Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reading Tip #4 : Introducing Classics

Classics are often thought of as "BORING", " A HARD READ", and "ADULT"! How can you introduce classics to children of all ages then? It's never too early to introduce classic to kids. Thank goodness for abridged versions! It's alright for a young child to first read an abridged version and as they get older, later read the actual version. Reading the abridged version at the younger age will in fact help them understand the  more difficult read and therefore allow them to enjoy the beauty of the written word. I would introduce these classic to children ages 5 and up. Here are a few versions of children abridged classic books you can purchase:

1. My favorite are the Moby Books Illustrated Classic Editions. Unfortunately, they are out of print. You can, however, find both new and used versions on These versions are written very simply, yet they cover the full scope of the story. In addition, every page turns reveals a new illustration which brings the story to life for children. If you can find copies of these books, go for it!

2. The next best set are the Classic Starts Series by Sterling Publishing. You can find it at Barnes and Nobles. Again, these are illustrated sets for much younger readers. Although not as concise as the Moby Books, they are a great start to introducing the classics to your young child.

3. For older children (Junior High Level and up) or if your younger child has a higher level of reading skills, you should try out the Sterling Unabridged Classics. These versions are also illustrated but are the actual versions of the classics.

4. For a more literary point of view, the Barnes & Noble Classics series is amazing for the older children. Not only is its price of US$5.95 ($5.35 online) awesome, it has quite a few additional features as well. It includes biographies of the authors, chronologies of historical and cultural events, dicussions of poems, books, films, etc... inspired by the work, stufy questions and comments by other famous authors, just to name a few. This will be great to not only introduce the classics to an older child, but to teach that child how to analyze the book and it's themes and characters.
Always sound excited about the book and give a short preview of that particular classic to your child first. This will give your child a rough idea of what the book will be about and get him/her excited to find outwhat happens. Is there a twist to the story? What happens to character so-and-so? For the younger children, it is always fun to read the classic with them for their bedtime story. It can be read over a period of days. Let your young child know you cannot wait to find out what happens next and that you will coninue the story the next night. Last but not least, if you've never read that classic before, maybe you should! Showing your child that you have read the book too will furthur encourage them to do so as well. Plus, this will be a great way to communicate with your kids about the book/story!

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