The Enchanted Hour
The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction
By Meghan Cox Gurdon
A fascinating look at the scientific benefits - and joys - of reading aloud to children of all ages
'As soon as I began to read, I was filled with that kind of engrossed blossoming that happens somewhere inside of you when you start a really nourishing book.' - Pandora Sykes
A conversation-changing look at the social, familial, neurological, and psychological benefits of reading aloud, especially for parents and children.
A miraculous alchemy occurs when one person reads to another, transforming the simple stuff of a book, a voice, and a bit of time into complex and powerful fuel for the heart, brain, and imagination.
Grounded in the latest neuroscience and behavioural research, and drawing widely from literature, The Enchanted Hour explains the dazzling cognitive and social-emotional benefits that await children who are read to, whatever their class, nationality or family background.
Meghan Cox Gurdon argues that this ancient practice is a fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomized families and unfulfilling ephemera of the tech era, helping to replenish what our devices are leaching away. For everyone, reading aloud engages the mind in complex narratives; for children, it's an irreplaceable gift that builds vocabulary, fosters imagination, and kindles a lifelong appreciation of language, stories and pictures.
Bringing together the latest scientific research, practical tips, and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will both charm and galvanize, inspiring readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people they love most.
Meghan Cox Gurdon is an essayist, book critic, and former foreign correspondent who has been The Wall Street Journal's children's book reviewer since September 2005. Her work has appeared widely, in publications such as The Washington Examiner, The Daily Telegraph, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and National Review. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband, Hugo Gurdon, and their five children.
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- Publication date:
15 Jan 2019
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Parents and grandparents shouldn't miss The Enchanted Hour, but more important, we all need to heed this delightful book's wise advice: Please read to your kids. It's not the school's job to get our kids reading, it's our job - and it's a wonderful, magical act of love and caring. — James Patterson
Don't pick up this bewitching book! It's so enchanting you won't be able to put it down — Mem Fox, author of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Reading Magic
Meghan Gurdon has given today's parents much needed wisdom to raise attentive and curious children in the Age of Distraction. I hope her book finds a huge audience — Rosemary Wells
An inspiring argument for sharing the joys of reading — Kirkus
The Enchanted Hour enthralled me . . . Gurdon's book is the most charming, gentle encouragement to step away from your phone, and into the embrace of your family's most vivid imaginations — Sarah Ivens, author of Forest Therapy
As soon as I began to read, I was filled with that kind of engrossed blossoming that happens somewhere inside of you when you start a really nourishing book — Pandora Sykes, Sunday Times
A joyous book that'll have you scrambling to the library — Yours