Reading is one of Life’s greatest gifts and there is nothing more precious than snuggling up your child on your lap and a good story. We are blessed to be living in a time when books are in abundance… to such an extent that it can be difficult to know what’s good to read (especially when you don’t have time to wade through library piles or online stores).
Here are some top tips to help you distinguish the best from the rest:
- Beautiful illustrations – reading books with different types of illustrations (watercolour, pencil, collage, digital art) is a great way to inspire little ones and encourage an appreciation for art.
- Words on a page – as a guide, a book with one picture a page is perfect for an infant; then a picture with a single word; then comes a picture with one sentence; followed by a simple storyline and then increasingly complex stories. Also follow your child – if they’re developing faster and becoming bored, it’s okay to progress to the next phase in your reading times.
- Rich language – descriptive, accurate language that avoids baby talk. Young children will also enjoy language that makes use of catchy rhyme and rhythm.
- Interesting details – books with interesting details that require some extra looking and encourage thought and discussion are great fun.
- Diversity – books are a great opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes for a moment, and experience a different way of thinking or doing things. Stories that reflect other lives, children and families that are different from your own are a win!
- Stories about life – children are interested in the world around them and their natural curiosity will respond to stories about experiences that are part of their day-to-day, like: visiting friends, going to a birthday party or getting ready in the morning.
- Type of book – board books and ones with lift-the-flap pages are great for infants but by the time children are pre-school age, paper-backs are a good option.
Small children love to hear the same story over and over, so make sure you like the book you choose enough to read it again, and again… and again! If not, don’t get it. And lastly, have a couple of go-to authors that you know are a safe choice when you’re in a rush.
Have fun choosing some great Montessori books for you and your little ones to read together!