With all the demands and distractions in our busy lives, finding time to encourage the love of reading in our children can be a challenge. This month we introduce a short series of tips on finding the right book for your child, making time to read, and using thoughtful questions to grow a reader. Whether reading aloud to your younger child, interactively reading with an emerging reader or reading side-by-side with your older child, check out these tips for some helpful advice.
How can I find just the right book to engage my child?
- Read the book before you see the movie!
- When it’s gift-giving time, buy the first book of a series and then borrow the rest from the school and public library.
- To engage your older child, read the first chapter of a book aloud and then encourage them to finish on their own.
- Ask your child about the class author of the month and find additional books by that author
- Nonfiction reading is not only entertaining but important in developing reading strategies. It’s okay to read yet another book about dinosaurs!
- Reading is reading. Magazines, comics, and the increasingly popular graphic novels all build fluency and comprehension.
- Ask for help: Your child’s teacher, librarian, public librarian and local booksellers have a wealth of knowledge about children’s literature.
- Investigate on your own: Reading Rockets is a great website with tips and booklists for children of all ages.
- And speaking of all ages, picture books are ageless. As my mentor Esme Raji Codell says in her book How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, “An excellent picture book can model the highest forms of narrative and visual art and also offer multicultural perspectives.”