Sometime between three and five preschoolers begin to recognize characters in a story, and books now begin to be appreciated for the story as well as the pictures.

Younger Preschoolers need sturdy books and cloth that can take rigorous and repeated usage. There is usually no plot or story to these books, but they should be colorful This is a good time to teach them how books work—from the left to the right side, from the front to the back, and how to turn pages without damaging them. Encourage preschoolers to look at the identify pictures.

Older preschoolers often enjoy information books. They seem to love labeling and identifying their world. They are more sociable and enjoy stories involving other children or animals impersonating children. Involve them more in the story, and ask them to predict what may happen next. This will stimulate their thinking and observation skills.

Take preschoolers to the public library. Most have wonderful programs for preschoolers. If possible, begin a small collection of books for them.


A classic is the rare book that has a special element, which enables it to endure the test of time and appeal to children from every generation. It stands out because it has the ability to touch the heart and cross the boundaries of culture, nationality, religion, race, gender, and status.

Read stories in their original versions, not the watered-down ones without any drama of life. They may retell the classic stories, but the basic elements that make the stories classics are omitted.

Listening Levels

Children hear stories on at least three different levels: intellectual, emotional, and social. Their listening skills are at least two full years ahead of their reading levels.

Around the eighth grade, the listening levels and reading levels converge. Therefore, children can listen to, understand, and enjoy books that are too difficult for them to read independently. These stories are needed because they are far more exciting, enriching and challenging than anything children could read on their own. These are the stories that eventually raise reading levels.

Sadly, many parents stop reading aloud when their children begin to read for themselves. Parents should realize that children who listen to books that are beyond their reading skills will be introduced to an increased variety of words and the complex structure of language patterns.