Variations in maternal narrative styles during book reading interactions

Gigliana Melzi, Margaret Caspe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the narrative styles of Spanish-speaking Peruvian and English-speaking U.S. American, college-educated mothers as they shared a wordless book with their three-year old children. Results show two distinct book reading narrative styles: Storytellers, who act as the sole narrator of an engaging story with minimal child participation, and storybuilders, who co-construct the story with their young children. The two maternal styles are discussed in relation to possible differences in conceptions of oral narrative and of the roles narrator and audience play in the construction of a story. Results of the present study have implications for literacy intervention programs in culturally diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-125
Number of pages25
JournalNarrative Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Bookreading
  • Culture
  • Mother-child interaction
  • Narrative
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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