When purchasing picture books for your children this holiday season you might want to consider how you can use them to encourage your children to become better readers.

Picture books have been specially written, designed and illustrated to appeal to young readers. The images are bright, large and some often have delightful quirky things hidden inside them. As well, the text is simple enough to keep a child’s attention.

Encourage your child to read along and repeat what you are saying. They can also track the words with their fingers. You could sound out individual letters and blended sounds, and ask what other things begin with these sounds.

Encourage your child to look at the shape of the letters and the words as they appear on the page. Once they have done this a few times, you might like to begin to point out other places where these words appear including signs, packaging and, of course, other books.

Take Time to Study the Illustrations

We are all in too much of a hurry today with some parents rushing to finish reading because they have so many other things to do. However, to really build a strong bond and understanding of how a book works, point out the illustrations and ask questions.

What is that character doing?

What color is this or that?

Do you think the character is nice, angry or sad?

You might be surprised to learn that the illustrations for a book take longer than writing the story. There is so much to consider and publishers and illustrators work hard to present the story in the right light.

Use books to create special memories, and your children will soon develop the desire to become readers.

Article written by Susan Day for Kids Lit Book Cafe

Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, grandmother. She wants to empower all parents and grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren.