10 Thoughtful Books for Children !

The Top 10 Thoughtful and Much sought after books for children

In one of our previous blogs, we highlighted the paramount importance of reading for children. But, choosing from among zillions of books present out there for young readers is both arduous and overwhelming. Several factors are at play, the child’s interest, subject matter, age and cultural appropriateness of the written words, author’s approach and many more. I, as a parent, have faced this challenge, so I leaned towards figuring out the best books for my nephews and my little one. If you, too, are wondering where to start from, here is the list of ten thoughtful books to have a look at. The list has been curated to help young children unlock the doors of new and innovative thinking. Due care has been taken to keep factors like literary classics, high readership, moral and ethics-based books in mind while making the selection.

Here they are:

  • 1. Wise and Otherwise- A Salute to Life by Sudha Murty
Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murty- Thoughtful books for children. It expands the way your child knows the world, leaving them with virtues of integrity, honesty, respect towards all genders and a lot of inspiration to make a difference!

In this non-fiction book, Sudha Murty recounts her profound experience of encountering ordinary people with extraordinary minds during her travels in India. The book is a collection of 51 vignettes that capture the essence of daily events of life’s journey. The author’s free-flowing prose, inspiring thoughts, and personal experiences makes it an unputdownable good read.

‘Wise and Otherwise’ is great for children between ages 7 – 13 years. The book teaches values- such as honesty, integrity, grace, respect towards women, truthfulness and many more- all conveyed through poignant and eye-opening stories with a touch of humour. One of the MOST inspiring sayings present in one of the stories: “Ethra naryasthu pujyanthu, ramanthethathra devatha,” which means ‘God exists where women are respected’, is not just culture-appropriate but worthy of being passed on to our future generations.

  • 2. The Cherry Tree by Ruskin Bond
The Cherry Tree by Ruskin Bond is one of the thoughtful, must-read, much sought after books for children. One of the lessons is preseverance helps you navigate through the lows to enjoy the best of highs.

The power of persistence has been perfectly blended in this story by Ruskin bond. The story gives children an insight into how life is full of ups and downs, and by staying strong no matter what the situation may be, can help one achieve their goals. The book has the power to instill a love for nature in children, and it paints a perfect picture of how working honestly without cutting corners helps one find success.

The story revolves around a boy named Rakesh, who plants a cherry seed in his grandfather’s garden and observes it grow in the monsoon season. The little cherry tree withstands adversities like that of a heavy storm, thundering rain and many others, yet matures into a full fruit-bearing tree. The lessons of patience, care and timely nurturing are illustrated wonderfully in the story. The importance of having determination, resilience, growth and responsibility has been rendered well in the book.  This book will help build a strong foundation for success in children. It is a great read for children between 8 – 14 years.

  • 3. Malgudi Days by R. K. Narayan
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan. It takes the little reader closer to the social world, traditions, and the accompanying social taboos to question.

It is the best gift in literature offered by R. K. Narayan. The book has been received widely by children between 8 – 15 years of age. Malgudi Days is a collection of 32 short, funny and witty stories happening in an imaginary South Indian town named Malgudi located on the river named Sarayu. The stories revolve around the relationships among family members and takes the little readers closer to the social world, traditions, and various social taboos that were prevalent in the mid-nineties in India, bringing up their essence in a fictional backdrop.

The quirky people of this small yet joyful town of Malgudi never fail to amuse us. The reflection on India’s traditions and culture makes this book even more exciting and unique for every child as they experience this simple yet charming world called Malgudi.

  • 4. The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-read, and many sought-after books for children, one of the book series is 'The Famous Five' by Enid Blyton. The adventurous ride on to how courage and determination always help make your way is an important lesson from the series.

In this classic series, the five main characters Dick, Julian, Anne, George and their dog Timmy, find excitement and adventure wherever they go, whether they’re finding the treasure on an island or solving a mystery during a camping trip or working together to outwit a criminal. If your child craves adventures and mysteries, then it is a must-have on their shelves.  The imaginative yet thrilling journey makes the series the most enjoyable read for children between 8 – 14 years of age. Well! Beyond too!

  • 5. Matilda by Roald Dahl
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is Matilda by Roald Dahl. Make way for empowerment by discovering one's own inner strengths with a good portion of perseverance and focus is an essential lesson a child can learn from this book.

