Periodically I get asked questions about how my children became lovers of books. Look for several posts that address what I did, starting with tiny kids otherwise known as infants and toddlers.

1) When my kiddos are infants I started by reading to them any moment we were sitting down. Before they could sit up or hold the book, we’d cuddle in a rocking chair with a pile of board books. There are an amazing assortment of books, but here are a few I love to this day:

  • Goodnight Moon,
  • Guess How Much I Love You
  • Dr. Seuss’ A, B, C
  • Barnyard Dance, and
  • Beatrice Potter stories.

2)  As their attention spans increased, we started taking trips to the library. We’d bring home books and books and more books. We moved to picture books. A discovery we made with the help of a librarian are the Iza Trapani books. These are beautifully illustrated with delightful characters. They each start with a well-loved nursery rhyme that the author spins off in delightful directions. Particular favorites are Row, Row, Row Your BoatHow Much is that Doggie in the Window, and Baa, Baa Black Sheep. Of course, I have to sing these, which adds to the fun.

3) Discover the classics together. Books like Make Way for DucklingsBlueberries for Sal, Madeleine, Curious George, Dr. Seuss. There are a reason these books are still being read. Look for books with great illustrations as they excite your child’s imagination and encourage them to retell the stories by reading the pictures.

4) Engage in the story. Interact with it by using different voices for different characters. Read with lots of inflection. Your kids will pick up on that when they start reading.

5) Surround your young children with books. Show them you love to read by example. And keep introducing them to books. The book my twelve year old is inhaling this week is one I’ve offered to her for two years. Now the time is right and she’ll fly through the series in a week. So I’m learning to keep offering and surround them with great books.
How did you introduce children to reading? Any tips to share with us?

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