Jim Trelease, author of the million-copy best seller, The New Read-Aloud Handbook, says the question he is most often asked is, ”How old must the child be before you start reading to him?”
Jim answers with this conversation he had with a father.
“There you were holding that newborn infant in your arms, whispering, ‘We love you, Kevin. Mommy and I think you are the most beautiful baby in the world, do you know that, honey?’ You were speaking multisyllable words and complex sentences in a foreign language to a child who didn’t understand one word you were saying! You never thought twice about doing it. But most people can’t imagine reading to that same child. And that’s silly. If a child is old enough to talk to, he’s old enough to be read to. It’s the same English language.” — Jim Trelease, The New Read-Aloud Handbook, 2nd ed.