When you think about the reasons you like to read, reading for reading's sake is probably not one of them. We read to learn about ourselves and others, to study topics that interest us, or to experience stories both real and imaginary. Unfortunately, children who are just learning to read often see reading as difficult, not fun at all! As parents and caregivers, what can we do to encourage the early literacy concept of print motivation, or reading for fun, when children are not able to read well on their own?
One way to get non-readers hooked on books is by exposing them to great nonfiction. Books aren't just for stories: they also contain information on a variety of topics we care about. No matter what your child is interested in - be it animals, arts, or sports - it's likely the library has a nonfiction book about it. Check one out and flip through it together. Remember: you don't have to read the entire book out loud! Children's nonfiction usually has loads of colorful and engaging pictures. Simply looking through it with your child and talking about the pictures is enough to show that books exist on topics he might like to know more about, which can be a wonderful motivation for learning to read.
Here are a few favorite nonfiction titles you might want to introduce to your child:
- Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You've Never Heard Of by Martin Brown
- Danza! Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folkorico De Mexico by Duncan Tonatiuh
- Spooky Libraries by Jessica Rudolph
- Tori Hamilton, Children's Library Associate, Glenpool Library