Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Exploring Books

To become readers, children need plenty of exposure to a variety of texts. Children become more comfortable with books when they have time to explore them, talk about them with someone, laugh about the story, examine the pictures, and hear them read aloud.

By spending time exploring books and other texts together, you can help your child learn how they work. You can point out: where the title is, where the words begin, that the pictures correspond with the story, that books are read from left to right, and that we can find out interesting things when we read.This important information cannot be taken for granted; children have to be exposed to it to learn it.

In taking the time to become familiar with books, your child will be that much more comfortable with them when the time comes for formal instruction at school. By encouraging an interest in books and the wonderful stories they can tell, you are helping your child develop an interest in learning more. That is one of the key components to learning how to read—interest and the desire to learn. Take the time to foster this interest and desire to learn in your child.

How can you do this?

Go to the library:
Take the time to make regular visits to your local library. Make friends with the librarians who are usually willing to share their enjoyment of and enthusiasm for books and to help you find books that interest and engage you and your child. Libraries often have lists of children’s book organized by age groups. Many libraries also offer weekly storytelling sessions—another wonderful way of instilling an interest in books. Cuddle up on the carpet and read together. Obtain a library card for your child and he or she will be thrilled to be in charge of choosing his or her own books to borrow. The exploration can continue at home when you share the library books with the whole family.

Visit a bookstore:
A visit to a local bookstore is time well spent. The children’s section is packed with interesting and eye-catching titles. Bookstores usually have comfortable areas for parents to read books with their children. Don’t feel obliged to buy a book on each visit. Just spend time exploring the shelves together. Your child will copy your behaviour as you show an interest in books and their stories.

Explore genres:
Continue library and bookstore visits for as long as you can. When your child begins to learn to read at school, there are even more reasons to expand upon the exploration of books. Explore non-fiction books, poetry and magazines or any other texts that will foster an interest in the printed word.


Poetry is a wonderful way to explore words and how they work. There are many funny, silly and exciting poems written just for children. Nursery rhymes are a great way to begin. Children will love to hear them over and over again. Perhaps they will even learn them by heart!


Non-fiction books help your child relate books to his or her world. For example, reading a book that explains what a doctor does could precede an appointment for a general check-up at the doctor’s office. Going on a trip? Look at an atlas with your child, read about your destination or find out about the animals that you may find there.


Informative children’s magazines also cultivate your child’s interest in the world. It is fun for children to receive these in the mail each month. In addition to short informative articles, they often include games and activities that are pertinent to specific time of year.