Children’s Literacy Network


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Babies Like:

  • Carrying and holding books
  • Photos of faces
  • Simple pictures with one object on a page
  • Talking, cuddling, cooing
  • Listening, singing, smiling

Babies and Reading:

  • The very first time your baby hears your voice, she is learning to read
  • Reading starts with experiences
  • The more your baby hears, sees, touches, tastes and smells, the easier it will be for them to read
Toddlers Like:

  • Few words on a page
  • Simple rhymes
  • Pictures of families and children

Parents Can:

  • Ask “Where is …?”
  • Ask: “What’s that?”
  • Read at bedtime
  • Talk to your toddler all day long
  • Sing to your toddler
2 Year Olds Like Books With:

  • Animals
  • Family and friends
  • Rhymes and repetition
  • Silly and funny stories and pictures

2 Year Olds Like To:

  • Tell the story
  • Repeat the words
  • Pretend to read

Parents Can:

  • Read at bedtime
  • Read the same story over and over
  • Ask “what’s that?”
  • Talk, talk, talk
Preschoolers Like Books With:

  • Kids that look like them
  • Different places and ways of living
  • School and making friends
  • Books with text they can memorize
  • Counting and alphabet books

A Part of Everyday Life:

  • Look for words wherever you go
  • Paint and label objects
  • Talk, talk, talk
  • Sing and rhyme
  • Read every day, even just for a few minutes
  • Let your child turn the pages
  • Ask questions about the story
  • Let your child tell the story
  • Have fun!

Choosing the Right Book

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.