Encouraging a Love of Reading from a Young Age

Posted on August 19, 2019

by April S

Libraries are remarkable places for people of all ages, but especially children. At the Library, children are exposed to a variety of fun programs, books and resources. And there’s always something new to check out. Below are a small selection of favorites from the past year that my kids loved and hopefully your kids will too (read it again!).

10 Picture Books Your Kids Will Love

High Five by Adam Rubin
How to Give a Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps by Nicola Winstanley
I am a wolf / Kelly Leigh Miller
There are no bears in this bakery / Julia Sarcone-Roach
Llama destroys the world / Jonathan Stutzman ; illustrated by Heather Fox
Lambslide / by Ann Patchett ; illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman ; illustrated by Jay Fleck
The very impatient caterpillar : am I a butterfly yet? / Ross Burach
The neighbors / Einat Tsarfati
Oh no, Bobo! : you're in trouble / by Phil Gosier

Cultivating a Love of Reading from a Young Age

Did you know reading aloud to children has been proven to have lifelong benefits? Parents who read to their children are bonding with them, engaging their imagination and encouraging active learning.

Mother reading to her young children

The Benefits of Reading to Children

Below are a 5 reasons to read to your child:

  1. Reading to babies in the womb could help jump-start their language skills
  2. Reading to babies boosts brain development
  3. Reading aloud to babies and toddlers supports basic speaking skills
  4. Reading aloud to children increases their vocabulary
  5. Reading to young children helps to develop lasting literacy skills
Encourage a Lifelong Love of Reading

The books and resources below discuss the power of reading aloud to children. They also cover many ways parents can cultivate a love of reading in their children.

The enchanted hour : the miraculous power of reading aloud in the age of distraction / Meghan Cox Gurdon
The reading promise : my father and the books we shared / Alice Ozma ; foreword by Jim Brozina
Encourage reading from the start : essays, articles, and interviews from the field / Pat R. Scales
Reading in the wild : the book whisperer's keys to cultivating lifelong reading habits / Donalyn Miller with Susan Kelley ; foreword by Teri S. Lesesne
Reading picture books with children : how to shake up storytime and get kids talking about what they see / Megan Dowd Lambert in association with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art ; foreword by Chris Raschka
Related Articles

A lot of people visit the Library every day. As a matter of fact, public libraries across the United States welcomed 1.4 billion in-person visitors in 2016 alone, which equates to about 4 million visits per day or 2,664 per minute. That’s pretty amazing!

Libraries are remarkable places for people of all ages, but especially children. At the Library, children are exposed to a variety of fun programs, books and resources. And there’s always something new to check out. Below are a small selection of favorites from the past year that my kids loved and hopefully your kids will too (read it again!).

Fantastic Picture Books

High Five by Adam Rubin
How to Give a Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps by Nicola Winstanley
I am a wolf / Kelly Leigh Miller
There are no bears in this bakery / Julia Sarcone-Roach
Llama destroys the world / Jonathan Stutzman ; illustrated by Heather Fox
Lambslide / by Ann Patchett ; illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman ; illustrated by Jay Fleck
The very impatient caterpillar : am I a butterfly yet? / Ross Burach
The neighbors / Einat Tsarfati
Oh no, Bobo! : you're in trouble / by Phil Gosier

Cultivating a Love of Reading from a Young Age

Did you know reading aloud to children has been proven to have lifelong benefits? Parents who read to their children are bonding with them, engaging their imagination and encouraging active learning.

Mother reading to her young children

The Benefits of Reading to Children

Below are a 5 reasons to read to your child:

  1. Reading to babies in the womb could help jump-start their language skills
  2. Reading to babies boosts brain development
  3. Reading aloud to babies and toddlers supports basic speaking skills
  4. Reading aloud to children increases their vocabulary
  5. Reading to young children helps to develop lasting literacy skills
Library Love

For all the reasons mentioned above and many more, we believe fostering a love of books and the Library is a good thing.

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges

20 Wonderful Library-Themed Picture Books

We hope you enjoy these wonderful picture books inspired by a love of the Library.

