Stacey Loscalzo

Nov 30

Not a Box- A Read Together Book

by Stacey

Frequent readers of this blog, know about my love of a good Read Together Book.

For those of you who may have just discovered this little corner of the world, I wrote the following about Read Together Books over the summer:

You know emergent readers. They are the ones who are so close to reading that they can almost taste it. The ones who can sound out cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words with only minimal effort. The ones who can recognize lots of sight words. The ones who can read books with repetitive text.

And the ones who especially dislike ‘baby books.’

Therefore, finding books to keep these kids engaged is particularly challenging. The beginning reader books that you can find at the bookstore or library are almost always turn offs. And often the books that kids read at school during this stage are “boring.”

So, when I stumble upon a book that is a perfect ‘read together book’ for emergent readers, I admit to doing a little happy dance.

The secret to these books is the ‘read together’ piece. There are not many exciting books that the emergent reader can read on his or her own but there are many books that an emergent reader can read parts of independently. The joy of reading is that it need not  be an all or nothing pursuit. A book does not have to be only a book for independent reading or a book for a read aloud. It can (and should) be a little bit of both.

In finding “read together books”, emergent readers can be exposed to great literature while also focusing on their decoding and sight word skills. And in doing so, their reading confidence sky rockets.

And since then, I continue to search and find excellent Read Together titles. My latest discovery is courtesy of Franki Sibberson at Choice Literacy.

I’ve shared the work of this amazing organization in the past but recently I disovered a list of potential Read Together books on their site and couldn’t have been happier. We are working our way through the list and I thought I would share as we went.

If you have a reader who is just on the brink of reading independently, a reader who needs a bit of a break from the predictable books that show up in her leveled reading bin at school, then Not a Box by Antoinette Portis is a real find. In this story, a rabbit responds again and again to a questioning grown up that what appears to be a box, “is not a box.” With a repeated refrain, Katherine was able to read every other page independently. She was thrilled and confident and excited to launch into the imaginary play that Rabbit so expertly inspires.

Doesn’t get much better than that…


  1. Zoe says:

    I’ve heard lots of great things about this book, not least the play it inspires!

    And this morning I had an email saying In Aunt Lucy’s Kitchen has been dispatched and is on it’s way to us…. 🙂

  2. […] am always on the look out for a Read Together Book. A Read Together Book is one that a new reader can read almost independently. Snuggled up with a […]

  3. It Works! says:

    […] 5, 2012 I have a client who is reading lots of Read Together books with me. She loves reading what she perceives to be “real books” and her smile […]

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