Three kids and dad review the new movie version of Sendak’s classic Wild ThingsWhere the Wild Things Are. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it might help you decide whether it’s one for you and your kids.

What I like about the review, however, is how well it demonstrates conversation with kids. Better still is that it’s conversation with kids about books.

How much parents talk with children is one of the strongest predictors of reading ability years later. Yep, just conversation. But many of us have forgotten what conversation with children looks like.

  • It’s two-way, back and forth.
  • It’s free of no’s and commands and reprimands.
  • It’s respectful. It allows kids to say the way they see it and experience it. It’s not about right and wrong answers.
  • It’s unhurried. Children need time to talk. They have to hear, then figure out what they heard and what it means, then think of a response, then figure out the words for that response, and then actually produce the response. None of that is automatic for young children. We have to give them time.

So follow Z-Dad’s example and find a good book to read and talk about with your kids!