Early Reading Books
Early reading books are an essential tool in helping young children become good readers.
Americans spent over 4 billion dollars on children's books in 2015. While these numbers include coloring books and other related materials, the largest percentage of this revenue came from books that can be read to children or books that children can read for themselves.
Once considered a form of entertainment or an incentive to help children fall asleep at night, early reading books have gained attention as research reveals the long-term academic value of these books.
Early reading books have been shown to provide support for children's literacy in a number of ways. As a child's first teacher, parents play an important role in establishing a reading environment.
Having children's books available in the home, establishing reading habits by reading to children, and setting an example by reading are a few of the ways that adults can set the stage for reading.
When adults read at home, they are modeling an activity that may have a greater impact on the literacy development of their children than previously suspected, particularly for boys. Research indicates that boys who don’t see their fathers or other men reading may develop the belief that reading is a primarily feminine activity or that reading is “schoolish”.
Reading modeled at home by both men and women creates an awareness that reading can provide information and enjoyment for adults as well as children.
Reading aloud is another essential activity in developing early literacy skills. Louisa Moats and Susan Hall in their book, Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early Years (1999), identify the benefits of reading aloud to children:
- Builds background knowledge about a variety of topics
- Builds vocabulary
- Provides familiarity with language patterns
- Creates an understanding of story structure
- Provides familiarity with the reading process
- Associates reading as a pleasurable activity