Virtuous qualities like determination, perseverance and focus can help a person achieve any goals, however, challenging a situation may look like. If this valuable lesson resonates with you, then you would want to pick the classic Children’s Literature, Matilda by Roald Dahl for your child. This book is a great read for children between 8 – 16 years.

This fun-filled tale is about Matilda Wormwood, a precocious child blessed with great learning abilities and unexpected power of telekinesis, unlike others in Wormwood’s family. The adults around her- her parents and her kid-hating headmistress Mrs. Trunchbull- often overlook, misunderstand and mistreat her abilities and capabilities; her teacher Miss Honey and her school friends are exceptions. One of the unwarranted blames by Mrs. Trunchbull rigs Matilda up into discovering her own inner strength, which she utilizes to make it work to her advantage and make life much more pleasant for all.

  • 6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Wake up the inquisitive reader and discover the magic of transformation through this book.

‘The Secret Garden’ is one of the best works of Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story opens with Mary Lennox, a spoiled young girl who lives with her parents in British Colonial India. Due to the cholera epidemic break out, she loses her parents at an early age. Following their demise, she is sent from India to Yorkshire and made to live with her uncle Archibald in his mansion. Young Mary is often left to herself as her uncle keeps travelling to put up with his deceased wife’s memories. Martha, her chambermaid, is the only person taking care of Mary. One day Mary discovers a walled and always locked garden at the mansion. Naturally, Mary gets curious to see the garden, and it is here that she discovers the secrets hidden inside it, which further leads her to unlock many more secrets of the mansion.

This book is recommended for children in the age group 8 – 12 years who would easily relate to the adventures they keep looking in everything new.

  • 7. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Give a high-five to the joyful Tom Sawyer in you, and with his journey, learn to be more accepting of changes!

One of Mark Twain’s most famous books, ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ is an epic masterpiece. The novel has a mix of elements like humour, satire and social criticism.

The book is full of Tom’s mischief and adventurous episodes, including his runaway adventure with Joe and Huckleberry Finn. As the story begins, we can find him stealing from the jam jar and managing an escape. The various fun-filled and thrilling adventures of Tom keep children hooked to the novel. Thus, it can help in building reading habits. This book is best recommended for children in the 10-11 years age group.

  • 8. Nancy Drew- Sleepover Sleuths by Carolyn Keene
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is 'Nancy Drew- Sleepover Sleuths' by Carolyn Keene. The detective in you needs to be at work to help find Nancy and her friends their doll!

Nancy Drew is a fictional character, a sleuth created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer. The Nancy Drew series have been ghostwritten and published under the pseudonym, Carolyn Keene. In the story Sleepover Sleuths, Nancy and two of her best friends are very excited about a sleepover party at their friend’s place. They decide to entertain themselves with pizzas, cakes and a pyjama fashion show, and they all look forward to the city girls doll theme party. The plot thickens when her best friend cum the host of the party finds that the doll is stolen. Nancy and her friends embark to solve the mystery behind it. This is one of the best books from the Nancy Drew series and is very popular among children between 6-9 years.

As children, haven’t we all at some point in our lives wished to become a detective and solve mysteries? Most of you would answer in the affirmative here. This book will give that light-spirited detective thrill to your little one(s) and keep them engaged with the twists and turns of events.

  • 9. The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is 'The Blue Umbrella' by Ruskin Bond. Enkindle the kindness as you see the grand Blue Umbrella finally changing hands!

This famous novella by Ruskin Bond is about a young girl named Binya who lives in a small picturesque hill village of Garhwal in Himachal Pradesh. One day a beautiful bright blue silk umbrella carried by one of the picnickers catches Binya’s attention, and she instantly falls in love with it. She wanted it so badly that she barters the beautiful umbrella in exchange for her lucky leopard-claw pendant. Binya was so fascinated by the umbrella that she could rarely part with it. Later the umbrella also became an obsession for a local shopkeeper in the village, Ram Bharosa. An employee of Ram Bharosa decides to steal the umbrella for his master, and the story goes on to depict how Binya deals with the whole situation.

The story conveys how the feelings of envy and jealousy can land one into the tortures of greed and the despair of loneliness. The story ends with a beautiful message: a little act of kindness goes a long way. The book is best suited for children between the age group of 6-10 years.

  • 10. Ghost Trouble by Ruskin Bond
In the list of Top 10 Thoughtful, must-reads and much sought after books for children, one of the books is 'Ghost Trouble' by Ruskin Bond. Re-iterate the lesson of preserving Mother Earth as you go along laughing your heart out with this mischievous ghost!

