On a recent visit to a very well-known supermarket, I was surprised to see a whole feature wall of costumes highlighting World Book Day on 5th March. There wasn’t a book in sight, just an array of brightly coloured polyester outfits linked to well-known book characters. I couldn’t help wondering if it might have been better to feature a wall of recommended books, inspiring a child to pick up a book and read, rather than to dress up. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the delights of the dressing up box when I was a child. Creativity and imagination are very important for the development of key life skills. But isn’t World Book Day about inspiring a love of reading?

Bearing this in mind, here’s a reminder of our #reading2020 top tips for inspiring your child to read at home, as well as some good book suggestions that might perhaps be a better investment to celebrate World Book Day, instead of a dressing-up costume.

  • Bedtime stories Start with plenty of time spent listening to parents read. Show them the words as you read, talk through the pictures and eventually let them read parts of the page themselves.
  • In the words of Dr Seuss, ‘Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.’ It needs to be as easy to pick up a book and read as it is to reach for the TV remote or the iPad game.
  • Be a role model Children who see their parents enjoying a good book (both Dad and Mum) will want to join in. ‘Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.’ (Emilie Buchwald) One of my earliest memories as a child is sitting on my Dad’s knee while he read his daily newspaper, trying to read the pages. Apparently, I was quite annoying continuously asking for help reading certain words, until eventually, I didn’t need to ask any more. It seems my vocabulary knowledge started out with The Daily Telegraph!
  • ‘If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.’ (JK Rowling) It doesn’t matter what your child is reading if they are enthusiastic to invest time in reading. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. Whether they enjoy adventure, fantasy, humour, sporting hero biographies, nature books or the stories from one author, reading a range of books will broaden vocabulary, as well as wider comprehension and writing skills.
  • Your child’s school or if they aren’t at school yet, your local library, will be happy to make suggestions on which authors to try according to their reading level and areas of interest. The right book is the key to inspiring your child to read more.
  • Talking to your child about the book they’re reading will help them to gain communication and comprehension skills. If you’re taking an interest in what they are reading, it’ll inspire them to read more.

Blog by Catherine Stoker

Below are some great book suggestions that your children may enjoy!

Picture Books for Young Readers

Books for 5-8 Year Olds

Books for 9-12 Year Olds

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