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Selecting good books for children to read

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Selecting good books for children to read may not be as simple as it sounds. Often we tend to select books that we think may be interesting for our children, rather than checking to see what our children's current interests are. Here are a few tips to consider when selecting quality books for your child.

First impressions - the front cover

When choosing a book for your child, consider the look of the book. Does the book look inviting, how attractive will the book look to your child. The cover is what your child will see first and it needs to make an immediate impression. Your child may not be motivated to open the book if it does not attract their attention right from the beginning. Look for a book that has a colourful picture on the front clearly indicating what the book is about.

Number and quality of illustrations

The illustrations are a very important part of the reading experience, particularly for younger children. Pictures stimulate children's imagination and add meaning to the text. Look through the illustrations with your child before they begin reading the book. This activity can provide a good understanding about what the book is about. Good quality illustrations capture interest, and encourage children to want to read the book to understand what the interesting pictures are about.

Length of the book 

Another important factor is the length or size of the book. If the book is too long it may discourage your child from reading it, before they even commence. For children under ten years of age, the book should take no longer than four to five days to read. If your child is ten to twelve years old, look for books that will take them about nine to ten days to complete.

The size of the text / font

Check that the font size used in the book is not to small for young eyes as young children find it difficult to focus on small font. For children under eight, it is easier to read text that is slightly larger than normal, and for children under the age of seven double-spaced text is best.

Children's interests

Defiantly choose a topic that your child is interested in. Books that have characters that are similar to your child may be a good guide. For example, if you daughter is nine years old, look for books about a nine or ten year old girl. Children find it easy to relate to stories where children may be experiencing similar situations to them self. 

Books in a series 

Choosing a book that is part of a series can be a very good idea. This will allow your child to get to know the characters, the way the author writes and the types of words the author uses. Your child will gain confidence as they read more books in the series. The reading will be easier and the books will become more interesting. Your child will get to know the characters and they will be able to comprehend the story line without trying to interpret the text. Reading books that are part of a series also makes a child eager to get to the next adventure, wanting to know what happens in the following book.



Here is a link to a site where you can find quality books for children beginning to read.


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