How Does a Book Work?
Children are fascinated by how books look and feel. They see how easily you handle and read books, and they want to do the same. When your toddler watches you handle books, she begins to learn that a book is for reading, not tearing or tossing around. Before she is 3, she may even pick one up and pretend to read, an important sign that she is beginning to know what a book is for. As your child becomes a preschooler, she is learning that
· A book has a front cover.
· A book has a beginning and an end.
· A book has pages.
· A page in a book has a top and a bottom.
· You turn pages one at a time to follow the story.
· You read a story from left to right of page.
As you read with your 4-or 5-year old, begin to remind her about these things. Read the title on the cover. Talk about the picture on the cover. Point to the place where the story starts and, later, where it ends. Let your child help turn the pages. When you start a new page, point to where the words of the story continue and keep following the words by moving your finger beneath them. It takes time for a child to learn these things, but when your child does learn them she has solved some of reading’s mysteries.
From: Helping Your Child Become a Reader, U.S Department of Education, 2005.