The guide, "How to Read with Your Baby and Toddler" is a guide that helps parents match books with their child’s developmental level and maximize the language and literacy benefits that come with reading together. For more information on the most effective ways to read with your child, download the Family Reading PDF, excerpted below:

A Quick Guide to Reading with Your Child

Ages 0-1: Books for Babies

Format

  • Stiff cardboard books
  • Soft vinyl and cloth books that are easy for babies to handle

Features

  • Pictures prominent
  • Simple, large pictures or designs set against a contrasting background

Content

  • Books with animals
  • Familiar subjects about family life, faces, food, and toys

Language

  • Labeling sounds of common objects or animals, such as cars or cats
  • Noises that are distinguishable (beep, beep!)

Skills

  • Babies will point to pictures
  • Babbling may resemble the rising and falling sounds the caregiver makes when reading 

Ages 1-2: Books for Young Toddlers

Format

  • Sturdy hardcover books
  • Standard-size cardboard books
  • Engineered books with elements of surprise (such as pop-up books)

Features

  • Simple design with a picture on every page (such as a picture of shoes or keys)

Content

  • Familiar subjects of family, faces, bedtime, food, and toys
  • Concept books (transportation, ocean animals)

Language

  • Rhythm, rhyme, and repetition; chants and songs
  • Highly predictable language, humor, and playful language

Skills

  • Children will point to things they wish to be named
  • Children may use one or two words to convey information

Ages 2-3: Books for Older Toddlers

Format

  • Hardcovers, paperbacks, or boardbooks
  • Sturdy binding

Features

  • Illustrations that help tell the action of the story
  • Picture on every page accompanied by a small amount of text

Content

  • Books with happy endings
  • Information books that are told in story form
  • Silly books that pose preposterous situations

Language

  • Familiar language that reflects children's everyday world
  • Books with rhyme and lots of repetition that encourage children to repeat words

Skills

  • Children can initiate and respond to questions from their caregiver a bout familiar objects and events

 

Content in this guide is adapted from A Parent’s Guide to Reading with Your Young Child by Susan B. Neuman and Tanya S. Wright.  

For more expert tips and to preview available books please visit Little Scholastic (www.littlescholastic.com)