Choosing the Right Books for Your Child

Speech and Language Staff
August 4, 2017

Finding the right books for your child can be a difficult task! With bookstores and libraries full of books, it can be overwhelming. It is crucial to find the book your child wants to read AND make sure it’s at the right reading level for your child.

Guidelines for choosing the right books for your child

  1. Choose topics your child enjoys (e.g., butterflies), or is curious about to keep him or her interested and engaged.
  2. Let children choose their own books, from an appropriate selection. This helps build a lifelong love of reading.
  3. Consider pictures and words. Younger children enjoy more illustrations and fewer words. For preschool-aged children, you can choose slightly more complex texts with good rhythm, word repetition, and stories.
  4. Choose books to help explain an upcoming experience or outing. If your child is anxious about an event coming up (trip to the zoo, a play date), choosing similar themes in a book will help the child to get excited and feel more comfortable with the idea.
  5. Choose books that reflect your child’s everyday activities, such as playing with friends, brushing teeth, visiting family, and going-to-sleep routines. They can help you teach valuable lessons and routines.
  6. Choose books that reflect your child’s concerns, such as the start of new daycare or a fear of the dark. These books help children realize that their feelings are normal and that they’re not alone. These books also help your child learn how to handle their anxiety in a positive way.
  7. Select a wide variety of books and reading materials, including fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, chapter books, graphic novels and comics, folk and fairy tales, and joke and riddle books…this will also help your child build a wider vocabulary.
  8. Shared reading time should be enjoyable. If your child does not like a book you are reading together, put it away. Reading is a fun time to share, not a time to fight.

Also remember that your local library is also a great place! The librarian is available to assist you, and may be able to help you find something you are looking for. The library also gives your child a time to explore and find other books that they may find interesting. Many libraries also offer a free story time. Check out your local library schedule for possible upcoming story times!

Does your child struggle with reading time, even when you have tried these suggestions? Contact us to set up an appointment to find out more about how our speech-language pathologists can help you and your child.


Building Blocks for a Healthy Future. (2012). Choosing the right books. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from:


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