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News in Youth Services

Monday, January 8, 2018

Picture Books and Building a Vocabulary

As a regular visitor to the library, you know that we have plenty of books for our patrons to look at and check out.  Did you know research has shown that reading aloud to children, more than talking, builds their literacy? 

Reading picture books to your children is a wonderful way to increase their vocabulary.  Take for example the book,"The Pout-Pout Fish" by Deborah Diesen.  She weaves in words like "aghast" and "grimace," which offer a great opportunity for families to stop and talk about the meaning of the words leading to increased vocabulary opportunities. 

According to Dr. Dominic Massaro from the University of California, "reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding."  Reading picture books to babies and toddlers is important because the earlier children acquire language, the more likely they will be to master it.  Encouraging older children to sound out words and explaining the meaning of a word if it is unclear
in the context of the story, helps in building children's vocabulary.  Allow children to pick books that interest them and have them turn the pages to keep them active and engaged in their learning.

Another benefit of reading to children is it teaches them to be good listeners.  When children listen to stories they not only hear new vocabulary but they are also exposed to complex sentence structures different from ones used in conversations. 

The library offers many reading opportunities for various age groups.  Of course we have our storytimes, which are intended for children age 6 months to 6 years.  For older children, Books and Popcorn is held monthly. Children read a predetermined title and then come together to discuss the book.  Also, our other programs like Kreative Kids, typically include read-alouds as part of the activity.

Hopefully the most important result of exposing children to books is that the more stories children hear, the more likely they will read for pleasure themselves once they are independent readers (and we like that here in the library)!

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