But for the title, this is not a horror story. Rather, your little one(s) will feel entertained by the mischievous ghost named Pret, who lives in a Peepal tree. It is a fun story that will tickle the laughing buds of your little one. Pret who otherwise doesn’t harm anyone finds pleasures in petty acts like troubling passersby by throwing fruit seeds at them, disturbing the Tonga riders and passersby. But one day, Public Works Department orders the Peepal tree to be cut down, and homeless Pret takes shelter in a nearby home. The story continues with what happens after Pret gets in the house and how the family deals with his outrageous pranks.

The story carries a remarkable lesson for children of all age groups as to what unforeseen consequences humans may end up facing when they willfully cause harm to Mother Nature.

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With such excellent books in place, sit on a couch and give them a read with your young readers. Today, reading literature is one of the healthiest habits for children. So, encourage your child to read and further strengthen their habit of reading!

Happy Reading!

Why Read Aloud to Children?

Why Read Aloud to Children, benefits and importance

“Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain”, Jim Trelease (Bestselling Author of The Read-Aloud Handbook’)

So, why wait, bond over a book and read aloud to your little ones! Trust me, there’s nothing more entertaining than children’s books. Pictures, dramatic illustrations, rhymes, and rhythms make you wishing for more, and if you have little bundles of joy around you to read out to, then it’s the joy of joys! 

Coming straight to the topic, let’s look into some of the reasons why reading aloud to children is so important.

We all know that a child is able to respond to the auditory stimuli around them even before they take birth. Early language development in children happens by listening, and children learn a lot by listening and talking.

Psychologists suggest that reading to children plays a vital role in developing the initial and essential neural pathways in a child’s brain. Reading aloud to children helps them in oral language development, teaches them new words and paves the way for easy and effortless parent-child interaction. Besides that, very recent studies have suggested that reading aloud also helps in the reinforcement of new words and phrases, fosters word consciousness, provides mental nourishment and helps build a strong literacy ground for them.

Children are developing readers and learners of different books. Just visualise this – a child wrapped up warmly in her parent’s lap, being read her favourite stories and rhymes with conscious care and undivided focus, feeling reassured with the comforting voice of her parent. Does it not give positive and feel-good vibes? 

This learning and development of a child happening beneath the wings of her parents with conscious care blooms the child naturally, helps them grasp things quickly and retain things for long. The brain makes connections with the outside world easily, and the child feels reassured with the comforting voice and presence of her parent/s. 

Reading aloud books and stories to children provides a smooth and supportive scaffolding from the contrasting reality of their environment and helps them form a stronger social-emotional connection and rewiring of the existing neural networks. Reading aloud to children also helps them learn new concepts easily, improve their focus and attention span, introduce the child to a rich vocabulary, develop better grammatical understanding and foster effective literacy.

Now, let us take a deep dive into some of the key reasons as to why and how reading aloud to children is helpful:

  • Reading aloud to young children helps fill the word gap and build a foundation for success
Reading aloud to young children helps fill the word gap and build a foundation for success and in fostering word consciousness in children early on.

Words matter! As Geoff Barton says, ‘Words lie at the heart of our quest to address social mobility.’

We can share a wealth of words by reading out books to our children and help bridge the word gap to a large extent. A recent study ((Logan, Justice et al, 2019 [A]) highlighted that children entering kindergarten who were never read any books by their parents or caretakers till the age of 5 years had an approx. “word gap of one million” compared to those who were read one picture book every day by their parents or caretakers at home. According to that study, parents who read a picture book every day to their children enter kindergarten hearing 1.4 million additional words than the children who are never read to by their parents.

Please note: The purpose of the above data is to help you predict reading skills in school and the later literacy success of a child who is read daily by her/his parents. The above data doesn’t mean that children who have heard a million words by the age of 5 years begin to read or write the new words. It only means that a child is more word conscious and that these words would eventually transfer onto their writing and reading as they move up the academic ladder. 

Reading aloud to children daily along with the parent-child discussions and imaginative plays [B] helps shorten the word gap in children early enough, thus enabling them to communicate with confidence, having good oral language and extensive vocabulary, which eventually leads to academic success.

  • Develop global competencies and attributes-
To develop 21st century skills reading aloud books to children is very important. It helps in developing global competency skills.

