The Joy of Books & How To Inspire Your Little One to Love Reading

World Book Day is nearly here and books are so important for our little one’s development. Unfortunately in the world we live in technology is our go to but you can’t beat holding a book in your hands and reading a story straight from the page. Jemima Tash from Puddle Duck Books has a few tips on how to inspire your little one to love reading and learn all about the Joy of Books.

Start sharing books with your baby as soon as you can. 

I know some people read stories to their bump, it’s never too early to start! Just like nursery rhymes and action songs they are very important in your child’s development. When you read to them you are increasing their exposure to lots of language (and getting a cuddle too!). They will not understand everything you say, but they adore the sound of your voice. For babies and toddlers touchy-feely books are great for them to look at with you or by themselves. Cloth books are good for chewing on and noisy books are fun too.

Many picture books have lovely rhyming words making them fun for you to read, as well as sharing sounds that will become familiar to them. The widely used phonics system is how many children learn to read. Early phonics reading books have a lot of rhyming language, so a baby/toddler who has shared lots of rhymes will find sounds familiar when they start to read.

We started including a book in our bedtime routine from just a few months. It’s a great way to relax your child and to signal that it is bedtime. Book Trust have lots of tips on the Bath, Book, Bed routine.

Other ways to make a successful story time:

  • Switch off any distractions and try to have a focused time with your child and the book.
  • Encourage your child to turn the pages and get involved. If you’re worried about pages being ripped then many picture books are available in board book versions.
  • Let them choose what to read even if its the hundredth time you’ve read it!
  • Talk about the pictures, point to familiar things and help them follow the story.
  • Have fun and don’t forget to do those silly voices!

Once your child is an independent reader it is still important for them to read aloud to you and vice versa. This is a great way of checking they understand what they are reading and helping them with the meaning of unfamiliar words. You also get some extra one to one time with them. When it comes to choosing what book to read at home we don’t need to worry too much about things like it being too ‘easy’ for them – we just want to encourage reading for pleasure and a love of books.

 If you’ve older children who you would say is a ‘reluctant’ reader I truly believe that they have just not found the right book that sparks their interest. Funny books can be a good starting point and then try all sorts of different formats and authors. There is a huge choice of fiction, fact, graphic novels and comics out there. I can happily recommend some books to try with your child.

It’s great for your child to have their own books at home and I have a wide range of affordable books in my online shop. You could also use your local library. You can try lots of different types of books without expense (unless you forget to take them back and are fined – which I didn’t realise happened at my library when children turn 5! Whoops!)

Ask your health visitor about your free Bookstart Baby pack and your local library about your free Bookstart Treasure pack.

To build a library of your own you can visit my online bookshop for hundreds of children’s books from birth to young adults, including well known authors such as Julia Donaldson and Roald Dahl. There are fresh new offers every 6-8 weeks. Need help choosing? Just let me know and I can advise on a great book for your child.

Free delivery for orders over £25 (£3.95 otherwise). There is also the option to collect from Wymondham – please message me to arrange this before placing an order. Keep up to date, follow me on Facebook @puddleduckbooks and Instagram @puddleduckbooksnorfolk. 


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