Kids who read succeed – How to choose the best books for your child

mom reading to kid a book in the bed

Children’s reading interests and needs change as they grow. As you help your child choose good books, here are some basic things to look for:

Choosing a book for a baby

  • Cloth, board or washable books
  • Books with different textures
  • Pictures of familiar objects
  • Clear colourful pictures
  • Bright colours
  • No words or few large print words

Choosing a book for a preschooler

  • Favourite books
  • Interactive books
  • Stories with simple plot
  • Topics that interest child
  • Fairy tales
  • Repetitive text
  • Books with large text
  • Books with interesting pictures
  • Books about abstract ideas or new things
    (different cultures, animals, tools, etc.)

Choosing a book for a toddler

  • Interactive — encourages child to make a sound or act
  • Multi-sensory (touch and feel books)
  • Stories that review basic concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes and colours
  • Nursery rhyme books
  • Books about everyday life such as getting dressed, playing, eating, etc.
  • Books with few words or large print words
  • Simple repetitive words or phrases
  • Books with bright simple pictures
  • Topics that interest your toddler

What if my child isn’t interested in reading or can’t sit still?

  • Point out or talk about print in your environment (road signs, food labels, etc.)
  • It’s OK to look through a book and then decide not to read the whole thing. If your child doesn’t like a book after reading a few pages, pick another one. Reading is supposed to be fun, not a chore
  • Choose a comfortable area with little or no distractions (TV, tablets, toys, etc.)
  • Read a page or two at a time. It’s OK to leave the book and come back and finish it later
  • Instead of reading the words in the book, make up your own story or talk about the pictures
  • Make reading a routine (bedtime)

Photo: © oksun70