Sharing books with your child is a fantastic way to boost their language and social understanding. Children who are read to when they are young are more likely to grow into confident independent readers. Add to that the simple pleasure of snuggling up together to share a book and you have a perfect excuse to explore together the great wide world of books.
February plays host to World Read Aloud Day, an initiative first set up by LitWorld: ‘empowering young people to author lives of independence, hope and joy.’ I regularly share books as part of my speech therapy sessions, though rarely as a simple ‘read aloud’ exercise. Often, I’m using them as a more flexible prop to inspire conversation and play, or to look together for words with a particular sound that we are practising.
Whilst books can be a great springboard for creative play and conversation, some books really lend themselves to reading every word aloud. I’ve gathered a few suggestions here:
The Book With No Pictures – B. J. Novak
This is such a fun and hilarious read. Without any pictures, the beauty of this book lies in the telling. The reader is told to ‘say every word’, tapping in to a child’s love for making adults say silly things. Watch your child’s eyes light up as this book has you trying funny voices, singing rhymes and reading nonsense words. Check out the author sharing this book with a group of delighted kids.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodd
The first of a large range of dog adventure books. With timeless illustrations adding character, Dodd’s genius lies in her ability to build a catchy, building rhyming phrase. I’ve shared before the importance of rhyme for young children and this is a perfect example. You might like to pause before the end of each word to give your child a chance to guess the rhyme.
Momo and Snap Are Not Friends – Airlie Anderson
In sharp contrast to Hairy Maclary, this story consists only of sound effects. It’s a wonderful example of how much can be communicated with barely a word. As you share the pages together you will see how Momo the monkey and Snap the crocodile meet, argue and compete before uniting against a band of hungry lions. This is a fun book to take turns reading as one of you can be Momo and the other Snap.
Dinosaur Roar! – Paul and Henrietta Stickland
A deceptively simple book, with no more than two words per page, Dinosaur Roar actually includes some great ambitious vocabulary. It’s a fun way to explore descriptive language and opposites. The beautiful pictures include every dinosaur imaginable, so if your child is a dinosaur expert they will likely teach you a thing or two.
What about you? Do you have some favourite books you return to again and again? I’d love to hear your recommendations as I’m always on the hunt for fun books to share.
First picture image credit: Freepik