How to Read a Story


Written by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Mark Siegel

Chronicle Books, 2015

Step 1 – Find a story.

The main character takes us through all the steps to read a story, starting with finding the right book. Then you find a reading buddy and the perfect spot to settle in and read. You should take a good look at the book’s cover and maybe guess what might happen in the story. Once you open the book, you can start reading aloud, but make sure you don’t go too slow or too fast. Do appropriate voices for the different characters and don’t forget to show the pictures to your buddy. If you find a word you don’t know, try sounding it out or look at the pictures for context clues. Get excited when you read the exciting parts and say, “The end” when you come to the end. When you get to the end, you’re done! Unless, of course, you want to go back and read it again.

Turn the page

This kid is getting INTO this story!

Author Kate Messner knows that there’s a difference in knowing how to read and knowing how to read a story and I love the way she breaks it down here. It’s a love letter to the process of sharing a good book with someone you love and it made me super nostalgic for the days of reading chapter books with my kids. The main character is a boy who chooses his dog as his reading buddy. Mark Siegel’s colorful illustrations, in ink and watercolor, show us a small crowd of people gathering around the boy as he reads the book, clearly drawn in by his storytelling. I love this aspect of the book, especially because one two-page spread shows us these people from his point of view (where we get to be the reader) and then from their point of view (where we get to be the listener). It’s a bright and cheerful celebration of reading and I will always be in favor of that.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that it takes some effort to read a story and it’s almost always worth the time.


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