Children’s Literacy Network
Babies and Reading:
|2 Year Olds Like Books With:
2 Year Olds Like To:
|Preschoolers Like Books With:
A Part of Everyday Life:
Excerpted From the Reach Out and Read National Center Website
Many of us can remember a book that was so special it seemed to sum up all that was great about childhood. Giving that same experience to a child in your life is a wonderful gift. Here are some tips to help you select books that will become favorites and will help reading become a favorite activity.
Children, even as young as six months old, know what they like.
- Babies enjoy books with photos of faces, simple pictures and one object per page. By six-twelve months of age, they will reach for a book, put it in their mouth, help to turn pages, and make happy sounds when you read to them!
- Toddlers like books they can hold and carry with pictures of families eating, playing, and sleeping. They can help turn pages and point to pictures. Goodnight books with short, simple rhymes are excellent choices. As toddlers grow, they will sit for short periods of time to listen to a story read to them.
- Two year olds are developing a sense of humor! They often enjoy funny, silly books with rhyming words about children, families, food, animals, trucks, and making friends. Two year olds love to hear a story again and again, sometimes memorizing their favorite parts as they pretend to read to you.
- Preschoolers enjoy books that tell stories including kids that look like them. Books about different places, ways of living, going to school, making friends and with text they can memorize all make excellent choices. Counting and alphabet books help get them ready for subjects in school.
- School-aged children just beginning to read on their own gain from books at their own level as well as more challenging books read to them by an adult reader. Choices should be exciting and encourage exposure to a range of genre including poetry; fairy and folk tales; humor, riddles, and jokes; fantasy; realistic fiction; other cultures; science; biography; history; geography; and the arts.
- When selecting books for older children consider their interests as a starting point. What does the child like? Also consider adding to those interests. A love of fiction about horses could also be supported with a book about horse breeds, for instance. This branching off from the child’s own interests will expose them to nonfiction and to reading for information within their area of interest. There are many great nonfiction books especially designed for younger readers.
Children of all ages, even teenagers, enjoy hearing a great book read aloud! Children who hear books read to them at a level higher than their own benefit from an increase in their vocabulary and the ability to read at a higher level.