Six 'Hows' of Choosing Good Books For Your Children to Read
Selecting a book for children to read can be quite a difficult decision. Often you will make mistakes about choosing books such as choosing books that interest you more, are too difficult for your child, don't interest your kid. This article looks at six factors to help you choose books with more success.
How it looks
When choosing books for your students or children to read, one of the first and most important things you should consider is if the appearance of the book is attractive to children. The child will see the cover of the book first, so don't choose something that looks boring. This will immediately lose their interest, especially for those who do not particularly enjoy reading anyway. Ideally, the book's cover should be colorful and give some idea of what the book is about. If you can capture the child's interest as soon as they first set eyes on the book, then half the battle is won.
How long it is
Another important factor to take into account is the length of the book. The more accomplished readers will have finished reading, when the rest of the children are still in the middle of it if the book is too short. If a book is too long, this can discourage children as soon as they see it. For children of ten and under, a book should take no longer than three to five days, and no more than eight to ten days for older children.
How many illustrations
Illustrations are very important to stimulate a child's imagination. They provide a break between all those words, so that it doesn't get monotonous. In fact, most children tend to look through the illustrations before they even begin reading the book. Good illustrations or photographs can capture a child's interest, and often encourage them to want to read the book in order to understand what the interesting pictures are about. A drawing or photograph can also maintain a reader's interest.
How big the words
Check that the font size and style of the book is suitable for young eyes. Younger children can find it difficult to focus on small type and tightly spaced sentences. For readers under the age of eight, it is easier for them if the type is larger than normal, and for those under the age of seven double-spaced sentences are best.
How it connects
Choosing a book that is part of a series can be a good idea to keep the children interested. That way, the children can get to know a character, and follow their adventures through a series of books. Reading books that are part of a series also makes a child eager to get to the next adventure, wanting to know what happens next, and can make them realize how enjoyable reading can be.
Finally, choose an interesting subject. A good idea would be to discuss with the children what types of books they think that they might enjoy. Present some ideas to them, and then choose one that most have agreed on. You can always reserve the remaining subjects for another time.
by Kenneth Dickson, English Teacher