Try a FREE Read-aloud Guide

Yes, I’m selling Read-aloud Guides with direct links on the right.  However, what I am really selling is the great benefits of reading quality picture books to your kids.  In previous blogs, I’ve stated and restated that many popular picture books are being targeted to age groups of kids who are too young to be able to read and understand them properly. When children are learning to read, they need specific skill instruction so they can actually learn the sounds of words, their meanings, and how to quickly recognize sight words. But kids also need background knowledge to make sense of the ideas portrayed in that string of words on a page.  They need to be able to figure out both meaning – both stated and hidden. That is a lot for a 6 or 7-year-old to do.  It takes lots and lots of practice with books they are able to read on their own.

We, as parents, can enhance their school learning by being role models of how good readers think during reading.  You are the READING HERO! With the help of my Read-aloud Guides, you can easily add a few things to your read-aloud experience.  Here is a sample of what I mean by using this adorable story, Mingo the Flamingo.  I’ve read this story over and over with children in the first and second grades and they absolutely love the story. They love hearing it; they love talking about it; they love wondering about it, and they love doing some work regarding the story themes they got from it.

This book has not been assigned a Lexile (reading level, see chart on the right) but it is advertised for children preschool to grade 3. I have attached a Read-aloud Guide using the link below so you can see what reading the “Smart-thinking Way” looks like.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Get a copy of the book and print out your R/A Guide.
  2. Read the story first and, using the Guide, write yourself notes for the pages you want to stop and talk about.
  3. Take your time and enjoy reading and talking with your child.
  4. Together, plan to do some of the After-reading activities.


I’ve suggested before that you could plan a small Kids’ Book Club and read the book (the Smart-thinking Way) with a few children.  Then, plan a related activity for all the children to do while they play.  Play, as you know, is a big part of learning.  For this story’s book club activity, you could let the kids decorate cookies with pink icing.  Then, dump out a huge box of craft supplies and glue.  Let the children build their own flying machines.  Or, help them make wooden or paper airplanes to decorate and go fly outside.

Please let me know how it works and what personal spin you added to the activities. “Happy Reading!”

Author: booknooksbydesign_f33dhx

Reading Specialist, Picture Book Aficionado, and Westie dog Lover! Picture books are my passion and I want to empower parents to use them to help their kids become smart-thinking readers who love books!