Technology has made the world flat/small, and global competency skill is an important 21st-century skill to keep in mind to make our children future-ready. The probability of children (in their teens or even in tweens or earlier) collaborating and working together with children from different parts of the world on a common project or idea is high. So, children who develop an interconnected worldview and have global mindedness in their early years thrive; work well with mission oriented-feelings and a collaborative problem-solving mindset. And what better resource to help them navigate through different cultures and social conventions than children’s books, child-friendly magazines and journals there can be. And who better than parents there can be to teach them that.

Do listen to the views of the renowned researcher and a passionate advocate of children’s literacy Dr Keisha Siriboe’s TEDx Talk on this.

  • Reading aloud enhances children’s imaginative and creative abilities
Reading Aloud books to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world

Reading aloud to children introduces them to a world that differs from theirs and exposes them to myriads of situations and experiences. This new world acts as a stimulant and unlocks the child’s imagination and creativity, opening the door of enquiry and possibilities.

  • Reading aloud books develops emotional faculties and benefits behaviors-
Reading Aloud books to kids helps in developing emotional faculties and therefore benefits behaviours

An author’s work always contains a range of emotions. When we read aloud to our children, we give voice to the words and expressions with the rise and fall in our voice. As we read, the child is able to relate with the characters and context in the book easily and becomes sensitive to such emotional variations. Children also learn to use words to describe their feelings in the process. They are able to express their needs and uncomfortable feelings in a better way. When children are able to express their needs and big emotions, they feel more regulated and better in charge of their emotions. So, reading aloud benefits behaviors.

  • Reading aloud helps children cope up with stress and anxieties-
Another powerful reason of reading aloud to children is it helps children cope up with stress and anxieties.

“Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain”, says Jim Trelease. Despite the book containing intriguing images and artwork, one-to-one narration and reading time with parents makes the whole reading and learning experience a positive and a nurturing activity for children.

“Reading aloud to children is the magic bullet for creating a lifelong reader”, says Jim Trelease*. Reading aloud helps in creating a positive view of books and reading in a child’s mind. This bonding moment over reading helps children return to reading later in life if they get busy with work or childrearing responsibilities because ‘reading’ reminds them of happy times with parents, and there’s nothing better than reading. So, reading aloud to children today helps them later in life also.

  • Read aloud to build Vocabulary and better Grammar understanding-
Another powerful reasons of reading aloud books to children is that reading aloud helps build Vocabulary and develop better Grammar understanding

When parents read aloud to children, children pick up new words and expressions, right syntax, pragmatics and semantics, the correct pronunciation of words, understand grammar better. While you explain the meaning of words, they understand the context through the sentences and also memorize complex words. Regular reading helps children build their vocabulary, have a better grip on their speech and expression, resulting in them becoming fluent, confident readers and speakers.

  • Setting social contexts, imparting cultural knowledge, instilling values-
One powerful reason of reading aloud books to kids- It helps in setting social contexts, imparting cultural knowledge, instilling values

Reading aloud to children opens to them whole new worlds of enquiry, exposes them to an array of real-life situations, diverse cultures, abundant characters and expressions. Children are able to think, identify and imagine situations while listening to their parents. They also grasp their own lessons and morals during the narration process and store them in memory. So, by reading aloud the right kind of children’s picture books and stories to our children we can create awareness of real-life situations that can be averted. This form of education is known as Preventive Education, which is very important for children. 

The benefits of reading aloud to children are infinite. To sum up, in a few points, here I go… Reading aloud helps children in:

  1. Improving their focus in reading and their attention span,
  2. Enhancing their brain functioning in supporting literacy,
  3. Fostering word consciousness,
  4. Promoting active listening skills
  5. Channelling the behaviors like aggression and hyperactivity
  6. Formation of stronger social-emotional connections with peers,
  7. Setting social contexts and imparting cultural knowledge,
  8. Imagining more richly, promoting creativity
  9. Boosting their confidence,
  10. Learning how to use comprehension strategies
  11. Widening perspectives,
  12. Strengthening the bond between parents and child,
  13. Establishing a successful reading habit, and
  14. Gaining the lifelong love of reading

The good news for parents is that the parenting wisdom ‘Read Aloud to children every day’ is easy to follow. Reading aloud to your child requires only book/s and parent’s willingness to spend a little quality time with little one/s every day.

There is more good news:

Reading aloud to a child doesn’t need to happen in a particular language. And there’s no point in reading to a child in the language a parent is not comfortable in. Also, do not worry about non-native English accent and fluency because the works of many authors are available online as audio recordings done by the speech-over artists, which can help along the way.

