It’s never too soon to read aloud to children.

Babies love the sound of your voice, and listening to the repetition of words and phrases helps with language development. Children enjoy hearing the same story over and over again.

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The very young child enjoys:

  • Nursery rhymes
  • Simple stories about animals and children
  • Stories with little or no text
  • Big, uncluttered familiar pictures

Children at this stage still like all the books for Babies and Toddlers, but as their attention span increases, they sit for longer stories, too.

To tickle the child’s fancy, look for:

  • Stories that have action or humor
  • Talking animal books
  • Simple folk tales
  • Stories that relate to the child’s life
  • Stories with repetitive phrases

It is important for beginning readers to feel successful.

They take pride in reading aloud to demonstrate their new skills. Beginning-to-read books range from having just a few words on a page to having short chapters.

For independent reading success, look for:

  • Large print
  • Uncomplicated stories
  • Pictures that help move the story along

While the joy of reading independently is a source of great pride, beginning readers still enjoy the comfort of having someone read aloud to them.

Look for these types of books to share together:

  • Nonsense stories and joke books
  • Books of poetry
  • Informational books about a child’s interests
  • More involved stories

When it comes to reading, these children are off and running!

Make all kinds of reading materials available to encourage the habit of reading.

Longer books will be appreciated, but having a few illustrations throughout the book will keep the story moving.

Learning to love reading is the goal!

If there are five words on the page that the child doesn’t know, this might not be a book for independent reading.

Insure their interest in reading by finding:

  • Books and poetry about animals
  • Series books
  • Special Interest books
  • Funny books or books with humorous characters
  • Sports related books – either about a specific sport or a book that has characters enjoying a sport

At this stage, avid readers often will find a genre that they enjoy such as historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery or romance.

They may pride themselves on reading everything by a favorite author or every book in a series.

This can be the age, however, when some children shy away from a quiet activity like reading and pursue social and physical activities instead.

To encourage reading, look for books that focus on the particular interests of the child.

Look for:

  • Special interest books – hobbies, sports, crafts
  • Genre books
  • Series books
  • Lists books, such as Guinness Book of World Records
  • Humorous books, joke books
  • Cartoon books