Reading Picture Books By Theme

Do you have a bookshelf full of children’s picture books, many of which you never read? If your children are anything like mine, they tend to return to the same picture books again and again, hardly giving others a glance.

That’s not a problem - re-reading the same book is great for fluency since your child gets repeated exposure to the same words and so comes closer to recognising those words automatically. However, wouldn’t it be more interesting (for you, if not for them) to extend the repertoire of books which your child re-reads? Of course, this would also extend the repertoire of words they are repeatedly exposed to. A real win-win!

A great way of choosing different books to read is to think of a theme with your child and then choose three picture books from your bookshelf (or the library) which follow this theme and read those books together. For example, you could choose books which contain dogs or trains or nocturnal animals or monsters.

If you lack inspiration, or your book collection is more limited, randomly choose one book first and then choose two others which link in some way to this first book (perhaps one has a mostly red cover, like the first book, and the other has a female heroine, like the first book).

My children are now reading chapter books and longer novels, but we still like to return to our library of picture books and read those regularly, and we love to use this way of deciding what to read.

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