Consider reading aloud to your little one as soon as she/he is able to sit up in your lap and all the way to their tweens and teens. Only the reading aloud strategies and ways for different age group children can vary. One can even read to children a line, an excerpt, a paragraph or two when they are grown up adults doing very well in their careers. Maybe it would not be the bedtime stories for a young adult; it could be anything you have read on the internet, a classic novel, a self-help book, or op-ed pieces in the press. It can absolutely be anything we can read aloud in our voice to nourish and nurture the reading habit, the bond and the connection.

And when our children start sharing what they are reading with us, the parents, then we know we have done our job well and helped them become the readers and thinkers, says Matthew Raggett (The Doon Schools’ 10th Headmaster). He also cautions us to be careful not to make reading a source of conflict. I highly recommend parents reading the book ‘How Your Child Can Win in Life’ by Matthew Raggett, at least the first three chapters of the book.

As parents and caregivers, we must make choices to ensure the time spent with our children is of a high-quality one over quantity. As simple as, taking out time for face-to-face interaction-based reading time can nurture the young mind multi-fold and help parent-child make fond memories.

Savour the moments and make memories by reading aloud to your little ones, and thank you so much for reading the blog! Happy Parenting, and see you on the next blog topic, “How to Effectively Read Aloud to A Child? (Tips for Parents)”!

References: [A] Logan JAR, Justice LM, Yumuş M, Chaparro-Moreno LJ. When Children Are Not Read to at Home: The Million Word Gap. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2019 Jun;40(5):383-386. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000657. PMID: 30908424.

[B] Alan L. Mendelsohn, Carolyn Brockmeyer Cates, Adriana Weisleder, Samantha Berkule Johnson, Anne M. Seery, Caitlin F. Canfield, Harris S. Huberman and Benard P. Dreyer Pediatrics May 2018, 141 (5) e20173393; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-3393

* Quoted from Jim Trelease’s handbook (The Read-Aloud Handbook)

How to Develop Reading Habits in Children?

5 ways to develop reading habits in children

“The world belongs to those who read.” -Rick Holland

Reading habits are encouraged across all cultures and age groups. Through reading, a person can master skills and qualities that act as essential assets for a lifetime. Developing a reading habit from an early age is therefore crucial for the overall development of a child. A child undertakes an activity only when it answers an inner need or fulfils a purpose. So, to successfully raise a child as an inquisitive reader, focus on their area of interest. Making reading child-led and helping them develop a positive, mindful relationship with BOOKS is the key.

Why is reading from an early age important?

It is easier to establish new habits at a young age. When a person starts reading in her formative years, it becomes an indispensable part of her existence. The benefits of encouraging reading from a young age are:

  • It enhances imaginative and creative abilities.

Fiction and fantasy books introduce the child to a world that differs from reality. This new world acts as a stimulant and improves the child’s imagination and creativity. 

  • It develops emotional faculties. 

An author’s work always contains a range of emotions. A child feels a connection with the characters of the book and becomes sensitive to such emotional variations. 

  • It improves communication skills. 

As a reader, the child is exposed to a myriad of emotions and situations. Consequently, the child’s comprehension skills and self-expressions improve.

  • It widens perspective.

Books contain infinite information. When exposed to this sea of information, a child learns to view things from multiple angles and develops a curious nature.

How to develop reading habits in children?

To develop your children’s interest in reading, introduce it in the guise of a game or as a ceremonial ritual. Just as a game is played according to rules, and rituals are performed with a sense of purpose and ceremony. Similarly, setting the grounds for healthy reading habits can be done in the following five ways:

  1. Design a space dedicated to reading!
How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 1: Design a space dedicated to reading

This space can be in the corner of your child’s bedroom or even the living room. Decorate this space with a bookshelf and posters of famous book characters. Make this space inviting for your child by placing colourful cushions, beautiful lights, and a comfortable couch. Most importantly, make this a read-only zone with no distractions. You can also make reading a part of the morning and night-time ritual when the child is feeling relaxed. If possible, make books easily accessible all around the house.

How to develop reading habits in children? A dedicated space for reading is really helpful

Psst! And I am close to executing what Dr Seuss says “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”

2. Let your child pick the book!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 2- Keep it child-led. Let your child pick the book!

