Foreword by: Mariana Souto-Manning
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Discover the language and learning possibilities of young children’s active engagement with book experiences, in which they talk with one another as they make meaning from literature centered around their lives and interests. Drawing from their backgrounds as teachers and researchers, as well as their many experiences facilitating and observing read-alouds with diverse students, the authors provide a practical guide to conducting book discussions that promote deep engagement and the natural development of literacy skills (PreK–2). The text includes detailed recommendations for setting up the classroom reading environment, selecting books, preparing materials, setting goals, and integrating discussions with curricular demands, all while maintaining a child-centered philosophy and addressing the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Book Talk melds theory about literacy learning with the practical realities of reading and talking with young children in 21st-century preschool and primary classrooms.
Sherry Sanden, a former preschool and primary teacher, is associate professor of early childhood literacy in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University. Cassandra Mattoon teaches kindergarten at the Thomas Metcalf Laboratory School at Illinois State University. Sandra L. Osorio, a former bilingual early childhood teacher, is an associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University.
“Throughout the book, Sanden, Mattoon, and Osorio share compelling stories, poignant insights, important recommendations, and much-needed invitations. In doing so, they show us how we might engage in reflecting deeply about facilitating book discussions that honor the strengths and interests of our students while cultivating and sustaining reading conversations that are humane and recognize how meaning making is relational.
—From the Foreword by Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University
“One of the most valuable literacy experiences that teachers and parents can offer children is to read to them—often. But there is so much more than can done through the read-aloud experience. Authors Sherry Sanden, Cassandra Mattoon, and Sandra Osorio explore how that simple read-aloud experience can blossom into deep and rich discussions with children. From choosing good books for read-aloud to setting the stage for book talks, expanding children’s literacy skills, and more, this book provides a readable and engaging guided tour of the wide range of possibilities for read-aloud and read-aloud conversations. Book Talk is a very worthwhile read for anyone wanting to make the most of read-alouds.”
—Timothy Rasinski, professor of literacy education and Rebecca Tolle and Burton W. Gorman Chair in Educational Leadership, Kent State University
“Read-aloud and literature discussion have been a staple literacy practice for many decades. What is innovative about such a practice as presented in Book Talk: Growing Into Early Literacy Through Read-Aloud Conversations is its reflective, inviting, and engaging nature. Sherry Sanden, Cassandra Mattoon, and Sandra L. Osorio show the value of adopting the mindset of a teacher-learner who guides teachers to learn along with young children and constantly reflect on their teaching. The classroom examples tell compelling stories of how a teacher engages young children in shared reading experiences. Such experiences support children’s language and literacy development, as well as honor their backgrounds and interests. The invaluable insights help other teachers who want to try out this innovative book talk navigate effectively and efficiently through their journey.”
—Shelley Xu, professor, California State University, Long Beach