There are so many books for children to read. This can make it difficult to decide which one to choose for your child.
Yet which books you give your children will influence how much they love to read. The 2006 Scholastic 'Kids and Family Reading Report' found 92% of children read for fun. It therefore makes sense that the better matched your child’s books is to their interests, developmental level and experiences the more they will love books and reading.
Choosing Books for Children to Read
These are 10 essential tips for choosing great books for kids, but remember children have a vital role in choosing what they read so it's a good idea to include them in the decision making process whenever possible.
1. Will your child be able to relate to the life experiences of the book’s characters?
2. Is the book about a topic your child is interested in such as fairies, horses or outer space for example?
3. Will the book help your child prepare for a new experience such as going to school or hospital?
4. Will the book help your child understand a new, confusing or difficult situation in their life such as a new sibling or parental separation, for example?
5. Is it a book about a new or imagined experience that will spark their interest?
6. Is the text size the right for your child to follow along or read alone?
7. Is the text the right length for your child? Consider how many words or sentences per page will work best for your child? Is it the right length for a read aloud? Would the text overwhelm their current reading abilities or be a good match or a challenge they can succeed at without decreasing the fun of reading?
8. Does the book use words your child understands (or a few new words that will help extend their understanding of language)?
9. Will the photographs or illustrations appeal to your child and add to their understanding of the text?
10. Is it a book your child has chosen or you think they would choose?
And remember the more books you give kids the greater the chance the right book will be there to grab their interest, regardless of whether they want to read up on their favourite things, have a laugh or explore an imaginary world.