What To Read When


September 11, 2010

Blogging is an interesting animal.  Once you do it for awhile and have some readers, you start to get pitched different ideas, products, and books to review and write about.  Everyone knows that I don’t typically do that on this blog.  If I do recommend a book, it’s because it’s one that I bought or received as a gift from a friend with no expectation that I’ll write about it.  Well, a couple weeks ago, I was approached about a book called ‘What To Read When‘.  Actually, the PR person wanted me to review a business book and she had read on my blog that I have six year old twins and she suggested this book too.  It is written by another client of hers, Pam Allyn.

By Pam Allyn

While it’s targeted at parents, I want to share it here because I think there is a HR twist to it.  So, I want to be completely honest in my assessment.  When it arrived, I looked at the cover and thought…..wow, I don’t think that cover would have ever caught my attention in a bookstore.  I slowly flipped through the book and immediately found that the inside was much more compelling.  Touted as a book of what to read to your children, it is so much more.

Pam begins by painting a picture of what reading can do to open up a child’s mind.  How vivid the colors, sounds, smells, and other senses become as we read aloud.  There is a comforting quality as well as a teaching component when we read to a child.  Hearing the words tumble off our lips and into the growing mind of the child.  And it doesn’t stop there.  I still love when someone reads to me.  It can be anything, so if you ever want me to really like you, just pull me aside and sit me down and read to me.  And it’s not just me.  Only a couple months ago, Jason Seiden vlogged about how he loves being read to.  But, I digress.

The next section of the book is great because it breaks down year by year different types of books to read to the child at a specific age.  The age range is birth to age ten.  I can tell you as a parent this will be a helpful resource for me as my children grow because I want to make sure that what they read is appropriate for their age.  The last section of the book is my favorite.  Pam covers 50 themes ranging from topics like adoption, bullying, courage, divorce, coping with illness, and making mistakes.  I recently had a friend go through a divorce and she said she couldn’t find many books to help her kids.  With this resource, it would be easy to quickly have a list of books that address that theme.

From an HR standpoint, wouldn’t it be great if we had a list of resources like this for the major topics that our employees face?  Does anyone know if something like that already exists?  If so, let me know.

Thank you to Jill Daniel and Pam Allyn for asking me to read the book.  I encourage you to check out ‘What to Read When’ and add it to your list of great parenting resources.  For today, why don’t you share YOUR favorite kids book with me in the comments. Mine is still Goodnight Moon.


  • My youngest son received a very large, illustrated copy of Casey at the Bat from his godfather for his first birthday. It’s one of the most worn books in the house.

    I have two bookcases in my office. One is for my books, that I have either purchased or been given. The other is full of topical books (talent management, strategy, Six Sigma, etc.), usually with more than one copy each. Everyone in the office (not just my team) knows they are free to take any of those books and read them, providing they do so with the intent of returning. (I say intent so that I don’t have to worry about tracking anyone down with an overdue notice.)

  • When I was a kid, the Encyclopedia Brown, the Nancy Drew, and the Little House on the Prairie series were my favorites. As a parent, I love Sandra Boynton’s works – especially Snuggle Puppy and Pajama Time. The Winne the Pooh books are a big fave as well.

    • @Holly- Wow- Encyclopedia Brown! I forgot about those books. I really used to love them when I was a kid too. Nancy Drew and Clue of the Broken Locket was a fave for sure. I’ll have to check out Snuggle Puppy and Pajama Time. Haven’t read those. Thanks for the ideas. My kids are always looking for new books. Sounds like a trip to the bookstore is in order today!

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By Pam Allyn
By Pam Allyn
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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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