How to get your kid to love books

8:10:00 AM

Hello darlings! 

I wanted to write a post about how to get your kid to love books since I gave birth to a bookworm myself. But that wasn’t surprising, since I myself was born into a family of bookworms.




My mom used to read several books a month and since the money was tight, she used to buy them second hand, read them and return them to the store to get discount for the next. Our visit to the second hand book stores was every Sunday and I still remember the smell of the books. She then discovered the public library near our house and proceeded to read every book they owned. 

When I was seven, I got a gift for Christmas. It was Penelope Delta'sDelta’s book of “The secrets of the swamp” and I was mesmerized. I needed help reading and understanding some words but I was totally and irrevocably hooked to books! I read all my sister’s books, all the books from the public library that were fit for a seven year old (and some that weren’t) and I went on to loving reading for the rest of my life. It’s no lie that during the most stressful times of my University exams, I used to stop reading for the exams and read literature to help me relax! 

Natalia has developed an unprecedented love for books since she was 12 months old. We had bought her some hard stock books which she could hold in her hands and we read them to her. She then progressed from those to books for older kids. She now asks us to read to her 10-15 times a day. 

Here are some things we did naturally but later on I realized that they were the things that led to Natalia’s love for books. 


Change your voice
When you read to a toddler you need to understand they have a short attention span. If you read in a monotone, flat voice they will soon get bored and ask to move. It will be much more exciting (for you too!) to read by coloring your voice according to the book. For example, when something unexpected happens in the story, build some excitement in your voice. Also, try to change your voice according to the different characters of the book. If it’s a larger animal, make it with a little bass, if it’s a small kid, make it a little higher in tone. That way the kids will distinguish between the different characters in the book and they’ll follow the story with interest. 


In Emma’s Yarlett book “Simon, Stella and the moon”, (στα Ελληνικά: «Ο Σίμος, η Στέλλα και το Φεγγάρι», εκδόσεις Ψυχογιός), which Natalia loves and with good reason, I make my voice different as I talk as Simon, and another one as Stella. And then as the reader of the book when I get to the point of the book that sums the twins’ problem: the fact they can’t share, I make my voice bored and dull to show Natalia in a gentle way that this is wrong. She totally gets the changes and when the two kids “break” the moon, Natalia screams: Craaaaatsssss. It’s so entertaining to watch! 

Get them involved 
Most of the books for kids aged 0-2 have some movable part for the kid to interact with. That’s one of the things little ones love. They love to be involved in the book. Natalia loves to play with the cards that make Mimi the spider go up and down the drain in these happy little books of the Read and Have fun series (στα Ελληνικά: Διαβάζω και Διασκεδάζω, Στο κήπο, Στη Βόλτα, Εκδόσεις Μεταίχμιο). 


The first book with normal (not card stock) pages Natalia fell in love with was Richard Byrne’sRichard’s Byrne “This book just ate my dog” (στα Ελληνικά: Αυτό το βιβλίο έφαγε το σκύλο μου, Εκδόσεις Διόπτρα). I can’t begin to describe how wonderful this simple little book is and how it singlehandedly promoted Natalia’s love for book into the sky! 


Nick used to read it to her sitting next to her on the couch. Then when the book prompted the reader to spur into action Nick helped Natalia the first time to stand on the couch, turn the book sideways and shake it. That was it! Natalia lived for the time in the afternoon when she could shake the book and call out BOO!!! at just the right time! 

Getting them into the game is much more productive towards making them love book reading, than simple reading to them is. 


Use the illustration 
Apart from the deeper meaning a book may have, the illustration plays a vital role especially in books for children. For kids who don’t know how to read yet, the image is the story itself. So the illustration has to be telling the story too.


One of Natalia’s favorite books is Birgitta’s Sif “Oliver” (στα Ελληνικά Όλιβερ, εκδόσεις ‘Ικαρος). We’ve read it so many times she knows it by heart. What makes this book great – apart from its lovely meaning – is the amazingly detailed illustration. There are so many things to mention and point to the child, every time we read it we discover something new

Take the time to look at the designs in the book and seize the chance to teach the child something new. “How many balls do you see here? What is that kid wearing inon his head? Oh, look, what kind of animal is that?” All these questions will excite the kid and make him/her learn. 

Give them a choice 
Don’t turn story reading into your own agenda. If you have a small variety of books, let your kid decide which one he/she wants to read. Don’t get frustrated if they choose the same book over and over again. They have the right to like what they like, don’t they? 


Natalia's latest book "obsession" is David Litchfield's "The bear and the piano" (στα Ελληνικά, Ο Αρκούδος και το Πιάνο, εκδόσεις Μικρή Σελήνη). She asks for it several times a day and we really can't say no to her. This is one of the sweetest books about friendship we've ever read and we all enjoy it very much!

If you want to enrich their reading, take a close look at their favorite books and see what they have in common. Is it the illustration style? Is it the meaning? You can start building your kids library from there. 

It’s important to remember that if they include one book into their daily routine, your goal is reached, no matter what book they choose! 

Read in another language 
Kids are like sponges. They learn much easier than adults do, so why don’t you start them early on? 

When Nick had to travel to Italy a while back, he asked me what to get Natalia as a present. I said, why don’t you get her a kids book in Italian? That way she will always have something from Italy and we can read her the book in Italian. Maybe she will pick up a word or two? Guess what? Natalia knows the whole book “La rabbia di Matteo” by Ian de Haes by heart in Italian.



Now we have started reading in English too. She loves the rhyme of the Angeliki’s Darlasi book “The fates” and she’s steadily learning words in English


For me it’s marvelous to be able to read to her in English, since it’s a language I obviously love, books tailing the Myths and Legends of my country. 


