Book sharing is different to simply ‘reading’ books. Book sharing is more than just reading the words in the book – it is an interaction between you and your child. When you book share with your child, you build language and support your child’s understanding (of new words, stories and language) and their talking (using new words, sentences, and telling stories).
Some strategies for book sharing:
- Make comments: This means saying something about the book. You can comment on the pictures (e.g. “That is a huge brown spider!”), new words (e.g. “terrified… that means really scared!”) and thinking aloud (e.g. “I think the 3 little pigs feel worried because the wolf might eat them…” OR “I wonder what will happen next…”)
- Ask questions: You can ask questions about something your child has heard or can see (e.g. “Who can you see in this picture?”), or questions that require your child to link information (e.g. “How do you think the bear feels now? Why do you think so?”)
- Pause: Waiting for a few seconds gives your child time to process information and take a turn during book sharing. You can pause before or after turning a page, when something exciting is happening, or after asking a question. You can pause by waiting for a few seconds, look expectant, and watch your child to see what they are interested in.
- Follow your child’s interest: Focus on what your child is interested. You can do this by watching to see what they are looking at, pointing at or talking about, and then make a comment or ask a question. (e.g. *child looking at a spider* “Look, a big brown spider! I wonder what the spider will do next?”).