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Early Years Foundation Stage: learning to love books: Choosing books

A guide for Nursery and Reception Parents

Choosing books

Here is some very simple information on choosing books. As tastes and interests differ depending on the child, it's good to use these easy instructions when helping your child choose books. 

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Ages 0-2

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to Age 2)

  • Books with big, bright, colorful pictures of familiar objects.
  • Durable books made of cardboard, plastic, or washable cloth. These books are usually a good size and shape for small children to handle.
  • Books that appeal to their senses, such as fabric books, books with textures, and books with scents.
  • Stories told in short, simple sentences with pictures that explain the text.
  • Poems and rhymes that are fun for parents to read aloud.

The Five Finger Rule

  1. Choose a book that you think you will enjoy.
  2. Read the second page.
  3. Hold up a finger for each word you are not sure of, or do not know.
  4. If there are five or more words you did not know, you should choose an easier book.

Ages 3-5

Preschoolers (Ages 3 to 5)

  • Illustrations and photos that are clear, colorful, and engaging.
  • Simple, fun plots. The action should move quickly, so each book can be read in one sitting.
  • Lively rhymes and repetition that children can repeat and remember.
  • Stories about everyday life and events. The stories should encourage children to ask questions and explore their world.
  • Stories that review basic concepts, such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.
  • Main characters who are your child’s age or slightly older.  Playful animals, both real and imaginary, will also hold a child’s attention.

Nursery and Reception Book Box

In the library, we have put together a Nursery and Reception Book Box with books suitable for ages 0-5. You can find it upstairs on the 4th floor with the English picture books. The label on the books looks like this: