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Igniting Imaginations with Peter & Paul Reynolds

Learn how you can spark creativity, curiosity, and connection through your read-alouds from best-selling authors Peter H. Reynolds and Paul Reynolds.

In May, Peter and his twin brother, Paul, joined Novel Effect for a live webinar, “Storytime Magic with Peter H. Reynolds.” The 1-hour event featured a lively conversation with Peter and Paul about the importance of read-alouds and simple ways educators and parents can create magical, meaningful storytime experiences for little learners.

Peter and Paul also treated attendees to a live read-aloud of Going Places, featuring the book’s new Novel Effect soundscape, which stars Peter and Paul as voice actors! 

Peter H. Reynolds is an award-winning writer, storyteller, and illustrator. His children’s stories are known for nurturing the creative spirit and encouraging self-expression for readers of all ages.

Beloved by children, parents, and educators alike, his best-selling titles, including The Dot, Say Something!, Ish, and The Word Collector, can be found on bookshelves worldwide.

You can read aloud these stories with a custom soundscape in the Novel Effect App.

The Importance of Read-Alouds

If you ask the Reynolds brothers, read-alouds are for everyone.

“We’re big believers that picture books are for all ages. And the great picture books have really great messages that are not only going to inspire the kids but also us adults,” said Paul.

Read-alouds benefit children, caregivers, and educators by creating a shared experience that fosters connection. As you read aloud, you explore new ideas and topics together. And because read-alouds are fun and familiar to most children, they create a playful and safe space for their curiosity, questioning, and self-expression to blossom.

Peter compares reading aloud to putting on a stage production; as a storyteller, you get to co-create a magical sensory experience that immerses your child or student in a world of their own imagination. This imaginative practice is what creates magic, wonder, and learning.

“If we show kids that these stories can come to life in really wonderful and exciting ways, their inner voice will put on a show,” said Peter. “That’s the power of using Novel Effect, the soundscape will really ignite someone’s imagination.”

Pairing Technology with Physical Books

While some of us–like Peter and Paul–are naturally gifted and theatrical storytellers, many of us feel overwhelmed at the thought of “putting on a show” to bring our child’s or students’ favorite books to life.

Novel Effect can help even the most reluctant “performers” create lively and engaging read aloud experiences. When you read aloud with Novel Effect, the music, sound effects, and character voices add a dynamic element to the story, without outshining the storyteller’s own magic. And because the app is used with your existing copy of a book, it’s easy to incorporate into your established read-aloud routine.

“It’s such a great use of technology as it respects the print books,” says Peter. “I love it because it says, ‘keep reading the real book but we’re going to add this layer of production to bring it to life.

Recommended Read-Alouds

With so many wonderful books to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to know which titles to read-aloud in your classroom or with your child. The good news? You can’t go wrong! Peter and Paul are quick to note that reading in any form is beneficial.

If still feeling stuck, they recommend choosing a wide variety of stories that highlight a diverse array of characters, environments, and topics as a way to ignite young readers’ imaginations. They also suggest selecting stories that align with your child’s interests. When in doubt, offer your little learner options and let them choose!

When asked about his own favorite books, Peter was quick to recommend Ish for Novel Effect users.

Ish might be one of my all-time favorites that I’ve created. So I’m super excited to hear the soundscape,” he said.

You can read aloud Ish with our brand new soundscape using your Novel Effect App!

Whatever you choose to read aloud, the Reynolds brothers reminded everyone to have fun, stay curious, and to look for ways to create moments of everyday magic.


Want to hear more from Peter and Paul Reynolds?

Click the button below to register for access to our “Storytime Magic with Peter H. Reynolds” webinar.

Start creating storytime magic and igniting your little learner’s imagination when you read aloud with Novel Effect.

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