It is never too soon to expose children to books. Children should have experiences with books at every possible time–including time for being read to and time for reading or looking at books by themselves. In the classroom and at home, books should be within reach of children throughout the day.
Below is an easy guide for parents to help them make a worthwhile book selection for their young children, given the wide array of books available everywhere.
Babies and Toddlers
- Opt for books with brightly colored pictures of real and simple objects that are familiar to the child.
- Decide on books with rhymes, repetition and predictable text which appeal to younger children.
- Prefer wordless books with bright pictures which are visually appealing and mentally stimulating that allow children to create their own stories.
- Settle for durable books that appeal to their senses, such as fabric books, books with textures, and books with scents.
Nursery and School children
- Choose books that relate to what’s happening in your family and affects your child’s own life. These can be a new brother or sister, moving, new school which they can easily identify with and which can help them deal with fears and feelings.
- Look for books that you like too. Your enthusiasm for a book will make the experience of reading together much more meaningful.
- Select stories about everyday life and events. The stories should encourage children to ask questions and explore their world.
- Prefer books with illustrations and photos that are clear, colorful, and engaging with simple, fun plots.
- Be partial to real life stories and familiar objects (fire engines, animals, weather, bulldozers, seasons, tractors, etc.)
Early School Years
- Focus on books that appeal to your child’s own interests.
- Look for other books by the same author, illustrator or publisher of your child’s favorite books or find books with similar plots and storylines.
- Experiment with different types of books and different topics.
- Acquire books with colorful, attractive illustrations and photos that bring the text to life and give clues to the meaning of unfamiliar words.
- Look for books you can read together as well as books children can read on their own (they may be marked as “early” or “beginner” readers).
- Search for picture books with slightly more complex stories and more elaborate illustrations.
The benefits one can achieve through books are endless. Even fiction books can be used to teach children such as a story about a boy who wanders off at the zoo, which can emphasize the importance of staying close to a responsible adult. Stories can reinforce self-esteem concepts. They can expand children’s knowledge about the world around them and how it works. Each book is different and can subtly strengthen valuable principles. Making valuable choices in the book selection of your child will open a lifetime of opportunities for him. Access to good books is the first step to discovering the joy of reading. Through the joy of reading, books enable young girls and boys to unlock their imaginations and reach their full potential. Make that meaningful reading experience with your child and get hold of a good book now!