“Just Right” Books


According to Scholastic, shared book reading is one way to build a child’s vocabulary and object recognition skills, spark their curiosity in different experiences, and create wonderful moments of engagement from birth. Selecting books can be challenging given the vast array of choices and styles of children’s books. 

Research suggests that one of the best means for selecting books relates to the age appropriateness. Babies and toddlers are reported to do best with high contrast board books that are simplistic, repetitive, and durable with their design. Bath and sensory books which are made of vinyl or cloth are engaging for young infants and can be incorporated in different environments such as when taking a bath or playing at the park.

Older toddlers are reported to benefit from books with large pictures with picture flaps to encourage interactive reading. Older infants benefit from books that have social games embedded (peek a boo, find the object, or repetitive songs/rhymes.)Research shows that books incorporating realistic themes and  everyday experiences are more accessible to this age than are fantasy/supernatural themes.

Books for preschoolers should be selected with careful attention to basic plot sequences or basic problem solving scenarios. Books which incorporate predictable elements such as fill in the blank or guess what comes next concepts are said to evolve language and reading skills expected in later elementary school.

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