If you ever want to bring a circus to the Library, Don't! by Elise Parsley
If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

A latest cautionary tale by the best-selling creator of If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! finds young Magnolia’s efforts to set up a circus big top at the local library hampered by narrow bookshelves and other wacky challenges.

The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark
The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark

Using the lyrics to Tom Chapin and Michael Mark’s “The Library Song,” this picture book celebrates the magic of reading and of libraries.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Morris Lessmore loves words, stories and books, and after a tornado carries him to another land, dreary and colorless, he finds a single book in color that leads him to an amazing library where, he learns, the books need him as much as he needs them.

A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper
A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper

A quirky ode to spirit, identity and the joy of having a library card follows the adventures of Little Card, who delightedly anticipates going to school to become a birthday card only to trade jobs with Big Card and embark on a life at the library, where he struggles to use his exuberant gifts in a quiet environment.

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

A lion starts visiting the local library but runs into trouble as he tries to both obey the rules and help his librarian friend.

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn

Every Tuesday Lola and her mother visit their local library to return and check out books, attend story readings, and share a special treat.

Lost in the Library : A Story of Patience and Fortitude by Josh Funk
Lost in the Library : A Story of Patience and Fortitude by Josh Funk

Patience, one of the New York Public Library lions, is missing and Fortitude, the other lion, searches the building from top to bottom seeking him.

Lottie Paris and the best place / Angela Johnson
Lottie Paris and the Best Place by Angela Johnson

Lottie Paris goes to the library, her favorite place in the world, and makes a new friend for whom the library is also a special place.

Froggy Goes to the Library by Jonathan London
Froggy Goes to the Library by Jonathan London

When Froggy, Mom, and Pollywogilina set out for the library, Froggy brings a wheelbarrow to hold all the books he plans to borrow but he is so excited that he forgets to use his indoor voice.

Pete the Cat Checks out the Library by James Dean
Pete the Cat Checks out the Library by James Dean

Join Pete the cat as he visits a library for the first time, gets a library card, takes a fun tour, and reads some cool stories that take him on a few groovy adventures.

Library day / by Anne Rockwell ; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
Library Day by Anne Rockwell

While visiting the library for the first time, a young boy listens to stories, reads books and magazines, and learns that there is something for everyone at the library.

Dinosaur vs. the library / Bob Shea
Dinosaur Vs. the Library by Bob Shea

Dinosaur is going to one of his favorite places, the library, and on the way he encounters a series of animals, including a cow, baby chicks, a turtle, and an owl, and shares his roars with each.

Berenstain bears : we love the library / Mike Berenstain ; based on the characters created by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears: We Love the Library by Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears are always checking out books about outer space, medieval knights, cute animals, and more at the library. But then one day, the family finds out the library may be shutting down forever. The cubs know they have to do something! But how can they save their precious library before it’s too late?

Do not bring your dragon to the library / written by Julie Gassman ; illustrated by Andy Elkerton
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman

A child brings a dragon to the library and learns a valuable lesson–libraries and dragons do not mix.

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker
A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

Although he sees no need for more books to read, Bear agrees to accompany Mouse to the library.

Library mouse: a world to explore / Daniel Kirk
Library Mouse: A World to Explore by Daniel Kirk

When Sarah, an explorer mouse, meets Sam she gives him the courage to finally climb to the highest library shelves–and beyond–and he shows her how to explore the world through reading.

Margret & H.A. Rey's Curious George visits the library / illustrated in the style of H.A. Rey by Martha Weston
Curious George Visits the Library by Martha Weston

George is lucky to arrive at the library just in time for story hour. But it’s not easy for a little monkey to sit still too long. From selecting books to getting his very own library card, George’s day at the library makes reading fun.

Amelia Bedelia's first library card / by Herman Parish ; pictures by Lynne Avril
Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish

Amelia Bedelia helps out at the library with her classmates and wonders what kind of book she should borrow when she receives her first library card.

The Library Gingerbread Man / Dotti Enderle ; pictures by Colleen M. Madden
The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle

The Gingerbread Man, who lives at 398.2 on the library shelves, decides to escape and leads the librarian on a chase throughout the library.

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora
The Not So Quiet Library

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