All books are good books

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For some families, choosing and feeling like they have enough books of the “right” sort to share with their child is daunting. Some parents and carers worry about the standard of the books they might choose and picture books can also get pretty expensive.

Don’t worry! We’re here to reassure you: all books, regardless of their quality, can be used to share, engage and build a love of reading for your child. The magic ingredient is you.

Find books in unexpected places

These books can come from many sources, as part of kids' packs in restaurants, as freebies from magazines or newspapers or as bargains found by friends and family during grocery shopping.

They can be inexpensive stapled-together books with stories that may not be the most exciting or have the most meaningful stories in the world. Your child doesn’t know how much the book cost or where it came from. They just know that you’re sharing it with them.

If you take the time to share these with your child, you’ll find that there is still a lot to talk about. Chat about the pictures, look for the letters in your name, find words that rhyme, give all the characters names that you like, the options are endless… it’s the conversation that’s building their brain and language skills.

Conversations about the things you read together boosts your child's brain development and language skills.

Repair and repeat old favourites

Best of all, these kinds of books are not “precious” and can be slung in baby bags, live in the back seat of the car, get chewed or ripped or shared with the dog and it’s not the end of the world if they get lost.

That is, unless you experience the “joy” of your child falling in love with one of these books: then you’d better not lose it! Get out the contact or sticky tape to keep it going… and if your child falls in love with the book, no matter how boring, keep on sharing it – you’re in the repetition phase now. You’re doing it right!

Borrow books from your local library

Your local library is a fantastic source of books for children and having a constant stream of new books to share can be lots of fun (especially if you’ve been in “repeat” mode with a particular favourite for a while!).

It’s free to join and you and your child will have fun exploring the picture books and the non-fiction books that suit their interests. You can also join a free Story Time session while you’re there.

So don’t disregard any book as an opportunity, as the more books you have available in your home to share, the more words you share together and your child will look forward to the next one – wherever it comes from!

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