Visit bookstores with your child and let her or him choose the books. This way, the child will feel a sense of independence. The child will also relate the book picking activity to a fun event and look forward to it every time. Get your child enrolled in reading groups and libraries; get her/him a library card. Many cities have lucrative options of doorstep libraries, too; they deliver the books home as per the reader’s reading list requirements and furnish new book sets on a monthly or quarterly basis. Explore it in your cities! If you want to know one in Delhi/NCR, let me know in the comment section below.

3. Be an active participant while reading a book!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 3- Parents be an active participant while reading a book to your child.

Make reading a book thrilling by reading aloud, enacting roles, making storyboards, and using different voices and facial expressions for characters. Maybe sing along the rhyming sentences! My little one, Pratham, prefers me being a rapper to Dr Seuss’ books. I can’t forget Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss! It’s fun, though! 

Gift a picture dictionary or flashcards to your child and use them during the reading session. This way, the child will grasp things faster. The experience will also become more enjoyable. Once the child finishes a book, inquire about her or his favourite part, the things she or he disliked, and what would she or he like to read next.

4. Introduce your child to diverse genres!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 4- Introduce books of diverse genres, it really helps.

Encourage your child to read fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, prose, comic books, and historical or geographical books. At times, the child gets too absorbed into the magical world opened by a fictional or fantasy book. The new world may detach a child from her or his reality and lead to isolation and loneliness. When a child reads books of various genres, she or he can maintain a balance between fiction and reality and prevent the onset of “anti-social” behavior. Introducing diverse genres is our simple solution for those who maintain this critical concern towards reading. 

 However, in my personal opinion, your sky can be pink; who can or should have a say over that? And seeing things differently liberates you, gives you the chance to explore and decide on them for yourselves, not make you aloof! 

5. Be the pillar of support for your child!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 5- Be the pillar of support for your children, appreciate and motivate them

Every child is unique. Therefore, each child has a different reading pace, reading choice, and intellectual prowess. But if your child is struggling, identify the problem and provide a solution as soon as possible. Not having a strong foundation of phonics and a good understanding of words and letters is one of the common reasons. A child might have a slow reading pace or may have trouble with the vocabulary of the book. Re-assure your child of her or his capabilities and help her or him overcome the obstacles. 

What do children overcome through reading?

  • Insomnia
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fluency

Many children develop reading habits but are unable to sustain them. They lose interest in reading due to many reasons.

  • An increase in the difficulty level is the most common one.
  • As they grow up, they prioritize other activities.

To maintain the reading habit in your child,

  • Keep a literacy-rich environment
  • Parents can also keep book reading as their ‘Me-time’ practice. The family can together have a reading time.
  • Don’t forget to compliment your child on finishing a book, emphasize the importance of reading as they grow up, and
  • Keep the ritual of reading aloud to children even when they become independent readers. 

Now, I’d take your leave by these parting words…

HELP THE CHILDREN TO MAKE THEIR READING A PASSION BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ADULTS OF THE FUTURE GENERATION. AND THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE AS POWERFUL AS READING!

And enjoy the sweet treat of reading with your children and happy parenting! 😊

How to Select the Right Book for your Little One!

How to select the Right Book for your child by Pallavi Prakash Kumar at She Narrates

Let us read more
Let us read to the little ones more,
Let us inculcate the habit of reading
Let us gift the little ones the comfort of reading,
Let us all thrive
Let us all help the little ones thrive,
Celebrate, it’s Autumn, the season of pumpkin spice!

If you already don’t know, we are hosting Autumn Reads from 1-7 October as all the book-lovers across the world celebrate the Book Reading Week, 2020.
With Autumn Reads, we are inviting parents and caregivers to read to their children books for the entire week. If you have been connected with us for a while now then you know I am a mother to a 4-year-old, Pratham. 

For our book reading week, Pratham and I together have curated a list of books we will be reading. While designing the entire reading activity for him, I had in mind quite some dimensions. So if you want to join us for Autumn reads, or simply are looking for some suggestion on how to select the right book for your child, these are some of the things I had in mind and might help you curate yours:

