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 speech, language and communication development may seem even harder. To help you on your way, here is our latest blog sharing some of our favourite books (if you missed part 1 - don't forget to check it out).

'Shark in the Park' by Nick Sharratt

Recommended by: Laura T

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.

Laura says that this book is at it’s best read with lots of enthusiasm! She recommends it because:

  • The repetition, rhyme and intonation is great for helping children to learn the words to say (or shout!).
  • The repetitive verse includes directional concepts and builds anticipation whilst encouraging the child to predict what will be on the next page.

Laura's top tip: Take turns to read a page each or ask what will happen next. It’s a great way to build conversation skills.

‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy

Recommended by: Rachel

Rachel loves the ‘Peace at Last’ book written by Jill Murphy and describes it as her ‘old time favourite’!

Rachel recommends this as a good book for you to read with your little one because:

  • This story can teach children the concept of time: day versus night time, morning versus evening
  • You can talk about the different places in the book. For example: where Daddy bear chooses to sleep?
  • You can demonstrate the sequence of night time to morning routine. From feeling tired > going to bed > then finally getting up > and ready for breakfast
  • For higher level language questions you can ask your child; ‘When is this happening?’ ‘Why is Daddy feeling tired?’ ‘What could he do?’ ‘What do you think may happen next?’ ‘Tell me a time when you’ve felt like this’
  • Feeling words can be targeted: ‘tired’, ‘annoyed’, ‘sleepy’, ‘noisy’, ‘quiet’
  • Good use of repetitive language; “oh no I can’t stand this!’’ to join in with the telling of the story
  • Discussion around what things you may hear when you’re trying to get to sleep? What helps you get to sleep?

'Room on the Broom' by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Recommended by: Julie

We are big fans of Julia Donaldson books at The Talking House - and this is another one of her brilliant books. The children we work with love it! It has a lovely rhyme and rhythm which keeps children hooked on the story and allows them to pre-empt what word is coming next. 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.

'Dear Zoo' by Rod Campbell

Recommended by: Julie

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.

Here's a video of the actor behind 'Mr Tumble' reading Dear Zoo on CBeebies Bedtime Stories:

Why not give it a go?

If you want some hints and tips on techniques that you can use when reading (or telling) stories to your child just get in touch and let us know.

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If your child needs help with their speech, language or communication or you’re a school that would like to discuss how we could help by providing an SLT service – we’d love to here from you!

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