Children’s books are a fascinating blend of simplicity and life lessons. They’re like security blankets – all warm and fuzzy on the outside, but deep and symbolic on the inside. Children’s books can be funny, deep, touching or emotional, but in the end, they’re always the books we end up loving the most. That’s why they so often stay with us well into adulthood.
The best part of children’s books are the memorable quotes that capture an entire book in a sentence or two.
“Anything is possible. Anything can be.”
– Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends
Visiting a local library is a wonderful opportunity for the children to explore the physical space, look at books and share in special stories together with caregivers, parents, grandparents and friends. Starting to read early to your child has its benefits. As children grow older they’re constantly on the move – playing, running and exploring everything and anything around them. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you so much enjoy. It also builds a strong relationship with you. Reading together creates a time for children to express themselves as well as an opportunity for everyone to discover stories together.
Throughout toddlerhood reading books like Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon you begin to reinforce basic concepts such as colours, shapes, objects, sounds and repetition that form and strengthen their developing language. When you see your toddler “pretend reading”, flipping through the pages of a book with squeals and chatters of delight, they too are developing pre-literacy skills that develop basic speech skills.
The majority of children’s books are meant to be interactive. They grab their attention by involving their senses. Multi-sensory books like touch and feel books, pop-up books, hidden object books and even books on CD are all wonderful for toddlers. Colorful illustrations draw a child even further into the story, allowing them to make a stronger connection between their personal experience and the story they’re hearing.
There may be periods of time when your child favours one book and wants it read time and time again. It is not unusual for children to favour a particular story. These stories speak to your child’s interests and emotional needs. Continue to expose your child to a wealth of books and eventually they will be ready for more stories.