  • Look Around for Inspiration: As the autumn season kicks in right in time with the World Book Reading Week, it inspired me to come up with Autumn Reads, signifying comfort reading. And Autumn Reads for me would be incomplete without a pumpkin story and to add to the momentum and the joy of reading in my little learner Pratham, Peppa one of his favourite cartoon character, in fact, the favourite character of almost all children including Pratham and me ☺, ‘Peppa’s Pumpkin Party’ was our first choice. So, just look around and you will find something you and your child can relate to!
  • Align with the Stage of Learning: Pratham is in his phonics building years, so any book that would stimulate his learning while he enjoys it would be a winner for me. ‘Anna Banana’ by Treehouse Tales written by Delyth Owen was our next pick. It has many consonant cluster/blending words and to reinforce his phonics learning (especially the grapheme-phoneme correspondence words). Treehouse Tales books- Oliver onion, Oriol orange, etc. are extremely useful and effective, I feel.
    Further to tap into the fun of Onomatopoeia Julia Donaldson’s (illustrated are by Axel Scheffler) book ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ would be Pratham’s fifth book read, after ‘Room on the Broom’, ‘Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book’, ‘The Gruffalo Song and Other Songs’ and ‘The Snail and the Whale’.
    Look for what your child is currently learning and then find the books that complement his/her learning.
  • Go Straight to What They Already Love: Pratham’s love for animal and bird books is something I keep in mind before beginning with the book list curation. To name a few of his favourite animal and bird books are Bears, Tigers, Dogs, Owls, Toucans, and Pelicans. This time we have ‘Tiger’ by Nick Butterworth (@harpercollinsch) and ‘The Bumblebear’ by Nadia Shireen (@penguinkids @penguinrandomhouse), power-packed with colourful illustrations and creative narration. When our children already love an idea, a book on similar lines encourages their creativity and imagination many folds.
  • Include Daily-Life Lessons: One of the dietary requirements keeping in mind the little learners’ age, high protein is vital because kids on their feet, full of life are running around, jumping, playing, cycling, etc., so high protein is a must in the diet. I know you are wondering, how in the mid of the name of book lists, we are talking about high proteins! Because the theme for my next pick was to take Pratham one step closer to understanding the importance of a healthy nutritious diet. The next choice of the book in our bookshelf for Autumn is ‘Beans on Toast- The story of baked beans’ by Paul Dowling. And yes, Pratham likes beans, so to help him understand how it is sourced and how it comes to our plate in a story yet creative format, this was my pick for the reading week.
  • You can Never Go Wrong with Values: To encourage positive behaviour and moral values with the concept of invisible bucket my next book choice was ‘Have you filled a bucket today? – A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids’ by Carol McCloud. Along the lines of emotions and to encourage Pratham to express his feelings, be able to name his feelings, and associate with a colour, I am introducing ‘The Color Monster’ by Anna Llenas. ‘A Book of Hugs’ by Dave Ross to introduce him to various kinds of hugs there is. Let reading help you sow the seeds of positivity and good values!
  • Look for More Than Just Books: All books can form a basis for various fun learning activities beyond reading! Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, one of the favourite books of all kids opted by young parents, is our pick also. I have planned a Lego creative activity for Pratham to be done after we’ve read the book. Activities like these double his excitement and help him remember and relate to characters and their stories for long!
  • A Power-Packed Book: Last but certainly not the least ‘The Wonderful Things You Will Be’ by Emily Winfield Martin would help me encourage thinking, listening skills and let his imagination run riot by asking some open-ended questions found in the cover page of the book “What will you grow up to be?”, “Will you tell a story that only you know?” and others mentioned in this book.

Learning needs to be fun and to encourage the love of books, consequently, the love of learning in my little learner, I curate books keeping in mind his interests first and then the activities that I can tailor the book reading time with, especially Lego building activity. I also look for ways to encourage his thinking and listening skills. Asking him open-ended questions helps him remain focused, which therefore helps in developing his concentration. I prefer storybooks because stories are the best way to kindle creativity, curious learning, build imagination, and create a natural curiosity about the wider world.

There’s one last tip, and probably the best one (save the best for last as they say!), team up with your little one while you choose the books. Let them take the lead if they are comfortable doing that. If they aren’t, then show them the book and ask questions and look at what they are naturally drawn towards. Building fun activities can be a fun activity itself!

Here’s the list of books for ‘Autumn Reads’ for Pratham:

  1. Tiger by Nick Butterworth
  2. Anna Banana from Treehouse Tales
  3. Beans on Toast: The story of baked beans by Paul Dowling
  4. A Book of Hugs by Dave Ross
  5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  6. A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
  7. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
  8. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
  9. The Color Monster: a story about emotions by Anna Llenas
  10. Peppa’s Pumpkin Party

We await to see yours; Join us for Autumn Reads!
Happy Reading!