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In Ready for Read Aloud, Rosa feels shy about reading aloud to her classmates at school. But with practice reading her favorite book to lots of animals and to a new neighbor-friend, she gains the confidence she needs to do it.

The idea for this story came to me when I reflected on the reading journey of my youngest daughter, Juliana. Reluctant to read aloud to her older sister (whom she thought, rightly, might correct her), Juliana began a routine of carrying books, one by one, down the stairs—thunk, thunk, thunk—snuggling with our dog, and reading to her! Our dog was eminently patient, often seemed quite interested in the stories, and concluded each reading session with an appreciative lick. Juliana’s confidence grew!Ready for Read Aloud

All of this happened before the research and literature emerged to show that reading to dogs boosts children’s reading ability and confidence. Since then, literacy programs using assistance dogs during reading hours in libraries and classrooms have popped up in nearly every state to bolster reading levels.

I thought it would be fun, in the story, to have Rosa read to other animals. She begins reading to a tiny ladybug. Next she reads to a frog, a bunny, a gray fox, and a fawn. As she relaxes more, Rosa also reads to a garter snake, some squirrels, a nest-full of robins—and finally to a new neighbor, Leo. Leo helps Rosa feel less shy about reading aloud, and Rosa helps Leo feel less shy about his first day at a new school. Walking into the classroom together, Rosa is ready to read aloud to her class.

I hope that children will enjoy Ready for Read Aloud. As they read about Rosa’s experience, I hope their own confidence will grow, and this story will become a favorite of theirs—and the animals around them!



Jenny Rose is the author of Ready for Read Aloud, illustrated by Lisa M. Griffin. Jenny lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughters, collie pups, and pet rabbits. Ready for Read Aloud is the first title from Avenue A Books, available to pre-order now! For more about Jennifer and her books, visit her website at

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