wee books : advice for reluctant readers

posted on: Friday, July 19, 2013

We know that reading is one of the most valuable skills we can give our wee ones, but what about when they're just not that into books? I asked Erin from The Kids' Bookshop to give us some tips. Here's what she said.

"Teachers and parents alike find it difficult and frustrating when a child won’t read and it often leads to the child developing a deep-seated dislike of books. And so the cycle continues. But never fear! While every child is different, there are some ways you can help your child develop a love and enthusiasm for reading.

1. Don’t Stress.
One of the worst things you can do with a reluctant reader is push and push. Most kids will find their groove eventually so don’t stress too much if they are just not interested. They usually come ‘round.

2. Model good behaviour.
So show them that you enjoy reading. Take them to libraries, bookshops and festivals. Leave books lying around and show them that reading can be enjoyable, exciting and interesting. Read with and to them – find something you will both enjoy and read a bit each night.

3. All reading is good reading!
All reading is good reading so if they are interested in newspapers, comics, gaming magazines, cook books or blogs let them read and don’t diminish its value. We don’t read Austen and Dickens all the time, so why should we expect kids to only read high literature? The trick is to then use these interests to move on to novels. Which brings me to…

4. Find a topic that interests them.
If they love Lego, try giving them one of the Lego chapter books. If they’re loving a zombie video game, try a novel about zombies. Was there a movie they loved these holidays? There’s a pretty safe bet that there is a book version or something similar. Find whatever topic it is that they are interested in and let that inform the books you choose for them. Or better still…

5. Let them choose.
Choice is a very powerful thing. It can also be a bit overwhelming, so perhaps present the child with five or six books you think they might like and let them choose the one that interests them most.

6. Look at bestsellers and ask for help.
Bestsellers are that for a reason, don’t shy away from something just because it is popular. Diary of A Wimpy Kid has sold millions of copies around the world because kids love it, so the law of averages says that it’s pretty likely that your kid will enjoy it to. Your friendly bookseller or librarian are on the front lines and know what kids enjoy so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. Ask other parents and your child’s friends. Kids love to receive recommendations from people they know."

Thank you so much for your tips Erin. Next week Erin will be recommending some great titles to make reading fun. Yippee!

Do you find it a challenge to encourage your kiddos to read? Were you a bit of a reluctant reader? Do you have any tried and true tips for to make reading fun? I'd love to hear!

{images of the kiddo with his Grandma when he was about three. Wasn't he teeny?}


  1. We love, love, love your blog! Really cool+ super-inforrmative.
    We've been to an amazing contemporary art show the other day by a young German painter...maybe you wanna check it out:


    Greetings from Europe,

    Birdy and Bambi

  2. Well some times "Best Sellers" does not mean its selling ,, its a marketing trick..

    I always choose books by reading or let him choose..

    1. hi jason, letting him choose sounds like a good plan. I also have fun introducing titles I loved as a wee one just in case the kiddos take a shine to them too.


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