Young readers often choose a book because they like the bright and colourful illustrations on the front cover! Publishers and authors today design covers very attractively to entice these buyers. Experienced readers choose books based on their covers too, but they are also likely to choose a book that is on their favourite subject or by a familiar author. So, how do you help your children choose what to read? Read on for some ideas:
Ask your children’s peers what they enjoy reading or ask other parents what their children are reading at the moment. This will help you in determining which books are age appropriate and popular with kids of the same age.
Allow children to put down a book if they do not like it and choose another one. Remember that children’s tastes change over time, so its best to have as wide a variety of books to choose from.
If you are at a bookshop, take your children with you so that they can help choose books!
Choose books that are age appropriate for your child
Books for babies and pre-schoolers should be in their primary language wherever possible. Babies enjoy board books and the bonus is that these are virtually indestructible! They respond well to brightly-coloured pictures of objects or people with simple text.
Wordless books are a great investment as you can use them to tell a story to your toddler and older children can use them to create their own stories. Pop-up and flap books are also firm favourites with toddlers.
For younger readers, look for simple plots with small amounts of text on each page and with engaging illustrations. As your children progress, they will enjoy books that have more complex plots and more text in them.
Ask your child to help you choose books.
If you are at a bookshop or in the library, take your children with you so that they can help choose books! With our site - Books and You, you can flip through the pictures of the inside pages to help you and your child decide on which books to purchase.
Choose some books that reflect things that will be familiar to your children. Choose books that provide new experiences, such as folktales or stories set in different places and cultures.
Choose books that are award-winning
Search on the Internet or in the library for award-winning books or check our collection of award winning books.
Select a variety of books
For children who are able to read independently, choose a variety of books: books that they can read on their own or to you; books you can read together and books that you can read to them.
Choose books from familiar authors
With novels, look for well-developed stories and plots. If children have a favourite book, they may enjoy other books by the same author. Check out books by our featured authors, these are highly recommended for young readers.
Encourage children to try different kinds of books – school stories, space stories, family and friendship stories, nature stories, adventure stories, fantasy and mysteries.
Choose books that mimic events in your child’s life.
Picture books and novels about things that are happening in your children’s lives can help children process their feelings and face their fears.
Choose books that are of an interesting topic to your child
Choose books that appeal to your children’s interests. Flip through the images of the inside pages on our site to see whether the topic is at the appropriate level for your children. A book that is too simple or too advanced may not hold their attention. Suggest other books on the same or related topics.
Some children enjoy reading about real people. You can pick up some abridged or simple biographies and autobiographies as well as full-length ones for more advanced readers.
Information books are not just for older children. These books encourage children to read about topics that interest them and in the process they learn about how to find information.
Some older children may need books that do not have a lot of text in them and have some illustrations. Books like these that also have stories of interest to older children are not easy to find but some cartoons and graphic novels are available in English.