What Makes a Great Book for a Preschooler?
There are so many amazing books out there that selecting age appropriate titles can be daunting for parents and caregivers. Choosing books that are not only age appropriate but also fun and engaging is critical to fostering a love of reading. Here are some good questions to ask in order to help guide readers advisory for our preschool audience.
Are the illustrations engaging? Do the pictures tell the story even without the words? When pictures are engaging and move the story along it encourages print motivation and children are more likely to pick the book up even when the adult is not reading.
Does the book encourage interaction? Books that ask questions and invite children to participate add a whole new level of excitement to the reading experience. Books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems make the reader part of the story, and who doesn’t love that? These types of books also encourage narrative skills as children learn to tell their own stories.
Is it a book you and your child will want to read again and again? Repetition is important for growing readers because it builds and reinforces vocabulary. Multiple readings of picture books provide children with repeated exposure to new words.
Don’t overlook nonfiction! Children are curious about the world around them- if they have questions about the big machines they see digging at a construction site or what lives in the ocean, don’t hesitate to find books that help them find out more. Look for nonfiction books with small amounts of text and great pictures. Even if you can’t find a book on the subject with age appropriate text, you can still talk about what is happening in the pictures which build vocabulary and phonological awareness.
For some amazing book titles and activities that go with them, check out the CLEL Bell award winners here! Each title is a great choice for a young reader.