Stepping into the children’s book section to choose a new title can be overwhelming, but research shows that creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books can nearly triple interest in reading within months (source: Louis Harris, An Assessment of the Impact of First Book’s Northeast Program, 2003). Here are some different types of books to look for to help build a well-rounded library for your young reader.
Rhyming books can help children learn about the sounds of language and build phonological awareness, the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds in spoken words, which is strongly related to later reading achievement. When you read rhyming books together, your child is building sensitivity to the sounds that make up our language.
Storybooks help children learn how stories are put together, including characters, a setting and sequence of events that create a beginning, middle and end. As children start to recognize this, they can begin to comprehend new stories. Encourage your child to summarize the stories you read, and then help them spin their own tales.
When children recognize that they can learn from reading, it gives them an outlet to follow their natural curiosity. Non-fiction books that include facts and fresh information can help children learn new vocabulary words and ask inquisitive questions about the world around them.
Text is predictable in pattern books because they use rhyme, repetitions and refrains. They help children make predictions about words, phrases, events and characters that could come next in the book. As you read with your child, take opportunities to pause and let them predict what comes next.
Introducing children to a variety of books is incredibly beneficial and can have a tremendous impact on their future reading success, so make the most of family reading time and snuggle up with a good book.