Ask Reading Kingdom: What Do Kids Want in a Children’s Book?

children's book
What makes for a great children’s book?

Ken (Author) asks:

What do you think kids want in early reader books?

Dr. Marion Blank (ReadingKingdom.com Founder) answers:

It may not be discussed much, but one attribute stands at the top of the list: it is success. Even in this high-tech age, there are few things a child wants more than the ability to turn those strange squiggles into meaningful words. It’s like being able to crack a magic code. Anything that interferes with this achievement works to destroy the child’s motivation and skill. That’s why prevention of failure and smooth, easy recognition of words is so critical. People often talk about motivating content. That, in fact, is key to the failed strategy known as whole language. The idea was to provide interesting content that would automatically pull the child into reading. What it ended up pulling them into was overly complex material that produced error, stress and confusion. The reality of beginning reading material is that the novice’s requirements places “interesting material” out of reach – but only at the very beginning. But even with simple material, the high of being successful overcomes the handicap. When children can read smoothly, effectively and accurately, their joy and sense of accomplishment are unbounded.

The above comments hold, of course, only for the material that the child has to read independently. There is a vast range of interesting and attractive books that adults can read to children. This means that both key bases are covered: simple texts enable the children to learn to read successfully while exposure to intricate, appealing books enables them to see and enjoy the powers of the printed page.

You’ll never forget the moment your child reads their favorite children’s book with you. Prepare for this memorable moment with a free 30 day trial of our online reading program.  Lingo and company will see you soon!