What Makes A Good Children’s Book?

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When you’re selecting a good children’s book you should look for a number of things. Is the story engaging to the child? Does it use a lot of sight words and repetition? Are the pictures helpful to the child to understand the words? Is it age appropriate for the child? Is it teaching them good values?

Let’s look at each of the qualities and see why they are important.

Is the story engaging to the child?

With young children you need to capture their attention and keep it. Parents know that young children will generally flit from one thing to another after 5 to 10 minutes. If they have something that truly grabs their attention they will stick with it longer. So if the story in the book you’ve selected captures their attention they will sit with you through the whole story and often times want you to read it again and again.

Does the children’s book use a lot of sight words?

Sight words are the simple words that make up 50 to 70 percent of any general text. You may have also heard of them as Doulch words. Many of these words you can’t sound out and need to be learned by sight. Words such as are, and, an, at, the, that, did, do, green, just, must, make and if are all sight words. There are about 220 of them along with about 95 nouns. If the children’s book has many of these words and uses them in repetition it will help your child recognize them faster and read better.

Pictures in a good children’s book help the child understand the words.

If the character is talking about red strawberries there should be red strawberries pictured. It’s teaching them about a sight word “red” and it’s showing them the color and what a strawberry is. By associating the word to the picture they learn the word so the next time they see the word they see the picture in their mind.

Is the children’s book age appropriate?

Parents know their children. Some are more advanced than others when it comes to reading so selecting age appropriate books can sometimes be tricky. If you have a 3 year old child that’s already picking up words from stories you might want to consider buying books that are a little above them say in the 4 to 5 year old range. What’s important is you want to keep them interested. If it’s too hard for them to understand they won’t want to read the story. At the same time you want to challenge them.

A good children’s book will teach values and social interactions.

You want to teach them about things like saying please and thank you or how important it is to help your friends and people around them. Look for children’s books that have messages like that in them.

Taking the time to find a good children’s book can be very beneficial for your child. Teaching them words and social graces at a young age when their minds are soaking up everything that’s put in front of them can help them immensely in later years. Help them develop skills early that they’ll need and use for the rest of their life.

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