5 Best Books to Read to Children & Why You Should
Parenting

5 Best Books to Read to Children & Why You Should

by Martha Scully

Mothers, fathers and child care specialist should understand that reading to children is more than an activity you use to put your children to sleep. Believe it or not, when you read aloud, you’re building a relationship with the child.

Benefits of Reading to Children

  • Improved relationship with reader
  • Improved self-esteem
  • A safe method to teach and introduce ideas
  • Helps children learn to listen, improves memory and vocabulary
  • Improves academic achievement
  • The building blocks of imagination and creation
  • Better concentration and discipline
  • More logical thinking skills
  • The basics of reading
  • Develop an appreciation of reading

Why We Should Read To Children

During the TedTalks video above, Rebecca Bellingham spoke on the importance of reading to children…

“As a teacher and a mom, I can’t think of many things that matter as much as reading aloud to our kids — at all ages! At school and at home. Because, reading aloud gives kids, a special kind of access, to the transformative power of story and to the experience of what real reading is all about — which is to deeply understand, to think, to learn, and discuss big ideas about the world, about the lives of others and about ourselves.”

Reading is especially beneficial for helping children learn a language. Scientific studies have associated reading to children with higher brain activity.

The Top 5 Books to Read to Children

We understand the reasons why, but which books should you actually choose to read to your children? Here’s a list of five great ones.

1. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

by Maurice Sendak

A book that helps introduce and develop a child’s imagination. In addition to the great story of a young boy who takes an imaginary adventure, the book is filled with great illustrations.

Where The Wild Things Are Book Cover

2. CHARLOTTE’S WEB

by E. B. White

An award-winning story about friendship. Bustle listed 27 life lessons reasons that can be learned from the book including:

  • Never underestimate small things
  • Show compassion
  • Don’t show off
  • Trust a child’s imagination
  • Never assume what you hear is the truth
  • Change isn’t always bad
  • Don’t fear what you don’t understand
  • Sometimes one friend is all you need

Charlotte's Web Book Cover

3. GOODNIGHT MOON

by Margaret Wise Brown

A book used by many parents to put a child to bed at the end of the day. A NYTimes.com opinion page by Aimee Bender highlights the great storytelling structure that the children and reader will appreciate.

Goodnight Moon Book Cover

4. THE SECRET GARDEN

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A young lady sets off on an adventure and changes her personality. Although the protagonist is a girl, it’s a book for both genders. TheGuardian points out that this book will help your child develop an appreciation for nature.

The Secret Garden Book Cover

5. JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

by Roald Dahl

A book that introduces creativity and adventure. A review on About.com mentions that the book also deals with some important life themes, including abandonment, abuse, and reward.

James and The Giant Peach Book Cover

Keep Reading!

Keep in mind, when you’re reading, you’re introducing children to new worlds and helping them explore new ideas. We’ve only provided a few books here, but like the food you give them, the stories they learn at a young age can have a lifelong impact.


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.