Who’s your favourite author?
What’s your favourite book?
Finding the right book to read with your children is daunting as there’s so many good ones out there! Finding one that helps with language development may seem even harder. To help you on your way, here are a selection of 10 chosen by The Talking House. Please remember that other books are available, and this is just a sample of favourite books from us:
1. You Choose by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goldheart. This is a great book. It is not so much a story as a discussion generator! I’ve never known it fail to encourage even the shyest child to talk to me animatedly. Pages are full of pictures- “If you could go anywhere, where would you go?” encouraging expressive language skills – anything from simple naming tasks to creating narratives using the choices on each page! This is a great book for all children at any stage!
2. Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt. This is a brilliantly fun and comic book which encourages children to use their imagination. It has a lovely melodic rhythm and catchy rhyme that will have all children chanting along with it. Great for encouraging expressive language as well as maintaining attention (every page is a cliff-hanger!) and improving vocabulary.
3. The Pout-Pout- Fish in the big Dark-Dark by Gordon True. This book can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is a story of a lovable fish and involves lots of repetition and opportunities to practise some speech sounds – in particular ‘p’ and ‘b’! It has a great rhythm and has even been turned into a song.
4. We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Mark Rosen. You can do so many things with this book. It’s great as a song with repetitive lines and a nice rhythm to work on attention and listening, auditory processing and interaction. There are lots of opportunities to practice speech sounds, especially ‘b’ and children really enjoy making the environmental sounds. You can really encourage intonation and expressive facial expressions too. Watch Mark Rosen performing the story with actions below – check out his facial expressions!
5. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The children I work with love this book! It has a lovely rhyme and rhythm which keeps children hooked on the story and allows them to pre-empt what word is coming. This book is great for auditory processing as the child must follow the story and then fill in the blanks eg “WHOOSH! They were gone”. It is also great for working on intonation and gives lots of opportunities to practice speech sounds.
6. Mrs Honey’s Hat by Pam Adams. This book is great for developing auditory memory skills. It can also be used in sequencing activities and can help develop narrative skills if you encourage the child to tell you the story back using visual cues, such as items from a story sack. If you don’t have access to the story sack see this site for a great idea to help you make interactive props to go with the story.
7. The Journey by Neil Griffiths and Scott Mann. This book follows the story of a little boy whose sailing boat slips from his grasp and starts a long and exciting journey down to the sea. It has a catchy rhyme which helps children to follow and participate in the story and the illustrations are great for encouraging discussions and enhancing vocabulary. This book also gives you the opportunity to discuss emotions and introduce emotional language when talking about how the little boy might feel when he lost his boat and the same when he found it. Go to this site for some lovely free resources.
8. Molly’s Jolly Brolly by Erica-Jane Waters. I have just discovered this book. It is a lovely story and really promotes discussion and expressive language skills eg “where would you go if you had a jolly brolly?” It’s repetitive, helping to develop auditory processing skills and has lots of interesting vocabulary. You can also use the format to help your child develop their own story telling skills…see this site for a great idea!
9. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. An old favourite! This book is great for developing vocabulary surrounding animals and also adjectives. It is interactive with flaps and I have never met a young child who did not like this book! It’s short and sweet and maintains attention as every page has suspense as the child has to wait to see what animal the zoo has sent. This book has a very repetitive story and so young children are able to follow it and can easily fill in the blanks eg “he was too big, I…. sent him back” which is good for developing auditory processing skills. Sparklebox has lots of free downloadable activities based on this story.
10. Queen bees and wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. This book is great for early teens and parents alike and focuses on the social challenges of young adulthood. This book is mainly aimed at girls and is designed to help your daughter successfully navigate her way through “cliques, gossip, boyfriends and the new realities of girl world”. This book has been adapted into the film ‘Mean Girls’ – it’s a real eye opener and worth a read by both parents and your teenage daughters.