Corrinne Averiss: Tips for reading My Pet Star aloud
Published on: 14 May 2020 Author: Corrinne Averiss
If you’re reading this, it won’t be the first time you’ve heard that reading aloud to your child is one of the best things you can do to help improve their language, literacy and emotional development.
But for some parents, reading aloud causes a crisis of confidence. It might be fears about stumbling over the words or hearing your voice. We might avoid it all together or race through at such a speed just to get it over and done with. The expert advice is simple – fight your inner critic and do it anyway!
The more you do it, the better it will feel and your child is most certainly not a critic, they love the sound of your voice.
If you feel like you need warming up for storytelling duties, picture books offer the simplest way: just study the illustrations together... ‘What’s this?’ ‘I wonder where she’s going?’ ‘Look at that house, what colour is the roof?’
Curiosity about the images and working it out as team has so many special bonding benefits. I always find Rosalind Beardshaw’s illustrations offer lots of rich details to explore.
Here are a few extra little hints and tips for reading My Pet Star aloud
- If you can, sneak a little look at it first without your child so you can familiarise yourself with the story and rhythm.
- My Pet Star is a rhyming story and that should help you to keep a relaxed pace.
- Make the context appealing as well as the book. Tell your child you’re going to be reading about a star that fell from the sky into a little girl’s garden! Imagine that...!
- Turn off other distractions in the room so you have their full attention.
- You could begin and end by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together.
- Ask questions to personalise the story at relevant points: ‘Can you think of a time when you fell or bumped into something?’ ‘Who helped you?’ ‘What made it better?’ ‘What cosmic snack would you make for Pet Star?’
- If it’s a clear night, you could take a look at the night sky and ask your little one if they think they can see Pet Star? If you can, wave hello to him!
- We’ve had lots of fun in workshops making our own little Pet Stars – caring for them and making beds for them to sleep in with little fabric scraps. Illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw has also designed some fabulous drawing guides to help you draw one.
A message of thanks to all the carers big and small
Finally, the current Covid-19 situation can’t go without a mention. Every parent and carer is doing the most phenomenal job to keep their children feeling safe, loved and to whatever extent, entertained and stimulated.
Although it certainly wasn’t known at the time of its selection – My Pet Star's themes of illness, kindness, nurture and getting well (or letting go) are incredibly relevant to what we’re all experiencing. I hope it helps you to talk about these things in a positive context.
I dedicated this book ‘To all the carers, big and small.’ And would like to add now - our most heartfelt thanks.
Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.