One of our favourite picture books is Where is the Green Sheep? written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Judy Horacek. Another favourite is Wombat Divine, also written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent. Yet another popular choice in our house is The Terrible Plop, written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Andrew Joyner.
When we received the book Wombat Divine it came with a CD attached of Mem Fox reading her story. She read with such expression and made it so enjoyable, that I realised I needed to read with more expression also. The first few times it feels a little different, however, it becomes so enjoyable to see your child’s engagement, that you soon forget to worry. You are probably noticing over the reading blogs that there is much more to reading than the saying aloud of written words.
Reading to your children is great for modelling, as I have said before, but it is also fabulous for speech development. A strategy used in early intervention is to repeat a word back to a child 4 or 5 times in order to bombard their brain with the correct sound. For example, a child says “I saw a tat.” You say “You saw a cat. The cat was black and the cat was crossing the road. Can you see where the cat has gone to?” Again, it can feel silly but I can vouch as a kindergarten teacher and as a mother who has heard ‘tat’ (cat) and ‘dood’ (good) a few times that this strategy works. An intensive form of this strategy is only useful when a child is 4 or 5, not when they are 2!
Regardless of what stage you are at, I recommend you go to the independent book store and purchase some good quality picture books. It’s great family time to read together and you will be reading them for years so choose something you like too!
See you next time!