In my last blog, I shared a few of my favorite children’s books with you. It was hard to pick just a few because I have at least a hundred that I am overly fond of. Parents often ask, “How can I pick a book that my child will like?” or “How can I help my child love reading?” These may not seem like difficult questions to answer, but they are. God made us all different. We all have unique personalities and like or dislike various things. Children are growing and changing daily. So, what they like this month they may not like next month. They may have a favorite book that you have read over and over for a week or more and then you are never asked to pick it up again. And that’s okay! My advice – visit the library or bookstore often, expose your child to all of those awesome books on the shelves, and follow these little tidbits to help you create some awesome memories in the land of literature and grow your child’s love of reading.
Make an interest connection
Together, look at the front cover, glance at the inside pages, read the synopsis (if there is one) and see if this topic is of interest to your child
Find an author or series your child enjoys and expand on that
One of my favorite authors is Eric Carle. You may be familiar with his classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He has published over 40 books for children that are all worth reading.If your child likes one of his books, its worth a shot to try another. My daughter loved Franklin the Turtle books by Paulette Bourgeois. These books immerse you in Franklin’s world with his family and friends and their experiences, giving parents and children the opportunity to spark some great conversation. A couple of my favorites are Franklin in the Dark and Franklin Visits the Library. There are even Franklin plush animals, a TV series and DVDs. Lots of series have extensive collections like the Franklin the Turtle books. Its all about finding something they like and running with it.
When in doubt, reach for a classic
Do you remember reading Corduroy by Don Freeman or Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss? If you had a beloved book as a child, most likely your child will love it to! Most books stores and libraries have a classic children’s literature section you can peruse around or you can visit www.tellinitlikeitis.net for a list of 101 best classic children’s books.
Stay away from beginning readers
Beginning reader books have a time and a place, but they are not meant to be used to develop a LOVE for reading. These books are too simple, have very little plot or character development and are just boring! The appropriate time to introduce these books is at a Kindergarten or 1st grade level – not preschool.
And remember it is okay to still read to your child once they start reading. Children who are regularly read to have a larger vocabulary, higher levels of phonological, letter name, and sound awareness, and better success at decoding words
Finally, I will leave you with a statement that I 100% stand behind: The best readers have been read to. It’s as easy as that. So, turn off the TV or put down your phone, take a trip to the library or bookstore and spend an hour with your child exploring the limitless possibilities found in books.