I’ve been asked a few times what i see as important when choosing a ‘good fit’ book for Carter.
At his current age (2) there are a few things I look for in particular.
- Rhyme: I consider this to be important for a number of reasons. Rhyme encourages participation through prediction. As parents read rhyming stories to their child, the level of engagement increases as the child begins to hear the pattern and starts to participate by predicting the next word. Rhyme also increases vocabulary by introducing word families.
- Detailed illustrations at this age are also important. Bright, colorful illustrations which compliment a story help to engage a child. At this age they cannot follow the words on the page so their focus is on illustrations. When they are looking at the pictures, a child is mentally ‘taking their own pictures’, good illustrations will encourage children to use their own imagination.
- Teaching points. Fiction stories are often used for teaching in the classroom, not only for literacy but also numeracy. Counting the animals, stories with a focus on telling the time, books are a great way to combine a love of reading with mathematical concepts.
As children get older, ‘good fit’ books change and books are chosen for a variety of different reasons. For toddlers, however, these three main things to keep an eye out for will assist you when choosing a book for your child.