From toddler on your chances of choosing books without your little one around decreases!

Together you can be looking for books that –

  • contain a story within the pages and being to give more information about characters and events,
  • have more words on pages,
  • use a lot of repeated words or phrases,
  • use rhythm and rhyme to tell a story.

It’s a very good idea to choose a mix of fiction and non-fiction books for your child. It is important that you expose them to both real stories, people and events as well as make believe, surreal things.

Keep in mind that children in this age group love stories about people, places and things that are like those they know. Look for books that have some relevance to where you live, a culture you align to, a holiday you may have had, the way you dress or an interest your little one might have in ants, elephants or eggs.

Rhythm and rhyme can often make reading fun but are also important learning tools. By hearing and saying rhymes, along with repeated words and phrases, your child learns about spoken sounds and about words. Rhymes also spark a child’s excitement about what comes next, which adds fun and adventure to reading by building anticipation.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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My daughter loves to “read” books, but she likes to get the ones that are normally read by kids 6-8 years all. Lots of words, not many rhythm and rhyme, or repeated words. We do read books that are more relevant to her age but she prefer these “longer” stories one. What should I do?

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Josephine,

How old is your daughter? My three and a half year old is loving My Happy Life: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/reviews/my-happy-life-by-rose-lagercrantz/ at the moment… it’s a short ‘chapter book’.



Jacqueline Taylor

Hi, I am not sure by your question how old your daughter is so it is a little hard to gauge how far ahead the books are. In saying that if she is preferring and choosing these books there must be something about them that she likes and that she relates to. Does she have older cousins or siblings that she has seen reading these so wants to be a ‘big kid’ in reading these books? Talk to her about what she likes about the stories. Even though these books are for older children the fact that she is selecting… Read more »

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