spacer Home Page
for Hey! Listen to This
book pages
Top nav

HOME  |  Contact Jim  |  Brochures  |  Read-Aloud Handbook excerpts   |  Wilson Rawls  |  Jim's Retirement Letter


cover of Hey! Listen to This  


By Jim Trelease

(Penguin Books) $17.00

Available wherever books are sold;
sales from the author
also, autographed copies


This 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.

mother reading to child

Always keep in mind the difference between listening
level and reading level: that
difference can be huge.

Recognizing 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.

Most 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.

A consistent 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.)

Beatrix potterAmong 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 Potter).

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).

Two of 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 here:

ozma cover  


by L. Frank Baum

"The Girl in the
Chicken Coop"

This book is widely regarded as the best of the OZ books.


Authors profiled here

beverly clearyBeverly Cleary
author profile, by Jim Trelease
Gary Paulsen
Gary Paulsen
author profile, by Jim Trelease
wilson rawlss
Wilson Rawls
author profile, by
Jim Trelease



• • CONTENTS • •


  • "The Gunniwolf" retold by Wilhelmina Harper
  • "Little Green Riding Hood" by Gianni Rodari
  • Wolf Story by William McCleery (novel chapter)


  • "Noah's Friends" by Marc Gellman, from  Does God Have a Big Toe?
  • "The Tortoise and the Hare" retold from Aesop


  • "Joe" by Louis Sachar, from Sideways Stories from Wayside School (novel chapter)
  • "Ramona's Great Day" by Beverly Cleary, from Ramona the Pest (novel chapter)
  • "A Room Without Windows or Doors" by Edith Fisher Hunter, from Child of the Silent Night (novel chapter)
  • "Cheating" by Susan Shreve, from Family Secrets


  • "Bavsi's Feast" by Adele Geras
  • "Meet Henry Green" and "A Strange Feeling" by Robert Kimmel Smith, from Chocolate Fever (novel chapter)
  • "The Doughnuts" by Robert McCloskey, from Homer Price (novel chapter)


  • "Alexander," by June Epstein
  • "Captain Cook," by Richard and Florence Atwater, from Mr. Popper's Penguins (novel chapter)
  • "The Pudding Like A Night on the Sea" by Ann Cameron, from The Stories Julian Tells
  • "The Fish Angel" by Myron Levoy, from The Witch of Fourth Street and Other Stories
  • "Nadia the Willful" by Sue Alexander
  • "Greyling" by Jane Yolen


  • "Unanana and the Elephant" retold by Kathleen Arnott
  • "Brer Rabbit Gets Even" retold by Julius Lester, from The Tales of Uncle Remus
  • "The Indian Cinderella" retold by Cyrus Macmillan
  • "Ah Mee's Invention" retold by Arthur Bowie Chrisman, from Shen of the Sea
  • "The Emperor's New Clothes" retold from Hans Christian Andersen
  • "The Search for the Magic Lake" by Genevieve Barlow
  • "The Magic Thread" author unknown


  • "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter
  • "Before Breakfast" by E. B. White, from Charlotte's Web (novel chapter)
  • Bambi by Felix Salten (novel chapter)
  • "My Early Home" and "The Hunt" by Anna Sewell, from Black Beauty (novel chapter)
  • "Not for Sale" and "I Never Want Another Dog" by Eric Knight, from Lassie Come-Home(novel chapter)
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, (novel chapter)
  • Gentle Ben by Walt Morey (novel chapter)


  • "The Story of Giant Kippernose" by John Cunliffe
  • "The Reluctant Dragon" by Kenneth Grahame
  • "The Moon's Revenge" by Joan Aiken



  • "The Boy Who Stopped the Sea" retold by Louis Untermeyer, from The World's Great Stories
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh (novel chapter)
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (novel chapter)
  • "I'm going to Get Me Some Big Words" and "A Dream Begins to Grow" by Margaret Davidson, from I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.


  • Sara Crewe by Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel chapter)
  • "The Story of Holly and Ivy" by Rumer Godden
  • "Aunt Harriet Has a Cough" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, from Understood Betsy (novel chapter)


  • "The Golden Touch" retold from Nathaniel Hawthorne's Wonder Book
  • "The Pied Piper" retold from Joseph Jacobs and Andrew Lang, with poetry excerpts from Robert Browning
  • "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" retold from Andrew Lang's The Red Fairy Book


Want to share this whole page with a friend?


Home  |  Contact Jim  | Trelease Bio
Read-Aloud Handbook  |  Hey! Listen to This   |  Read All About It!  |  Free Brochures
Wilson Rawls-author profile  |  Beverly Cleary-author profile  |  Gary Paulsen-author profile
 Censorship & children's books  |  Trelease Retirement Letter

Trelease on Reading is copyright, 2011, 2014, 2019 by Jim Trelease.
All rights reserved. Any problems or queries about this site should be directed to: Reading Tree Webmaster