Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reading Aloud

The other day, Neil Gaiman blogged a fantastic answer to a parent's question about reading aloud to his child.

Here's part of Brian's question --
"...I'm looking for some suggestions from a masterful book reader (you) to a very coarse book reader (me). How do you keep the character voices straight in your head? I suppose it helps that you know the words particularly well since you wrote them, but any tips or suggestions? Any other pointers for engaging the listener? I know my daughter doesn't mind (she still wants me to read, after all!), but I'd like to be better for her and for me."

And here is part of Mr. Gaiman's answer --
"Even at your worst, you're doing better than you would if you didn't do the voices, and kids are a mostly uncritical audience, especially if you do it with confidence.

Read it as if you're telling a story. Read it as if you're interested and you care. And, the biggest and most important one, vary the tune.
But mostly my advice is this: just do it. Enthusiasm and willingness to do it counts for most of it, and you learn by doing it and get better from doing it."

I highly recommend heading over and reading the entire answer as it is thoughtful and helpful and very positive. Thanks to Neil Gaiman for helping us be better readers!

Practicing my British accent for Neil's books,


  1. Great points by you and Mr Gaiman. Just do it. Even though I was a teacher I am very poor at reading aloud, but you've just got to give it a go.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I'm off to read the rest of Gaiman's answer.