Charles Bonenti: Good tips for reading to children


The Lanesborough post office is a convenient stop on my daily commute to The Eagle and is the place I most often buy stamps or mail packages.

The notices and fliers they tack up have more than once provided topics for this column.

This time I picked up a flier I could not pass up: "Thirty Do's to Remember When Reading Aloud."

"Who needs advice on reading aloud," I asked myself. "You just read."

Not so fast cautioned Jim Trelease, author of "The Read Aloud Handbook."

"Reading aloud comes naturally to very few people," he says in item 21 on his list. "To do it successfully and with ease, you must practice."

His tips include changing your tone of voice to fit the dialog; adjusting your pace to that of the story; and slowing down at suspenseful passages.

The biggest mistake people make in reading aloud to any age, he said, is reading too fast. It allows no time for vocal expression.

He offers many other suggestions, mostly on reading to children. And he urges fathers to read to their kids, especially their sons, who too often associate books with school and female teachers.

A father, Trelease writes, can elevate books to at least the same status as sports in a boy's estimation.

For more details, you can visit Trelease's website:


Even the New York Times makes mistakes. I swept up a couple of them in my March 10 column about travel blogger Mark Kepnes's tips on saving while traveling.

The Times corrected itself last week and I offer that correction below.

One of the credit cards Kepnes recommended was the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express. Turns out Kepnes has a business deal with the vendor that gives him a payment every time someone is approved for the card through his website. It was a conflict the Times said, and the card should not have been mentioned at all.

Also, Kepnes misstated the policy on fees for the Chase Sapphire card. It does charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. It's the Sapphire Preferred card that doesn't.

Two black marks for Mr. Kepnes.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions