Reading With Expression

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Reading with Expression (Children aged 0-6)

Reading with expression is a key to enjoyable read-aloud time with young children.  Drawing from my experience as a children’s book consultant and reading to my own children, I’ve learnt how to get the most out of every picture book; to make it fun my children and myself.

When you choose a picture book, look out for these things:


Musical rhythm is ideal for reading with expression. Rhyming is one form of rhythm; however rhythm is not limited to rhyming text.

“But where is the green sheep?”

This line in, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox, is a perfect example of a rhythmic line.  

Other examples:

Dig, Dig, Digging by Margaret Mayo

Peepo! By Janet and Allan Alhberg


Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Young children love repetition. When it comes to reading with expression, repetitive lines are gold. It gives the reader an opportunity to develop a musical-like way of saying the repetitive line, over and over again.

Choose a book YOU like

Find a book you like as much as your child. In my recent interview with Australian Author, Alison Lester, she shared this advice: “Always read something you like. There’s nothing worse than wading through some boring rubbish trying to sound interested. Be honest with your kids and tell them if you think a book stinks.”

Books I love to read:

Down the Back of the Chair by Margaret Mayo

Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr Suess

Add exuberant expression and words as you read

Experiment with expression. This might be anything from hand gestures to verbal gasping; or put them together like this:  Gasp! {Cupping hands over face.} What could happen next?

Reading with expression makes reading aloud-time fun for both the parent and child. Not only does child experience the wonder of a book in an animated way; but also, the reader has the opportunity to feel like a child – once again.

Be A Fun Mum Links

Interview with Australian Author Alison Lester

Theme It: Dr Seuss

Guest Post: Reading

Books are NOT Just for Reading

Story: Wordless

There’s More Than One Way to Tell a Story

The Magic of a Book

Talking Children’s Books

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