Fill your home with books that will support your young reader’s emerging skills and changing interests. Choose books she'll read with little difficulty and more advanced titles that will help her skills grow.
How does the book look?
Look for easy-to-read books, which usually have less than 50 pages. With an engaging story and both illustrations and text on each page, these books are good for a child who is beyond picture books and too young for chapter books.
Is it the right reading level?
Your child's teacher can tell you what level she is reading at now. An easy way to match your child's skills to the right book is by using sequential readers. These books are labeled "Level 1" or higher on the cover. A Level 1 book is generally for ages 3 to 6, and a Level 2 book is usually good for ages 4 to 8.
Is the vocabulary appropriate?
Your child’s books should contain simple vocabulary words that are repeated in the story. Look for books that are entertaining and contain high-frequency words or sight words — these are commonly used words that your child should learn to recognize on sight.
Will my child enjoy it?
You know which stories she has loved so far, so trust your instincts. Also let her choose some books herself. To encourage her curiosity, try introducing new types of stories or nonfiction books. Ask for recommendations from librarians and teachers. Trust books that have received awards like the Newbery, Caldecott, or Coretta Scott King Award.
Grade-by-grade ideas for selecting books:
Continue to read different types of poetry and familiar books with your early reader, while beginning to introduce new, challenging books. Your child is more likely to want to choose his own new books now. Many 1st graders are attracted to science and books that answer questions about the world around them.
Start adding more nonfiction titles to your home library. Try books about famous explorers, science topics, and history. Your child will probably not be reading chapter books independently yet, but she might be eager to start.