as they grow.
• Before you start reading the book you or your child has picked out, ask your child what they think the book is about. Show them the cover, read about the author, and look at some of the pictures together. Let them observe the book's details before you start. Compare your hypotheses once you've finished the story!
While You Read
• Get into your reading character. Use the book's cues to dress up or dress down your voice as appropriate. It's important for your child to hear you reading with changes in your voice and at a varying pace.
• Remember to use the correct tone, volume, and animation as you see fit. Incorporate sounds if you feel so inclined! There's no reason to hold back! Read with confidence and expression! Reading in a funny, intense, or loud voice to accommodate the tone of the book will really help your child get into the story, and they'll love it!
• Make sure you read slowly enough so your child can still soak the story in and have enough time to process the pictures and artwork.
• Let your child hold the book and/or turn the pages. Urge your child to point out pictures they like or things they find interesting in the illustrations or words.
• Encourage your children to ask about the characters, pictures, or words. Or, if they're reluctant, ask them questions about the story. Take the time to discuss the story afterward by asking your child about certain parts of the books, especially if there is a prominent lesson or powerful message (in most cases there is!).
After You Read
• If you have time, scan the book before you and your child get together to read and see if you can find connections to your family's personal experiences. You can then discuss them after you've finish the story!
• If you end up reading a story your child is particularly familiar with or it's already one of their favorites, challenge your child to tell you the story and praise them for their retelling!
Reading stories aloud is such a productive and happy way to enjoy books on a personal level together. Happy World Read Aloud Day!
Recommended Reads to Light the Way in Celebration of World Read Aloud Day! Find Below a Few of Our Personalized Books with Repetition and Rhyme:
We are so excited to announce the release of our new Elmo Loves You! interactive children's book in the Put Me In The Story iPad app! Your child will star in this interactive story alongside Elmo. The best part of the app is when Elmo tells your child "Elmo loves you!" over and over. He will even ask for a kiss! Elmo's giggles will soon become contagious and your child will want to read this adorable story again!
Watch the Elmo trailer below
to see the lovable character come to life.
Your children will smile and giggle with Elmo!
April Showers Bring…App Sales!
In celebration of Elmo, we are discounting ALL of our interactive books by 50% in the app! You can now purchase the interactive bestselling books you already love for only $2.99. This offer is good through April 23 so download your books today!
"I love apps that teach my children or read to them
and Put Me In The Story does both."
—Jennifer @ EightyMPHMom.com
More Books Available for In-App Purchase
My Name is Not Isabella
by Jennifer Fosberry
My Name is Not Alexander
by Jennifer Fosberry
Dream Big, Little Pig!
by Kristi Yamaguchi
If I Could Keep You Little...
by Marianne Richmond
Santa is Coming to My House
by Steve Smallman
It's been an incredibly exhilarating 90 days here at Put Me In The Story. A lot has happened in such a short time, and we have YOU to thank for that!
We've had so many people personalize our books. It's amazing, and profoundly touching. We made a word cloud for the office with the names of the first couple hundred children that have been put into our stories. You can see it below. (Can you find your child's name?)
Another extraordinary thing has happened to us: ELMO joined our family!!!
We are so excited to provide you and your children with Elmo Loves You for the FIRST time in personalized form. Stay tuned for more familiar friends coming your way! You can also keep in touch by signing up for our newsletter to receive up-to-date news as well as exclusive coupons.
To continue to provide the best personalized experience for you and your family, we always welcome feedback on our website, books, and app. So please send us a note with your thoughts!
Here's some of what we've heard so far:
Personalized Kids' Books
"I was impressed with the gorgeous hardcover I received. And the personalization, which was a piece of cake to do on the site, took it up a notch above awesomeness. This will make one little girl feel very special, when I give her the book in a few weeks."—Megan
"Cute stories for reading to my kids at bedtime. It is excellent for kids who like to read."—Davidmtr
"My children loved these books, seeing them come to life here is amazing! Thanks, Sourcebooks, for making these available."—DeeLee3659
"The book came today, earlier than I thought, and it is perfect!! Thank you so much."—Annick
"We've been so pleased with the Put Me In The Story books that we recommend them to anyone looking for the perfect children's gift. The books are a true keepsake that will be treasured in years to come, and I can't wait to surprise Kora & Logan's cousins with books of their own one day!"—Tesa
"The book is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you!"—Melissa
"It's a wonderful gift. I love how the entire book turned out! My daughter was so excited to see her name and photo in this book. Thank you so much!"—Cassie
Kinsley loves reading this book over and over. It feels personal to her, like I am not just reading a book but saying each word to her specifically. The book was so easy to customize, and shipping was much faster than I expected. It was a huge hit with my baby girl!—Melanie
Personalized Children's App
"We're using this app pretty much every night! The kids love the books (Kristi Yamaguchi!) and they're actually kids' books I like reading again and again too. Intuitive, easy interface for putting kids in the story."—Samcallahan
"My daughter and I have had so much fun with this app already. She loves Dream Big, Little Pig!, and it was so much fun for her to be in the story. We read The Night Night Book every night. What a great idea!"—Suegen1776
"Excellent app for young kids and/or preschoolers! It's great when they get to learn, have fun, and get involved in smart apps like this! Thanks for coming up with it!"—DonDragonWil
"It's great for kids! Simple and lovely!"—Muneca_D
"I've been searching high and low for the perfect Christmas gift for my nieces and nephews this year and luckily I read the New York Times. I downloaded the app and made a book. Super cute graphics, impressive new technology that both kids and parents will love, and a great and growing selection of books to choose from. The app is free and you get one book free too. I'm looking forward to another holiday as the 'cool' aunt. Thank you, Sourcebooks!!"—Coolauntm
We are so excited to have Elmo as part of our family here at Put Me in the Story! For the first time ever, your child can be the star of a personalized book with Elmo. Elmo Loves You!, a bestselling children's book from Sesame Workshop, will captivate your child and have them telling you all the things they love.
You can celebrate with us on Sunday, February 3rd for Elmo's birthday. Elmo is turning 3½ and your child is invited to the party with Put Me In The Story!
Give them their very own personalized message from Elmo in a book they will treasure all year long. Put your child in the story now with this special sneak peek of Elmo Loves You!
Enter promo code LOVE30 at checkout to receive this special offer. This offer expires February 15, 2013.