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 are a selection of our favourite books!

'You Choose' by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goldheart

Recommended by: Melissa

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!

First Thousand Words Usborne Picture Book

Recommended by: Rachel

If you’re looking for a fun way to help your little one to expand their vocabulary, Rachel recommends taking a look at the First Thousand Words Usborne Picture Book. This book is great for learning vocabulary using the picture scenes to talk about what is happening. It's also great fun as you try to spot the duck hiding on every page. Rachel's favourite scene is 'being at the seaside'. A great way to use this book is to name the items, create sentences including the key vocabulary and make stories. Vocabulary learning is critical for language development and this is a great way to make it fun for your little ones!

'We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Recommended by: Sam

If your little one needs help to develop their vocabulary, Sam recommends ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Sam loves this book because its repetitive language helps to develop vocabulary as well as attention and listening. We recommend going on your own adventure and go on an outdoor listening walk to develop sound awareness skills. Here’s Sam having a go at one at our new office in Wetherby.

'Monkey Puzzle' by Julia Donaldson

Recommended by: Leanne

The rhythm and rhyme in the book is a great way to keep your little one listening and engaged, and is such an important skill when developing speech.

Top Tip: Once your child is familiar with the story, see if they can join in with some of the repetitive words and phrases or leave out the last word of the line for them to say. It’s a great way to develop their expressive language skills.

'Owl Babies' by Martin Waddell

Recommended by: Melissa

This book is about 3 owl babies who wake up to find that their mum is not in the nest. The owl babies do their best to comfort each other whilst waiting for their mum to return. When their mum finally returns, they all bounce up and down with joy together!

Here's Melissa's tips for using this book:
- Whilst reading this book with your child you can identify emotions and how things may make people feel.
- It can also be used for group work to support children to look at how to help each other with these emotions and working together as a team.
- You can also look at developing vocabulary and their categories; animals that fly, animals that swim and animals that crawl!

‘Billy and the Beast’ by Nadia Shireen

Recommended by: Sian

Our Office Manager Sian’s stepchildren absolutely love this story and ask for it at least once a week for a bedtime story.

James is 7 and Lydia is 3 and they both absolutely love it. It definitely suits their cheeky personalities and has them in fits of giggles! In the story the 'Terrible Beast' tries to make a pot of 'terrible soup' - and there are all sorts of games you can make relating to this to keep the story going (e.g. making 'terrible trifle' with green jelly and using oranges pieces as slugs).

Sian has been using the following tips from our SLTs to get James and Lydia involved in the story:

  • Commenting on the pictures and asking James and Lydia questions about what the pictures show
  •  Get James and Lydia involved in repeating the repetitive language e.g. ‘ Fat Cat’, ‘Terrible Beast’ ‘terrible rumble’ (or 'terrrrrrrrrrrrible ruuuummmmmbbbbbllleee' as they like Sian to say in a beasty voice)
  • Encourage turn-taking for James (who has Autism and ADHD)

Check out the video below where the author (Nadia Shireen) reads a taster from the book:

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.

We're here and ready to help!

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!

Get in touch to hear how we can help

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