Children from Star Learners Child Care voted on their favourite picturebooks that your little one is sure to love as well. Plus, learn how to help your child kickstart a lifelong love of reading.
Not only does reading develop speech and comprehension, it also expands the imagination and strengthens critical thinking skills.
And that’s not all. Studies have also linked reading to higher emotional intelligence. Children who read more learn soft skills, such as being more empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of other people.
But what’s most important is developing the motivation to read in children. According to the curriculum experts at Star Learners Child Care – a thought leader in literature-based learning – it is important to select the right picturebooks for your children to spark their love of reading.
Top picks from Star Learners children
Over 200 children from the Nursery 2 to Kindergarten 2 cohort voted for their favourite picturebooks from the Star Learners curriculum. Picturebooks used in its proprietary curriculum are chosen for their literary excellence and strong storylines that open up interesting conversations and learning.
Chalk A clear winner, this is a wordless picturebook filled with vibrant illustrations that encourages children to interpret the story on their own without “right” or “wrong” answers. These experiences, in turn, build up the children’s confidence as they engage in storytelling themselves, inculcating important 21st century skills like communication, critical thinking and creativity.
Fun activities carried out by the teachers helped to bring the story to life. For example, the children played with chalk and created their own stories from their chalk drawings.
Pura the Cat This Singlit picturebook centres around the adventures of a stray kitten and its friends. The book was included in the Star Learners curriculum to help children appreciate Singapore’s local culture. Classes even made a memorable field trip down to Clarke Quay to “find” Pura the Cat.
The Invisible Boy Empathy, the idea of inclusivity and acceptance of differences are covered in this book. Children learnt about respecting the “invisible” people in society. This picturebook is an example of how stories can help inculcate values and develop character in your children.
Go to Sleep, Gecko This Balinese folktale was introduced through storytelling – one of the unique learning approaches at Star Learners. Without relying on an actual book, the teachers used the mesmerising power of their voices to paint a story in the children’s minds, igniting their imagination.
At Star Learners, award-winning stories and storytelling engage children’s imagination and develop critical thinking skills. Children learn to tackle concepts and skills in multiple learning and developmental areas while nurturing a lifelong love of reading.
In fact, Star Learners children even create their very own stories. Kindergarten 2 children undergo the Write a RainbowTM programme where they learn to write and illustrate their own stories in various forms. Some examples include Kamishibai story cards (a form of storytelling that originated in Japan) and e-books.
Tips on how to choose books for your child
The curriculum experts from Star Learners also share tips on how to go about selecting suitable books that make reading enjoyable, motivating your child to reach out for more books.
Consider your child’s age Is the book suitable for your little one’s age and development? The reading level and vocabulary used in the story are important. So is the length of the story, as every child has a different attention span, even if they are of the same age. Try reading different books of varying lengths to see which ones engage your child and sustain interest better.
Pick topics that your child is interested in Start off with themes that appeal specifically to your early reader’s interest. That would motivate your child to reach out for the book on her own.
Expose your child to a variety of books Consider the following book genres in your child’s reading line up:
- Books with rhythmic patterns or patterns that help guide children to predict text. Check out the hilarious tale of Silly Sally by Audrey Wood.
- Interactive books that invite participation are good for young children and early readers, as they will enjoy responding to instructions within the book (for example, hit, clap, wiggle your toes, press the dots, shake the pages). Check out Press Here by Herve Tullet.
- Folktales and fables provide cultural context and enable children to learn about diverse cultures and lifestyles. Check out Go to Sleep, Gecko by Margaret Read MacDonald.
- Informative non-fiction books that focus on specific topics. Pictures in the books are usually labelled to help children make text to illustration connections. Check out National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean.
These book suggestions are featured in the Star Learners curriculum.
Check the book’s content Young readers will struggle to read and understand books with themes that may not be age-appropriate.
Look for stories that inculcate good moral values Depending on the developmental stage of your child or issues that she is dealing with, picturebooks can impart a good dose of moral values. Relate the story characters or events to reality, and talk about them with her. This helps her make personal connections with the story.
Try wordless picturebooks Wordless picturebooks allow your child to create unique stories based on the illustrations in the book. This in turn, hones creativity and sparks imagination. Make the reading process appealing by differentiating the characters in the book through the use of different voices, adding sound effects and incorporating interesting words.
Guide your child to share her version of the story. Try eliciting more details by asking “W” questions such as “Who?”, “What?”, “When?”, “Where?” and “Why?”.
Make reading an everyday thing A bedtime story every night can help your child build an interest in reading. Plus, it helps you and your child bond and wind down after a busy day.
Try these tips and pick up the picturebooks recommended by the curriculum experts from Star Learners, and ignite the love of reading in your child.
For more information on Star Learners’ unique literature-based curriculum and programmes, visit starlearners.com.sg/curriculum/our-programmes.
— Brought to you by Star Learners Group —