By reading to your child — even after she can read on her own — and talking about the books you share together, you are sending a signal that reading is important. Like any conversation, talking about books can happen anywhere and at any time — in the car, at the bus stop, or over dinner. Books can elicit strong feelings that need to be shared. A great way to start is to bring up what you have read recently and how it made you feel. Then, invite your child to do the same. Ask:
- If you could be friends with any character in the book, who would it be and why?
- What was the most exciting part of the book?
- What surprised you most about the story? Why was it surprising?
- What do you think the saddest part of the story was? Why?
- Is there anything in this story that is similar to something that has happened in your life? What was it and how is it similar?
- What would you do in a situation similar to that faced by a character in the story?
- What part of the story made you think it would end the way it did?
- How would you change the book's ending if you could re-write it?
- How is this book like one you read in the past? Discuss how they are alike and different. (Note: This could be a book by the same author, but doesn't have to be.)