Before you even open Sarah Mackenzie’s new book, “The Read-Aloud Family”, the subtitle tells you what the contents will help you to accomplish: “Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids”. Who wouldn’t want to read a book that promises to unlock some of the keys to those connections?
If you’re like me, you cravy quality time with your kids, an hour [or minute] to cuddle up with them and enjoy a good book or talk about their day. A time to truly connect and let them know they are heard and loved and valued. “The Read-Aloud Family” offers practical ways to find that time and to maximize it once it is found. From ideas for conversation starters to handy checklists for what your kids can do while you read aloud, this book is chock full of actionable items. My personal favorite was Mackenzie’s suggestion to play audiobooks on long car rides. My kids love them, and we’ve been able to take on books that might have felt a bit boring without a great narrator.
Mackenzie comes into this project with a whole lot of street cred in the children’s book world. She hosts the popular podcast, “The Read-Aloud Revival”, which features guests who are prominent in the book world as well as a bevy of book suggestions. She also keeps her website brimming with ideas for reading to different age groups or during different times of year. That expertise is clear in the book, where she offers plenty of wisdom for parents looking to expand their read-aloud horizons.
Ultimately, there will be two types of people who will enjoy this book. The first, parents who have no history of reading with their kids, will be encouraged by Mackenzie’s “You can do it!” attitude in every chapter. She even directly references what to do when you’re starting out. Then, the second group, parents like myself who have been reading to their children for a long time, will also find a place in the pages. With fresh, unique ideas and an up to date booklist overflowing with current titles, Mackenzie will reload the arsenal of even the most seasoned read-aloud families.
We only have so many years with our kids, and any resource that can help to make those years more rich with is invaluable. “The Read-Aloud Family” is just such a resource.
*Zondervan has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. "The Read-Aloud Family" is available on March 27, 2018.*