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Talking about books

Talking about picture books making a big difference

2018 research from Australia* describes the impact sharing and talking about picture books with toddlers can have on their achievement.  The researchers explain parents sharing picture books with their children are labelling pictures, encouraging children to respond, explaining new words, commenting on content, and asking questions. Researchers found this type of activity, starting when children are toddlers, had a big impact on children’s learning as they moved through primary school with greatest impact for those from lower socio economic groups.

Starting a conversation

Conversations about books may start quite naturally as you share books with your child but if not we have  included some useful prompts for you on our activity pages, drawing on the ideas of educators such as Aidan Chambers. These ideas are based on the principle that you are exploring a book as two readers together.  Some useful starting points might be:

  • This is my favourite illustration because it’s so funny what’s yours?
  • Did you have a favourite part of the story? Mine was….
  • Which character did you think is the most interesting?
  • I wonder why……
  • It reminded me of……….

Talking about books continues to be important as your child grows older and develops as a reader, with the books they read independently and the books you read to them.

*Shahaeian,A et al  (2018) Early Shared Reading, Socioeconomic Status, and Children’s Cognitive and School Competencies: Six Years of Longitudinal Evidence, Scientific Studies of Reading, 22:6, 485-502