|Image from here|
I am a bit of Nazi about the books that the kid's can borrow from the library. Being a trained Speech Pathologist, I am acutely aware of the importance of reading to your children for language and literacy development. I encourage my children to read books that help them grow their vocabulary, sentence structure and understanding of rhyme and rhythm. Of course, they don't know that! They just think Mummy really needs to like the pictures before the book can come home!
Here is a list of five great books for language development for the pre-school set (they are all endorsed by Speech Pathology Australia, so don't just take my word for it):
1. The Terrible Plop by Ursula DubosarskyThis gorgeous book is based on a Tibetan story and features a little rabbit who finds out that some things aren't as scary as they seem. The language used is fabulously repetitive and rhythmic. It introduces some new words of all types – adjectives, verbs and nouns - which offers to expand your child's vocabulary. It allows your kids to 'read along' with you, encouraging them to rhyme word pairs. And all the while they will fall in love with the main character who, despite his size, is brave (a great role model!).
2. Clancy the Courageous Cow written and illustrated by Lachie Hume
The author wrote the first draft of this book when he was about 12. It is a fun story of a cow who is different from other cows, who teaches us all about understanding and getting along. This book will stretch your child's vocabulary (especially wrestling terms!) and language skills. This book is on high rotation at Casa 4. All the kids love Clancy, the beltless belted Galloway!
3. Annie’s Chair written and illustrated by Deborah NilandThis delightful book explores the concept of 'mine'. The author uses simple language and repetition to teach us about sharing and the art of compromise. The book clearly portrays emotions and offers you the opportunity to teach your child about what to do when things don't go your way.
4. A Giraffe in the Bath by Mem Fox & Olivia Rawson, and illustrated by Kerry Argent
This book is packed full of lovable characters and uses rhyme, rhythm and repetition to gently support language development and phonological awareness (pre-reading skills) while trying to make you laugh. It is funny and the catchy language and vocabulary are bound to be as popular at your house as it is at ours.
5. Is Your Grandmother a Goanna? by Pamela Allen
We do love Pamela Allen at our place and this book is one of her best. It is fun and clever and absolutely designed to be read aloud! The fun characters, sound effects, rhyme and repetition (a definite pattern developing with my recommendations!) are all great for language development. And the kids have to use their own voices to pitch in at each of the stations, giving them the opportunity to think and participate. Don't forget to chat about the journey as you are taking it.
I could go on, of course, but I won't. Instead, I will hand over to you for your suggestions for books that are designed for the pre-school set that have great words for language development. Do you have any? (They don't have to be Australian, I just thought I would give our Aussies a plug).