Originally Posted by faeriewisp
I think it's very overblown. I think it's kinda silly to read a book to an infant.
I'm sorry, but I could not disagree with your opinion more. I strongly believe that it was the hours and hours of reading that we did with our dd as an infant that enabled her to teach herself to read at an unusually early age, and with very little effort on our parts. Moreover, she genuinely loved sitting and being read to -- and still does. Even if it was only "the lull I like / The hum of your valved voice," as Whitman says, she still liked and responded to it.
What's important about reading to your kids is the story telling part of it, and I think it can be much more effective to get a kid interested in stories if you TELL him a story. Then he can create his OWN images of the story, not having to just believe what someone else illustrated. Telling your child a story is so much more intimate than reading, too.
The one does not preclude the other. It's not a one-scoop cone. There is so much value in getting children to "read" pictures as well as text because in both cases, you're getting them to be consciously aware of their thought and WHY they think so. For example, I taught First Day School today and we read a book called The Lord's Prayer, which (not surprisingly) was an illustration of the Lord's Prayer. It showed a man and a little girl painting and fixing up an old woman's yard. In the process, the little girl finds a gold pendant that has fallen from the old woman's necklace, is tempted to keep it, but returns it to the old woman, who gives it to her.
None of that is "spelled out" in the book's text, which (as I said) consists solely of the Lord's Prayer. It's in the illustrations. The questions I asked got the kids to "read" the pictures as well as the story: Who are these people? Why do you think so? What is their relationship like? What gave you that idea? What are they doing to the old woman's house? Why do you think they're fixing it up? What will the girl do with the pendant?
and so on. It's not creative, imaginative thinking, but it's another -- and exceedingly valuable -- kind of thinking: critical
thinking. I teach English, and I'll tell you, if I didn't have to teach this skill to my seniors from the ground up, my job would be so much easier and they could learn so much more.