When children learn how to read, their world opens up to a plethora of books that can teach subjects, take kids on imaginary adventures, and do much more. Simply reading books is one of the best ways to learn how to read. If you have a child who's on the cusp of reading, learning-to-read books with these features will help your child become able to read on their own.
The plot of a book doesn't actually help kids learn the letters that make up words, but a plot is needed to keep children interested in a book. Make sure any learn-to-read book you get has a plot that your child likes. Whether it is adventurous, funny, or magical, the plot will keep your child motivated.
When your child is motivated, they'll want to read the book again and again. The repetition will help them recognize words in the book and gain confidence.
Books that have two characters are helpful when you're working with your child on their reading skills. Reading an entire book, even if it's a picture book, can become exhausting because kids must figure out each word in the book.
With two characters, you can each read the dialog of one character. The back-and-forth reduces how many words your child is reading by approximately 50 percent. It also gives your child short breaks and lets you make the reading more expressive and fun.
Repeat words provide reinforcement, as your child sees each word multiple times. The learn-to-read book doesn't need to repeat every word multiple times, but many of the words should occur two or more times — many times throughout the book is best.
Repetitive Letter Combinations
Repeating letter combinations also give your child multiple times to recognize phonemes, and it provides reinforcement. A learn-to-read book could repeat letter combinations in a couple of ways.
First, the book could use similar letter combinations in different, short words. For example, words like "cat," "bat," and "that" help kids learn the "-at" ending. Matching the ends of words also creates rhyming, which gives a book rhythm that may help your child.
Second, longer words with repeated letters can provide similar recognition opportunities and rhythm. For example, "banana" repeats the "-an" combination twice. Such words also build your child's confidence as they learn to read multisyllabic words. A long word like "banana" makes shorter words like "cat" seem less intimidating.