Durham-born writer and illustrator Andréa Prior, author of A Parcel of Pigs and Other Funny Tails, offers her top five tips to get children reading

1. READING ALOUD TOGETHER

Reading aloud to your child is one of the most important things you can do to help their learning abilities and to develop their memory recall and listening skills. They will be a more confident, able and sociable person because of it. Keeping it fun and simple will keep your child engaged and they will never think of it of a chore but rather enjoy the moments you read together as the time will be precious and one to savor as they grow and develop.

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2. DEDICATE A ‘TIME TO READ’

Make a regular time for reading together an important part of your day, as this surely must be one of the most powerful ways to encourage your child to understand the importance of reading as well as further building an emotional bond with parent and child. Reading at bedtime for example is a dreamy way to end the day and something your child will enjoy as it becomes your special time together. Out of all the activities you will involve your child in, reading together regularly is the one thing that provides an unrivalled connection between you and your child.

3. LET YOUR CHILD READ TO YOU

Getting your child to read you their favorite stories and poems is a wonderful way to help shape their expressiveness and self-assurance from a young age. Encourage them to read the poems and stories they love, again and again. For example, a good time to do this is in the car on a long journey which will fill in time for them and helps them learn at the same time.

4. MAKE IT AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

To keep them interested, involve and engage by talking to your child about what you are reading together, ask questions about the characters in the book, questions about the storyline and take turns in acting out the characters which makes reading fun! Ask them to name all of the characters in the book, or ask if they remember certain characters and what they did as this will help make connections with the story and improve their memory skills.

5. MAKE THE MOST OF THE ENCHANTMENT OF RHYME

There is something magical about rhyme; not only is it great to read aloud but it is also an ideal way to help your child remember word patterns and phrases which share common sounds. It helps with spelling, pronunciation, and memory recall and lets them have fun with language and read with energy and liveliness which will be so important to them later in life.

  • A Parcel of Pigs is a collection of funny rhyming poems and colourful illustrations for children aged 5-8.