How to help your child choose a good book

By Drum Digital
14 May 2014

Your child can’t discover the joy of reading without having good books to read. And the more books children have around them, the more likely they are to pick one to try. We tell you how to choose good books for your kids.

Your child can’t discover the joy of reading without having good books to read. And the more books children have around them, the more likely they are to pick one to try. But how do you know which books are good for your kids? Well, a good book is simply one your child enjoys. Here are some tips to help you choose books your child is most likely to enjoy at different ages.

  • Babies and toddlers often like books with bold, colourful pictures and few words in them. They also like simple stories with pictures and short sentences, and books with rhymes. Books made of cloth or board are often the most practical because babies do like to chew and drop books, as well as hit them against things.
  • Children aged 2 to 5 years mostly enjoy picture books – stories that have pictures and accompanying text that can be read in one sitting. Stories can be about everyday life or about the imaginary worlds of fairies, dragons and animals that talk and act like people. Children in this age group also often enjoy simple information books with lots of photographs.
  • Most children learn to read from age 6 to 11 years. Many still enjoy picture books and especially enjoy trying to read books that were read to them when they were younger. As they begin to read chapter books, children often find particular authors whose books they enjoy. Recipe and other “how to” books as well as joke and fact books are popular with this age group.
  • Regular readers aged twelve and older usually choose books for themselves. Suggest new authors to children of this age or suggest authors who write books on similar topics or in a similar style to the ones they’ve already read and enjoyed. Many teenagers enjoy books that focus on the challenges of growing up, while others prefer to escape into the world of fantasy.

Remember too that choosing books is a skill that will be useful to your children throughout their lives. Show them how to do this and encourage them to try books that interest them.

These tips are courtesy of the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign. For ideas on which books your child might enjoy, visit Book Box on the Nal’ibali website.

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