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Guide for Dads: Get a New Book If It’s Not Working, or “Change” the Book

Author George Jacobs Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn Ed.D.
Submitted 01-04-2008

All readers are good readers, when they have the right book. – Jeanne Henry


Sometimes we start reading aloud and see that the book just isn’t working, at least not today. No need to finish that book. Let’s just pick up another book and go with that one. Maybe we can try that first book again another time. Also, some books start slowly and take a while to get interesting. Before giving up on a book, let’s consider if perhaps it is one of these slow starters.


Making changes to the book


Another approach to take when a book does not seem to be working is to change the book. What many people do not understand is that we do not need to read every word or even every page in a book. In fact, we can even change parts of the book.


Here are some ways to change books.

  • Skip or summarize parts that may be uninteresting to particular children

  • Replace difficult words with easier ones

  • Just talk about the pictures without reading the words

  • Insert the children’s names, the names of people they know and the names of places they know instead of the book’s characters and settings

  • Change the book’s ending if we and/or the children do not like the original ending or just for variety if we have read the book before.

Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It’s fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!


– George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.


Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including “The Read Aloud Guide”, textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children’s storybooks).


Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.