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Try a children’s book on CD to encourage reading

By Erika Kosin
Rowan Public Library
Recently many children’s picture books have been published with a CD version included and are being marketed as the new way to read.
At a time when society is pushing to decrease illiteracy, how could giving a child an audio book help him or her learn to read?
It has been found that giving a child a book in both the audio and printed versions, he or she is able to see and hear the words at the same time, therefore reinforcing the use of language.
It has also been found that listening to stories helps improve a child’s vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. These are the same principles that have educators and librarians urging parents to read aloud with their children and take them to story times at their public libraries.
How about the child who is having difficulty reading? By giving him or her an audio book, the child is able to read along with the narrator without the frustration of getting stuck on the words. That child is able to read stories that are above his or her reading level while learning to recognize words and the sounds that go with them. This also helps the child learn to enjoy reading where they might find it a difficult chore.
Audio books for children do not end at the picture book, but now many chapter books for the older child are being marketed, as well. The main difference is that chapter books in audio form are packaged and sold separately from the printed book. This does not mean they can’t be enjoyed together. At the library there are many titles available in both formats that may be experienced simultaneously, which is especially beneficial for children’s books containing illustrations that add a bit of imagery.
What are some picture and chapter books that are available in both audio and print versions? Well you can check out some of the following at the Rowan Public Library:
“Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter Yarrow ó First it was a beloved song, now the story is a picture book with CD. Read about Puff the Magic Dragon and his friend Jackie Paper with your child as you listen to the original sound recording by Peter, Paul and Mary.
“Ira Sleeps Over” by Bernard Waber ó Narrated by Larry Robinson, follow along with Ira as he frets over spending the night at a friend’s house without his teddy bear.
“The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a Novel in Words and Pictures” by Brian Selznick óA Caldecott winning chapter book, check out both audio and print versions and be amazed by the story of Hugo Cabret and the amazing illustrations. The audio version includes sound effects that add to the enjoyment of the narration as well as a DVD containing some special features.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ó One of the best-read audio books, join Jim Dale as he narrates this beloved series while following along with the text. These audio books may prove to be enjoyable for the whole family.
Teen programs: Metamorphosis Teen Summer Reading Program meets 5:30-7 p.m. Mondays at South branch, Tuesdays at East and Thursdays at headquarters. This week’s event will be “Your Transformation.”
Children’s programs: Summer Reading Program, “Catch the Reading Bug!” continues at headquarters and East and South branches. “Marian the Librarian ó Librarian Extraordinaire” is this week’s attraction.
Movies in July ó All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13. Some movies appropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade. Tuesday, “Love’s Labors Lost”; July 29, “Henry V.”

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