Books with chapters, such as Kayla & the Magical Tree, will probably be too long to read aloud in one session, but be sure to include them for older children. Reading one chapter a day is a great way to hook kids on books, just like the TV soap opera serials hook adults on TV.
Here is a checklist to use when choosing books. Of course, which checklist items to use will partly depend on the children you are reading to.
Does the book …?
- Connect to children’ experiences, for example, the book My Piano Class is likely to be more understandable if children have seen a piano and, even better, tried playing one or seen one being played
- Contain words the children can understand; too many difficult words may take away from the enjoying the book (of course, you can explain or change these words)
- (For picture books) Have pictures that help – make the story easier to understand, bring the story to life and make it possible to predict what will happen next
New knowledge and thinking
Will the book …?
- Help children learn new information
- Prompt children to think
- Stimulate children to discuss and to question
- Nurture curiosity to find out more
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It’s fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
– George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including “The Read Aloud Guide”, textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children’s storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.