Explore the Library’s Collection of “Read-Along” Books
Modern technologies have opened up so many doors; from connecting with others across the world in an instant, to television on demand, to reading digital books. But what if the books could read themselves to you?
Seriously, self-reading books? Seriously, self-reading books. They’re waiting for you in the Poudre Libraries collection – 596 of them to be exact, including Wonderbooks and Vox Books.
They’re known as read-alongs!
The Wonder of Read-Alongs
Read-alongs provide a remarkable way to engage young children in the world of reading. They also provide busy parents and caregivers the opportunity for a small break while children are read to by the book itself.
This unique reading format (physical books with audio components) can also instill in children a sense of independence and confidence in reading along with a book that may exceed their reading level.
Why Use Read-Alongs?
The numbers about literacy and reading in early childhood speak for themselves. Studies have shown boosts or drops in literacy skills depending on how early in life a child is read to, how much a young child is read to, and how many different words they hear in their daily environment. Here are a few statistics about early literacy:
- In her book, Talk to Me, Baby, author Betty Bardige argues that reading aloud to young children is one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.
- The developing brain triples in the first year of life alone and is nearly fully formed by the time a child enters kindergarten. According to professor of neuroscience Lise Eliot in the book, What’s Going on in There: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, young children who are exposed to language and literacy experiences early on usually prove to be better readers later in life.
- Research conducted nearly four decades ago by the National Commission on Reading is still as relevant today as it was in 1985; the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.
Decades of research surround the importance of being read to and spoken to in early life. With read-alongs, caregivers who are busy making dinner or working late can provide a hands-off reading opportunity to their young children. One might call read-alongs a win-win situation.
By no means do read-alongs replace being read to by a parent or caregiver. However, they do supplement and enhance children’s reading experiences by providing a fuss-free literacy activity.
How Do They Work?
Wonderbooks and Vox books are physical books with an audio component mounted on the book itself – this means the physical picture book includes an external piece that houses the audio version of the book.
Read-alongs come with an on and off button, volume controls, a rewind/fast-forward option, as well as an external speaker, and a headphone jack.
On hoopla and OverDrive, read-alongs are fully digital; the eBook is read by a narrator straight from the browser or application while young readers follow along.
Getting Started with Read-Alongs
Our collection includes read-alongs from Wonderbooks, Vox Books, and digital versions available through our download platforms hoopla and OverDrive. Children and adults alike can sit back while the read-along works its magic.
Check out a read-along from us today! Find them in our catalog. Below we have included video instructions for using our various read-alongs.
Here’s how it works: skip to 1:25