Judging a book by its cover: what to look for in children’s books

Illustration of a princess and a princes frog with the words "kiss me"
Early years Birth to 5 years

Reading to children starts them on the road to developing literacy skills, comprehension and early reading techniques. It can also be an enjoyable bonding experience. Children love to read their favourite books over and over again.

Here are some tips to find the best children’s books at your local library or bookshop:

Subjects that interest them

Pick books that tap into your child’s current interests, be it dinosaurs, princesses or racing cars. If there is a subject you would like to begin introducing to your child, such as the impending arrival of a baby or toilet training, look for books that touch on those topics.

Vibrant illustrations

For young children, words and pictures go hand in hand. Good illustrations make sense of the story. Look for books with vibrant colours and easy-to-follow pictures. Illustrations need to show lots of characterisation. For older children, opt for pictures with plenty of detail. When you are reading books, encourage your child to interpret the pictures they see. Ask questions such as, ‘What colour is the car?’ and ‘Why do you think she looks so happy?’ to help increase their comprehension.

Rhyme time

Books with rhyming words can be great fun to read, and teach children valuable skills that are important for literacy development, such as recognising word patterns. Plus, reading time can be filled with fits of giggles when reading nonsensical stories.

And they lived happily ever after

Most children’s books end on a high note, but it is worth having a quick scan through to the last page when you’re in the library or bookshop. You do not want a child going to bed unsure if their favourite book character is not tucked up in their bed too.

Books can teach your child so much. They can stretch horizons and introduce creative thinking, a love of words, rhythm and rhyme.

Last modified on Thursday 21 September 2017 [3016|12881]

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