How To Share A Book

Marilyn A. Hudson shares
a book with a class
Book sharing. This is one of the most common uses of storytelling with children. Librarians and parents and teachers all read a book to children to share the experience through followup instruction, interaction, participation, role playing, puppets, and art. Although a viable vehicle for adults and teens, it does require some preparation for reading pace, intonation, volume, and presentational skills and is sometimes most useful as a "teaser" rather than a real reading of an entire teen or adult book. Many librarians and teachers have found, however, that some picture books are really written on a higher level. This makes them also useful for older children and adults because they are visually interesting and contain more mature themes, vocabulary or ideas.

Basic Tips to Maximize Book Sharing:

1. Read the book yourself first. Read it enough times you get a feel for the story, know when the page needs to be turned, and when pictures should be shown.
2. Read it with enthusiasm! Show the children it is a wonderful gift and lots of fun to share a book. 
3. Read a page or pages and then show the book's images (if a picture book); or sit at slight angle so you can hold the book up so children can see the images and you can read the text.
4. Speak clearly and emphasize words (especially is in bold or larger print) - another reason to read it several times before the event.

I have seen guests breeze into a school library to read to a class in 5 minutes and just pick anything!  This is a bad choice because not all children's picture books are designed to be read aloud, some need to be shared with specific age groups or children at specific developmental levels.

0-2 YRS
Motor Development; Coordination
“Touch” books, explore textures, colors (vivid); ABC’s; Mother Goose
Shared time in play, stories, song, finger play, talking to child.
2 TO 7
Personality Dev. / Lang. Have trouble telling difference between object and word symbol
Animal Books, easy jokes; riddles; early dictionaries
Play word games, clown, nonsense games
7 TO 11
Concrete; limited to info based on own experiences; focused on self
Non-fiction; lots of pictures; feelings & relationships; science fiction; single subject focus
Group & Physical activities; outdoor activities; environmental concerns
11 TO 14
Seeks social approval; focus on the group
Diaries; biographies; poetry; self-expression; series books
Social skills; Appearances; volunteer values and skills, sex education; civic service
14 TO 18
Social; justice minded; ethics explored; careers; less peer pressure; individualism
Law & Justice; Mysterious; Psychology; Career explorations
Legal rights; arts; culture (own and others); college plans; work values; money
18 TO 24
Social justice; ethics; self; self-help; skill driven; have own beliefs and ideas
Life skills ($ and how-to help) ; self-directed education
Controversy/debates (wants to be heard and have viewpoint taken seriously) ;individual begins to distance from home

Source: US Department of Education.