World Read Aloud Day

Beloved Authors Share their Favorite Read-Aloud Memories in Honor of World Read Aloud Day

Stephanie Agresti  //  Jan 29, 2021

Beloved Authors Share their Favorite Read-Aloud Memories in Honor of World Read Aloud Day

The read-aloud is a meaningful time for families, classrooms, and communities to come together and enjoy the power of storytelling. Did you know that according to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report: 7th Edition™, more than 80% of both kids and parents love or like read-aloud time because they consider it a special time together?

In honor of World Read Aloud Day, taking place next week on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, we’re looking back on some of our favorite read-aloud memories with beloved children’s book authors, including Malcolm Mitchell, Sam Wedelich, Isabella Kung, Ross Burach, Carmen Agra Deedy, and Peter Reynolds! We asked them: What is your favorite read-aloud memory?

Check out their transcribed responses below, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for World Read Aloud Day on February 3, 2021!

To learn more, and to subscribe to the WRADvocates (World Read Aloud Day-advocates!) email list to receive a free VirtualKit for celebrating World Read Aloud Day, visit:

You can also participate in the World Read Aloud Day social media challenge by snapping a photo or video of a special read-aloud moment. Use #WRADChallenge and #WorldReadAloudDay, tag at least three friends to join the fun, as well as @Scholastic and @LitWorldSays on Twitter, and @scholasticinc and @litworld on Instagram.

We look forward to celebrating World Read Aloud Day with you on February 3, 2021!

Malcolm Mitchell, author of My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World: “My favorite read aloud memory would have to be when I visit schools, and students raise their hands to ask if they can join me on stage in reading aloud to their classmates. Those are moments that I cherish, those are moments that I enjoy, and just reading together as a group is so much fun.”

Sam Wedelich, author of Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale: “My favorite read aloud memory is probably from kindergarten, and its Clifford books in my kindergarten classroom, and I think it was right around the time when I was learning to read and so I sort of had that connection of recognizing some words and starting to feel a little more involved in the story as well as still loving the narrative act out loud aspects.”

“And I think my other favorite read aloud isn't a specific book but more just that my mom was a fantastic person at reading books aloud. She's very theatrical and very dramatic, and always did all the voices, and I loved that, and I think I was always inspired by that and as I became my own reader, those voices were in my head when I was reading books, and now that I have kids, have found that I do all the voices and all the drama for them too. It just makes the stories come alive in a really special way.”

Isabella Kung, author of No Fuzzball!“I think one of the main things that really every children's book creator feels rewarded by is when their audience, which are kids, finally get to read their book. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, I wasn't able to see them in person, but for my second author visit, the teacher had all the kids’ Zooms up, and a lot of them had their cameras on, and to see their faces and to actually hear them scream “No Fuzzball!” with me, that was my favorite read aloud memory.”

Ross Burach, author of The Very Impatient Caterpillar: “My favorite read aloud memory is the first time that my oldest daughter read a book to me, and it happened to actually be one of my books, so that was extra special.”

Carmen Agra Deedy, author of Rita & Ralph’s Rotten Day: “One of my favorite read aloud memories happened with my granddaughter and grandson, Sam and Grace. They had spent the night and we were reading one of their favorite picture books, and we would read right before bed. But this particular book I’d read so many times and I was so tired, and I know that every parent and grandparent, and aunt and uncle, and double second cousin who’s ever read to a child knows this feeling, so I thought I could move the story along. (I know, ‘Bad Nana!’) What did I do? I turned 2 pages at once, and started reading, and just like that, little Gracie, who’s four, jerks up out of bed and says, ‘Nana, that's not right! That's not what happens next! Those aren't the right words.’ And I said, ‘Oh Gracie.’ You’ve heard this so many times, I didn't think you’d even notice, and she said, ‘Nana! The STORY knows!’ And it was the funniest thing to me because what she was telling me was the story knew it wasn't being told correctly. The story knew that its flow was being interrupted. I had broken that great rule of storytelling which is: don’t mess with the order of the story, and I haven't done it since.”

Peter Reynolds, author of The Word Collector: “Reading aloud in our family was a lot of fun. My older sister Jane would read to us kids because our parents both worked, and so Jean kind of became defacto mom and dad and teacher in our house. She would read to us books that she was reading in school. She didn't read books that we were reading. She read Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. I remember Charles Dickens especially. I just loved the themes in those books, and I think that really influenced my work. Oliver Twist and David Copperfield were challenged kids trying to make their way through this wacky world that adults had created, and they had to be really resilient and things usually worked out pretty well. So I’m really glad that Jane chose challenging books for us. Of course, being a word collector, it exposed me to lots of words that were kind of beyond my reach [at the time], but they were stored, and then at some point, I figured out what they all meant, and added them to my word collection.”

Art © 2020 Scholastic Inc. Custom art provided by Michael Robertson, illustrator of My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World.