TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, January 20, 2014

Author Profile: Don and Audrey Wood

Husband-and-wife team Don and Audrey Wood have created many picture books together, individually and with their son, Bruce. Their lush illustrations, rollicking rhymes and rhythmic pacing and repetition make many of their works perfect for reading aloud.

Their website has lots of interesting information and useful resources. You’ll find biographies of them, activities and videos for their books, as well as a “secrets” tab that provides intriguing backstory for some of their books.

Here are some of our favorites for young children

The Napping House
Probably the Woods' most famous book, this cumulative tale pairs repetition with detailed illustrations to describe a quiet house “where everyone is sleeping.” That is, of course, until they are not. Little kids will want to chime in and list the nappers, as well as search the illustrations for the tiny flea hiding in nearly every picture.

Wacky illustrations, repetition (Piggies) and rhyme (Silly Sally) invite kids to participate by wiggling their fingers, acting out the story, finishing predictable lines and words or predicting what will come next.

Little kids will love this silly spin on bath time. When the king stays in the bathtub all day, the court doesn’t know what to do. A perfect book for making connections to a small child’s daily experiences (bath time, learning about time) talking about the time of day (morning, noon, afternoon, evening, night), King Bidgood also provides an excellent example of a kid solving a problem when adults fail.

Books that work with young and older kids

Simple text and big pictures make this a quick and fun read-aloud for the pre-K set. Older kids can explore the emotions of the mouse, the motives of the narrator and the existence of a bear.

Quick as a Cricket
Little ones will love acting out the phrases in this book. With older kids, explore the many facets of one’s personality or introduce the concept of similes.

This nearly wordless book encourages readers to notice the changing moods and drama of our sky. Younger listener will like the progression from day to night. Older ones might like to imagine and draw their own skies.

For the more sophisticated listener

An original fairy tale based on a 16th century game involves seven kids, a mom, a witch and a riddle. Audrey was the model for the mom and Don was the model for the witch. 

Weird Parents
Kids, especially preteens, will relate to this story about a boy who wishes his parents weren’t so weird. It would be a great addition to a Read-Aloud about feelings, families or not fitting in.

This list only scratches the surface of the books the Woods have created. Check out your local library for more titles and experience the talent and versatility of this creative pair.

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