Kids see, kids do 
If they see you read, they will read too! If they see you holding your smart phone (guilty but in my defense I am reading books on my Kindle app) all the time, they will want one too, so choose wisely what you want your kid to mimic of you! 

Set a good example by reading books so the kids can see that and be like you! 

In it for the cuddle 
One of the best things reading with Natalia has to offer is the cuddles. Seating together on the couch, our sides touching, my hand over her shoulders holding the book open. Do you get the picture? 

Toddlers need connection, they need healthy attachment, gentleness and warmth to thrive. Book reading gives them all that and your undivided attention too. So even if they are in it for the cuddle, they will soon be sucked down the wonderful world of written words and illustrations. 

Even if you don’t practice attachment parenting, these are great ways to get your kids to like and eventually love book reading. 

Do you have any tricks of your own? I’d love to read them! 

Lots of love



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41 comments

  1. These are actually pretty good points. I love the book with the dog!

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  2. What a lovely post and some great tips. My eldest luckily loves to
    especially read,especially to his younger brother and sister.

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  3. Psychologists call this dialogic reading. Amazing technique to engage kids! Love tgth ❤️

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  4. I'm a picture person over being a bookworm. I get headache over 2 pages, too bad! I get to enjoy children's book because of the photos. Cool to visit this book store for adults & kids!

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  5. Getting kids to love books is so important in building their reading culture just from a tender age. So definitely, I agree when it comes to using imagery which attracts a kid to reading any book. I even recall how mum would read me bedtime stories when was young and till now, novels are just my thing!

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  6. This article is so sweet. I love that you have those memories growing up. I absolutely love my night time routine with my LO and reading. My favorite idea was getting a book in another language! That is so smart. Thank you for sharing just a sweet post.

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  7. Love the ideas. In this days kids are more interested in the gadgets rather than the books. Thanks for the ideas :)

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  8. Great tips and ideas! Book reading with kids are always great to do. It's fun and it's a great way to introduce them with learning from those well-illustrated books.

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  9. My kids love when I read to them. They have a few favorite that get them giggling because I make my voice super funny. Right now my kids read in the morning before school and at night in bed and my kinder is reading at a first grade level. I'm so relieved!!

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  10. I loved reading about your fond memories of reading. This post really hit home with me about what I hated about school and why they killed my boys' love for reading. There's nothing I enjoy more now I am home educating them than to snuggle down and read with different voices/tones etc.

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  11. Excellent ideas! My girls are 21 months right now and they LOVE reading! I'm so thankful for that!

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  12. I love books. I am a bibliophile. It is a great thing to involve kids into reading. Inspiring post.

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  13. I've got one more for you - love books yourself. If you love something it's much more realistic that that love can be passed on to your child.

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  14. You wrote up a lot of great points. Reading is very fundamental

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  15. Making it fun and interesting for the children is important. I grew up with a mother who was very involved when it came to my love for reading. I'm thankful for it!

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  16. Being able to read and enjoy it is really something magical. The ability to be taken off to another word and enjoy it is something you can't beat. These sound like some great tips to get kids reading.

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  17. This is something I have always wanted for my daughter. Thanks for the tips.

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  18. Some good tips and advice! Most kids love books, especially if their parents read to them each night :)

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  19. Wow, Such a good read and I really love this idea perfect for my daughter glad that you share this

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  20. Great tips that actually work too! I did the same think with my daughter and she is now a major bookworm.

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  21. I don't have kids yet but it was my mom who instilled the love for books since a very young age. These are very useful tips for young moms

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  22. When I had my baby shower, I was given a book by everyone who came. It was such an incredible idea. From a very young age my kids started to have a love for reading which is a dream come true.

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  23. My daughters used to love the narration of their story books in the same way you are sharing . They loved bedtime stories and books became a part of our lives. Book reading is so educational that setting the interest from young age is so important.

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  24. Reading is such an important skill. I'm glad my little ones love to read!

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  25. I've been very lucky. All three of my kids have always loved books and love to read.

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  26. These are some really great tips! I hope when i have a child someday it will be as much in love with books as I am. It's a great way to spend time together as a family!

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  27. These are some great tips for encouraging kids to read. I love the idea of reading in a different language too!

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  28. I find it really difficult to make my 6 yo sit.Learned valuable lessons both from some of the comments and your post.

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  29. Changing my voice was the biggest thing with getting my daughter to love books. It's not that my ex never read them, but she never did it like me, and my daughter loved that experience of going into a whole new world. That suited her.

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  30. Very good ways to make the kids more interested in reading. It's really nice to set an example as well and let them see you enjoying books.

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  31. These are all great ideas to get your kid to love books. My youngest had a hard time with books, but he finally started to enjoy some historical books and now he will read those style books often.

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  32. My kids love reading books and I love reading to them. Getting them to pick the books does help.

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  33. I would also recommend making a fun book reading space in the home. Whether its an reading room or a reading nook it will be fun for the kids to know its a location where its just for reading time and decorate it fun and vibrate for them.

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  34. These are great tips. With each of my kids, I started reading to them as newborns as part of our nightly bedtime routine. I love books and have shaped my kids to love books and second hand book stores.

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  35. Great tips! I'm a booklover myself and have successfully taught my two oldest kids to love reading as well. I'm now trying to do the same for my two youngest.

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  36. Good tips! I don’t have children yet but I’m a book lover and will definitely incorporate reading when I do have children.

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  37. Then I was a child my grandma used to read a book for me before bad ;) it was so interesting and I still like to read!

    The White Ocean

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  38. These are really great tips! My son loves books, but I can tell he is definitely more engaged when there's an activity associated with it!

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  39. Great Tips. My children will love reading books. Thanks for sharing.
    đất nền dự án quận 2

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  40. I will give birth to a baby. I will teach it with books
    Thanks you for share

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