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Whilst most parents recognize the benefits of introducing their children to books at a young age, the sheer number of books available can make the selection of appropriate titles a daunting task. The following pointers should be considered when buying or borrowing books for your toddler.
Firstly, remember that reading should be fun both for your child and for yourself. The Text should be lively and easy to follow, with only one or two sentences per page, so that the story progresses quickly.
The rhythm of the story is also important. Read a few pages of the story aloud, or at least say them in your head. Stories do not have to be in verse, but should sound light and pleasant, rather than sober or preachy. If written in verse, check that it flows smoothly.
The appearance of the book is also important. Remember, children use the pictures to help them interpret and understand the story. The pictures should be attractive to your child. For most children this means big pictures with bright colors.
Consider buying books which focus on subjects your child is interested in. A truck loving boy may not enjoy a book full of pretty fairy pictures. remember, however, to try to expose your child to different subjects - whilst your truck lover may not come round to fairies, you may be able to interest him/her in dinosaurs.
A common trap to avoid is the presumption that the price of the book is an indication of its quality. There are very many cheap picture books which offer excellent text quality and a great many expensive books which will fail to appeal to toddlers.
Wise selection of books for your toddler can help to foster a love of reading in your child which will last a lifetime.