Raising Readers, by Megan Daley, is the book I wish I’d been able to read before I had kids.
Not because I need tips on how to interest my boys in books – they’re both voracious readers and my youngest takes books to bed as though they’re teddies – but because it would have helped lower my stress levels significantly.
I knew I was supposed to read to my children early and often. But I worried endlessly because my 6-month-old kept trying to eat the pages; my 1-year-old would only listen to half the book before running away; my 3-year-old would look at the pictures instead of the words.
My kids are now 6 and 9 and I know, now, that all of this is perfectly normal ‘reading’ behaviours for younger kids.
Megan Daley is a teacher librarian and the author of the fabulous website, Children’s Books Daily. In Raising Readers she gives parents simple explanations and tips for each reading stage from babies to teens. There’s also a great ‘How to’ section at the back – how to host a book party, how to host a book club for kids (oh, heaven! cries my inner child) and how to be ‘an excellent book gifter’.
Daley’s advice is interspersed with fascinating short sections from more than 20 bookish people – from authors to librarians, psychologists to academics and, of course, young readers themselves.
Here are a few of my favourite takeaways from Raising Readers:
- Allowing kids to choose what they read is important BUT it’s also okay (and recommended) to sometimes choose bedtime stories yourself to expose kids to a greater variety of books. This was a great relief to me – sometimes I feel a little guilty for saying ‘no’ to yet another Minion book because I just want to read something else for a change.
- ‘Home corner‘ at early learning centres is named after the dress ups and props that allow kids to re-enact scenes from home (am I the only person who had no idea?). Books and imaginative play directly interact with each other and help kids understand the world around them.
- Early school ‘readers’ are written by authors to specific briefs – the topic, how many words and which actual words to include and how many times (thanks Pamela Rushby for this fascinating insight!).
This would make a great gift for a baby shower or parent with a child starting school. Or you could just buy it for yourself any old time if you’re interested, because it’s chock full of fascinating things you never knew about kids and reading!
Grab a copy from your favourite bookstore or online at:
Book Depository | Dymocks
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. This post contains affiliate links.