Your child is never too young to be introduced to books and stories. Even if you have a baby, it is still really important to introduce books so they can start to learn how to explore them and develop an interest. In the early days, this is likely to be just chewing or dribbling on them but as they grow they will learn that books offer a world of intrigue and excitement. For young children and babies, make sure books are visually stimulating (e.g. black and white books are great for very young babies, bright colours and big pictures as they get a little older) and offer learning opportunities such as lifting the flap or exploring different textures. As children get older and show interest in the story as well as the pictures, useful things to look for in books are repetition, key vocabulary and rhyme.
We could have listed hundreds of books on this page as there are so many great stories for children now but below are 5 of our favourite:
Goodnight Gorilla is a great example of using repetition. The book repeats the word, “goodnight” on almost every page and it’s the repetition that is so important for learning to words. There are also a few pages without words which allows you to ask questions, use your own imagination or encourage your child’s.
We love ‘Where’s Spot?’ as it’s great on so many levels. It’s a ‘lift the flap’ book so it makes the story more intriguing and fun for children. The language is very simple and repetitive and it also teaches key vocabulary (early prepositions, animals and home items).
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
This one is one of the most popular books and has been around since most parents were children. This book makes use of repetition and also teaches some prepositions (over, under, through) which are easy to add actions or gestures to to support your child’s learning. It also uses lovely describing words such as ‘swishy swashy’ and ‘stumble trip’ to bring the story alive.
Brown Bear Brown Bear
This book has been around pretty much since the beginning of time and most of our parents will have been read this story as a child. This book uses repetition and rhyme to introduce colour concepts and animal vocabulary, and to reinforce learning. Another oldie but goodie!
Room on the Broom
This book is a personal favourite of mine and I have to confess to knowing it off by heart having read it so many times! The story itself is quite captivating for children and cleverly uses repetition and rhyme to support memory and vocabulary learning. This is one of Julia Donaldson’s best books in my opinion.