his popular anthology is a collection of 48 read-aloud
stories aimed primarily at the kindergarten through
fourth-grade levels, all selected and annotated
with commentary by Jim Trelease. (See Read All
About It! for older students.) They range in complexity
from very simple, two-page tales to more complicated
tales of a dozen pages.
Always keep in mind the difference between listening
and reading level: that
difference can be huge.
that some adult readers might wish to use the
book to gradually stretch children's attention
spans and interest levels, the less complex and
shorter tales can be found toward the front of
the book while longer stories are in the second
half. A complete list of all the stories (and
categories) are found below.
of the selections are self-contained stories,
complete in themselves. Others are selections
from early chapters in excellent read-aloud novels.
The intention here being to whet the reader's and
listener's appetite for the rest of the novel.
mistake made by parents and teachers is the assumption
that a child's listening level is the same as his
or her reading level. Until about eighth grade,
that is far from true; early primary grade students
listen many grades above their reading level. This
means that early primary grade students are capable
of hearing and understanding stories that are far
more complicated than those they can read themselves.
Each of the selections
is accompanied by an introduction and a brief note
following the story. The latter offers related
books the child or adult might wish to pursue.
In addition, wherever possible, Trelease has provided
background information about the story and author—many
as fascinating at the authors' works themselves.
While originally intended as background knowledge
for the adult read-aloud, these introductions have
proven to be extremely popular with the child listener,
especially those in second grade and higher. ("It's
the stuff they'd never put on the back of the dust
jacket of the author's book," Trelease explains.)
Among the profiles, you will
find the story of the best-selling children's author
of all time, whose overprotective parents kept
her practically a prisoner through childhood and
well into adulthood, who wins her freedom by writing
an escape book about a naughty animal (Beatrix
Another contains the account
of one famous author's humble beginnings as a reader—she
was the only girl in the first-grade's "blackbird
reading" group and promoted to second grade
on "probation" because her reading was
so poor (Beverly Cleary). And there is the little-known
story of how one of America's classic dog stories
took nearly 25 years to write, yet was deliberately
destroyed by its author because he was too embarrassed
by its faulty spelling and grammar (Wilson Rawls'
Where the Red Fern Grows).
those author profiles are contained at this Web
site: Beverly Cleary and Wilson Rawls, as well
as one of the story excerpts from the anthology.
Excerpt from HEY!
LISTEN TO THIS included
OZMA OF OZ
by L. Frank Baum
"The Girl in the
This book is widely regarded as the best
of the OZ books.
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