How to Foster a Love for Reading In Your Children

One of the greatest desires of homeschool parents is to encourage a reading habit in their children. When our children are just babies we start reading to them. We bring our schedules under control so that we will have time to stop our routines and sit down to read.  I know this isn't easy, it isn't easy for me either.  Somehow the tyranny of the urgent can keep us from getting done all the important things we want to do.

It's important to learn to read to your young children.  This is how they will get much of their early knowledge about the world around them. And there is perhaps no fonder childhood memory than one's parents reading picture books. Whether you're sitting on the sofa or bed with your children snuggled around or reading aloud while they roll around the floor playing with matchbox cars, your children will surely enjoy these happy times. And I am certain that all the hours spent reading to your children will become a treasured memory for you too.

Young children love books. Their interests certainly provide a lot to capitalize on. They are fascinated with words (found in books, too), they enjoy things (cars, dolls, balls, -- all visible in books), they delight in painting and coloring (wonderful pictures in books) and they love dramatic play (acting out book characters).

The best place to find books to read is at the library.  Some parents never spent much time in the library and feel intimidated about going to get children's books.  If you feel this way, the children's librarian is there to help you.  She loves to find good books for children.  She is also very willing to explain all the parts of the children's section and the best way to find books. You will find that she can be a very friendly and willing helper.  She is usually just sitting at her desk really hoping someone like you will stop to ask her questions.

Here are some great books to read to your children.  You can find picture story books on the library shelves in alphabetical order according to the author's last name.  If you need help, just take this list to the librarian and she will be happy to find them.  If you don't see a book on the shelf, ask her to order it. You will soon find so many good books to read, this list is just a beginning.

  • A Merry Mouse Christmas ABC — Priscilla Hillman
  • A Is an Apple Pie — William Stobbs
  • Pat the Cat — Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
  • Ten, Nine, Eight — Molly Bang
  • Brown Bear in a Brown Chair — Irina Hale
  • Caps for Sale — Esphyr Slobodkin
  • Samson Svenson's Baby — Sheila Moore
  • Mousekins Close Call — Edna Miller (There are many Mousekin books)
  • Goodnight, Goodnight — Eve Rice
  • Richard Scarry's Lowly Worm, Car and Truck Book — Richard Scarry
  • The Farmer in the Dell — Diane Zuromskis
  • A Hole is to Dig — Ruth Krauss
  • I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly — Nadine Westcott
  • The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash — Trinka Noble
  • The Little Worm Book — Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • The Tale of Thomas Mead — Pat Hutchins
  • Pancakes for Breakfast — Tomie dePaola
  • The Happy Dog — Hideyuki Tanaka

When you are finished with these, try reading some books from my favorite story book authors.  My top three favorites are:

  • Peter Spier
  • Cynthia Rylant
  • Eloise Wilkins (Golden Books author)

Favorite Picture Book Authors

  • Aesop
  • Anglund, Joan
  • Anno, Mitsumasa
  • Berenstain, Jan and Stan
  • Carle, Eric
  • DePaola, Tomie
  • D'Aulaire, Edgar and Ingri
  • Emberly, Ed
  • Fujikawa, Gyo
  • Lionni, Leo
  • McCloskey, Robert
  • Rockwell, Ann and Thomas
  • Scarry, Richard
  • Spier, Peter
  • Rylant, Cynthia

There are so many others I know, but there is only space to list a few.  All the authors mentioned have each written several books. You should have no trouble finding their books.  Happy Reading!

Randi St. Denis is an educator, popular homeschool speaker, and a seasoned homeschooling mom. Randi works as a consultant to public, private, and homeschool families; providing teaching expertise and assistance for all types of children. You can visit her website at

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