DEAR ABBY: I am a parent and teacher, presently writing my term paper for a graduate degree. My subject is the effects of reading aloud to children. In my research, I found that in 1983 you recommended "The Read Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease, published by Penguin.
Abby, please tell your readers about "The New Read Aloud Handbook" by the same author and publisher. It contains updated lists of books to be read to children as well as research material confirming that reading aloud to children improves their vocabularies, awakens their imaginations and coaxes them away from the television.
But best of all, it instills in children the joy of reading. -- REBECCA MEHL-WHITE, HORNICK, IOWA
DEAR REBECCA: Thanks for the wake-up call. I confess I was unaware that Jim Trelease had written a new, updated "Read Aloud Handbook." His first book sold more than 1.5 million copies and richly deserved the acclaim it achieved in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Japan and Australia. Parents and teachers wrote to thank me for recommending it.
I immediately bought "The New Read Aloud Handbook" and found it well worth the $9.95 I paid. If it isn't in every bookstore and public library in the country, it should be.
It was in "The Read Aloud Handbook" that I found the beautiful poem "The Reading Mother" by Strickland Gillilan from which I quoted the following:
"You may have tangible wealth untold;
"Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
"Richer than I you can never be --
"I had a mother who read to me."