Raising a reader

The first step to raising a reader is being a reader yourself. When your little one watches you read a book, S/he will mimic it and that really is the first step towards spiking interest in books.

I wanted to inculcate reading into my child’s growth and development even before he was born. My baby shower wishlist included books (new or well loved). I acquainted myself with all the books that were gifted to us even before the baby arrived. After he was born we tried many ways to include books in his daily routine but all were in vain. Now, 14 months later, the first thing my baby reaches for every morning is a book. He enjoys it when we read his choice of book aloud. I couldn’t be happier.

Here are some of our some of the things we do that helped him develop an interest in books:

  1. Read Everyday. Any book.
  2. Do a dramatic reading of the book, using actions and theatre voice. Make reading time a mutually satisfying experience.
  3. Encourage your toddler to communicate with you during reading. Show him/her the pictures in the book, make him turn the page, touch and feel the book during this time.
  4. Expand your child’s world by introducing him/her to a wide variety of books. Sometimes i let him play with my read, if i am in the mood i read a few pages of that aloud to him. Ive noticed that he catches on to words he is familiar with.

Here are some of my toddler’s favorite books:

  1. Baby Einstein’s Here we go is a great sound book. It has buttons that play sounds on the right side that corresponds to each page in the book. My toddler loves to click on these while i read the book aloud for him. You can buy it here
  2. The very hungry caterpillar is a cult classic and loved by children of various ages. You can buy it here
  3. Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle’s Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see is a great lift the flap book and an engaging read for my 1 year old. It is his favorite book. You can buy it here
  4. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is another great lift the flap book. You can buy it here
  5. Little blue truck is a great book that has captivating imagery and onomatopoeia. You toddler is sure to love it. You can buy it here
  6. My son loves to enact Llama Llama Hoppity Hop. The book follows simple actions a toddler can mimic and ends with a big hug! You can buy it here
  7. ABC 123 Learning songs is another great song book I picked up from Costco. In this book the buttons on the right play tunes of the songs that are on the book. You can buy it here
  8. My big book of colors will deceive you into thinking it is a simple book but believe me you will love it. My son has learnt so much from it, it amazes me. This book has pictures of everyday things that we can find in every home so they can point, relate and learn from it.
  9. Ten Little fingers Ten little toes is one of the most relevant books for our time. Although i’ve read it only once (i left it behind in India after our trip), it moved me! Buy it here

I hope you enjoy these books with your toddler. Please let me know if you know if you have any other recommendations.


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