Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
8 Sep 2014
5:57 am

5 tips for choosing books for kids

Citizen Reporter

This Literacy Day, mom of two and blogger Nonikwe Mashologu shares her tips on how to choose books for kids that’ll keep them hooked.

Picture: Thinkstock

As a mother, Mashologu says she is very lucky to have kids who love reading but remains observant as to what her children are reading.

Choosing books for young children is easy, the blogger for the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign says, because you buy anything filled with lots of colour and characters.

Choosing books for your children when they become older is trickier as they begin reading thicker chapter books and parents should help their children choose age-appropriate books:

Nal’ibali’s Top 5 Tips for Choosing Books for Kids

1. Books for babies and pre-schoolers should be in their home language. Encourage older children to read books in an additional language.

2. Wordless books are a great investment. You can use them to tell a story to your toddler, and older children can use them to create their own stories.

3. For younger readers, look for simple plots with small amounts of text on the page and engaging illustrations. As your children become older, they will enjoy books that have more text and complex plots.

4. Choose books that reflect things that will be familiar to your children; bring the story close to home – for example, books in which the school look like your children’s. But also choose other books that provide new experiences, such as folktales or stories set in different places and cultures.

5. With novels, look for well-developed stories and plots. Children may also enjoy other books by the author of their favourite book.

“I still say, let your children read pretty much anything rather than nothing at all. Let them also enjoy the process of choosing and finding literature that they enjoy,” says Mashologu.

For more info and tips on reading with children, as well as free children’s stories in a range of SA languages, visit