What's So Great About Books?

Books are a fun and necessary part of your child's development – both intellectual and emotional. The following are some tips to help you both get started on the right path to reading.

Make reading part of your every day life.

  • Reading a book or two before bedtime or naptime can be a wonderful habit. Look for other times during the day to relax and enjoy a story, too.
  • Once you get in the rhythm of this, get comfortable! Sit with your child on your lap, or tucked close under your arm so the pages are in view and you are snuggled up together.

Choose books that your child will enjoy.

  • Begin sharing books that have only a few words on each page.
  • Look for bright pictures, rhymes, repetition, and a simple story. Books need to be repeated many times – sometimes at the same sitting, or sometimes a few days later. Let your child decide.
  • Be sure to pick books you'll like reading over and over again.

Take advantage of your local library.

  • Libraries have extensive (and free!) collections to satisfy your child’s curiosity about reading.
  • Remember that the StoryBus works with the Chicago Public Library! Check their website for hours, locations, and book availability.

Be a playful reader.

  • Make up a different voice for each character.
  • Let your child turn the pages. This way, children learn how books are put together.
  • Wait and let your child finish a rhyme. This is an important way for her to become aware of the sounds that make up words.

Keep your child engaged and learning.

  • Before you begin a book, ask your child to guess what it will be about. Use the pictures on the cover, the title, and the pictures inside for this great thinking exercise.
  • Be sure to include the name of the book and the author and illustrator. (It is exciting to learn that people create each book, and your child can hear the names that connect with each new title).
  • Move your finger under the text to help your child understand you are reading from left to right, and top to bottom.

Don’t leave out the very young child, or the child who already reads.

  • Share board books with your six-month-old baby, or read chapters aloud to your pre-teen. Remember: reading should become a lifelong joy!
  • Books are great because the whole family can enjoy them. They supply their own rewards in the pictures, the experiences, the new thoughts, and the sharing.