Books for Children Five to Eight
Flying on Their Own: Books for Children Five to Eight
While there are certain mechanics to the process of learning to read, the moment when individual letters morph into meaningful words is pure magic. Suddenly a child holds the key which unlocks a whole world of adventures. Choosing appropriate books for the beginning reader will help to reinforce this excitement and sense of accomplishment.
Look for these:
- Repetition in language to help reinforce reading skills.
- Books and stories that appeal to the unique interest and personality of the child.
- Language appropriate to the reading ability of the child.
- Language that will stretch and challenge your child.
- A wide variety of books and reading materials, including fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, chapter books, graphic novels and comics, folk and fairy tales, and joke and riddle books.
- Simple stories with strong storylines. Too complex a narrative will slow down and frustrate the beginning reader.
- Material that is presented simply and clearly with a brief and succinct text.
- Engaging stories with enough illustration to ease a page full of text.
- Old favourites. Reading familiar, simpler stories helps to strengthen reading skills.
The role of the adult now begins to shift from selecting books for a child to guiding a child to appropriate books. Let the interests of the child lead the way.
And as you watch your new reader take off with confidence, remember that, as well as being exhilarating, reading is hard work. Lots of help and encouragement are still needed. Enhance your shared reading time each night by reading novels a chapter at a time. This will help to build your child’s vocabulary and comprehension. It is also important to remember that children learn to read at different ages, so be patient, offer encouragement and let your child find his or her own way.
- Create a quiet reading space where a child can enjoy long periods of uninterrupted reading.
- Encourage children to make their own pictures for their favourite stories. Kids can draw pictures using chalk pastels just like illustrator Georgia Graham does in Wanda and the Frogs, written by Barbara Azore.
- Go to a museum after you read Breakout Dinosaurs: Canada’s Coolest and Scariest Ancient Creatures Return! by Hugh Brewster and illustrated by Alan Barnard. Go to an open field at night after you’ve read Dot to Dot in the Sky: Stories of the Zodiac by Joan Marie Galat and illustrated by Lorna Bennett. Or take a trip to the candy shop after reading Sweet! The Delicious Story of Candy by Ann Love and Jane Drake and illustrated by Claudia Dávila.
- Let children share their own scary stories after reading Don’t Open The Door! by Veronika Martenova Charles and illustrated by David Parkins, or learn how their bodies work in The Amazing Human Body by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone and illustrated by Steve Harpster.
- Encourage your own school, library or local community centre to host an author or illustrator visit during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week (www.bookweek.ca). Young readers love to meet the creators behind their favourite books, and such events can inspire a child’s own creativity.