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The Right Books for Your Talker

Your child is achieving reading milestones gradually and showing more interest in various books. Reading to your child is now more interactive with your child’s active involvement.

As a parent it is your job to select the appropriate book for your budding child.

Here are some tips to help you choosing the right book for your talker child:

Books with Little and Repetitive Text

Since your little one has started talking you can opt for books with little and rhythmic words or lines or repetitive words such as rhymes or songs.

You can also try some electronic books which have audio narration and highlighted text for your curious child. Your child can enjoy repeating the audio sound.

Story Books

Your talkative child might be fascinated about new stories every day, so you can get some books of short stories which have pictorial depictions as well.

Books of Routine Activities

At this age, kids enjoy books about their daily activities such as bedtime, bath or mealtime and also the books of good habits.

Books of Alphabets and Numbers

Pick alphabet or number books for your child as he or she has started telling letters and counting numbers. You can also select books of colours, shapes and sizes.

With the right books in hands, the only thing left is to read the right way!

References

1. Toddler Reading Time. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/reading_toddler.html?tracking=P_RelatedArticle#. Accessed on: 13 December 2013.

2. Finding the Right Read. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/all_reading/right_reads.html. Accessed on: 13 December 2013.

Reference Full Text

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Choosing Books for Toddlers

Toddlers want to feel included and competent; choose books they can follow along with, especially those with repetitive text so they can fill in words. Maintain your toddler’s interest by choosing books with small amounts of text on the page and books about topics that you know are of interest.

For younger toddlers (12 to 24 months) you’ll want sturdy board books with pictures (especially photos) of kids doing the things they do every day. Books about bedtime, baths, or mealtime are all good choices; so are books about saying hello or good-bye. Keep active hands busy with lift-the-flap pages and textures to feel.

Toddlers from 24 to 36 months are beginning to be able to turn paper pages, so this is a good time to expand beyond board books. They’re also beginning to understand the mechanics of reading and like books that are repetitive and easy to memorize so that they can "read" along.

By now you will start to know what your child’s interests are — whether trains, trucks, or stuffed bears, find books about these things of interest. Kids this age also like books about children, families, and animals.

Toddlers love to look at homemade books, scrapbooks, or photo albums full of people they know (try adding simple captions). Poetry and songbooks are good choices for this age group too. You may find that story time turns into sing-along time.

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Books make great gifts for kids, but it’s important to find reading material that fits a child’s interests, maturity, and reading level. Before you set off to the bookstore or library, here are some guidelines.

Babies and Toddlers

Until kids are about 2 years old, think tactile and short. Thick board books with bright colors, bold yet simple pictures, and few words are ideal. These books may include interactive elements, such as parts that move, items that invite touching, and mirrors.

Books with different textures, fold-out books, or vinyl or cloth books also are appropriate for babies and toddlers. Books that can be propped up or wiped clean are excellent choices. Look for books about bedtime, baths, or mealtime or about saying hello or goodbye, especially if they’re illustrated with photos of children. And if peek-a-boo is your little one’s favorite game, books with flaps are a perfect choice.

Many older toddlers (2- and 3-year-olds) start to understand how reading works and will love repetitive or rhyming books that let them finish sentences or "read" to themselves. From colors to numbers to how to get dressed, older toddlers love books that reinforce what they are learning every day. And if you have a budding ballerina or animal enthusiast on your hands, look for books about these (or other) passions.

Preschoolers

Around the time kids are 3 or 4, they start to enjoy books that tell stories. Their increasing attention spans and ability to understand more words make picture books with more complicated plots a good choice. Stories with an element of fantasy, from talking animals to fairies, will spark their imagination, as will books about distant times and places.

Try nonfiction books about a single topic of interest that the child likes. Since many kids this age are learning the alphabet and numbers, books with letters and counting are ideal. Those dealing with emotions, manners, or going to school can help kids navigate some of the tricky transitions that happen during this time.

Electronic books (e-books) are becoming more common these days. There isn’t enough research yet to know their full impact on reading development and comprehension. But whether your child is reading a traditional book or an e-book, it’s important to stay close. There is no substitute for your presence and for quality parent-child conversation.

School-Age Kids

For kids entering school and starting to read, look for easy-to-read books with vocabularies they know so that they can read them independently. Many book publishers indicate the reading level of books on the cover and may include a key to help you understand those different levels. You can also choose books that are above a child’s reading level to read aloud.

Look for books that relate to kid’s interests but also encourage exploration of new interests through reading about unfamiliar subjects. For example, if a child is interested in cowboys, look for books that talk about the days of the Wild West, what cowboys are like today, or historical fiction set in the 19th century.

Kids this age might like reading with an e-reader, and choosing e-books is really no different from picking a traditional book. Consider the child’s interests and reading level. When young kids use e-readers, parents should still be nearby to talk about the book and help extend the child’s thinking about what was read.

Kids of All Ages

All kids love to giggle, so books of silly poems, jokes, or songs are sure to be a hit. Collections of fairy tales, children’s stories, poetry, or nursery rhymes offer a wide variety within a single book. Wordless books with imaginative illustrations can be fun even for kids who know how to read. Looking at pictures and creating a story develops imagination and broad thinking.

And don’t forget the books and stories you loved as a child. Chances are, you had good reasons to love them — and your kids will, too.

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