There are so many storybooks available it is difficult to know which to choose. You will no doubt remember stories you enjoyed reading or having read to you as a child. But today's children have different needs and tastes.
Here are ten tips to help you choose storybooks:
1. Favourite authors: If your child loves a book by a particular author or authors, look for other books by the same person.
2. Series: Look for series of books with the same topics or characters.
3. Interests: Think about your child's interests (dinosaurs, foreign places, space, animals etc) and find storybooks with these as themes.
4. Topics: Match books to topics your child is studying at school or nursery. If you don't know what these are, then ask!
5. Reviews: Read reviews of storybooks and look at the children's books’ bestsellers lists.
6. Your favourites: Try books you enjoy or enjoyed reading yourself. But don't be upset if your child doesn't share your enthusiasm!
7. Meet the author: Look out for opportunities to meet children's authors and hear them read. Writers and illustrators promote their books in libraries and schools, at book festivals, on television and radio, in magazines and newspapers and on the web.
8. Friends: Find out what your child's friends are reading and what their favourites are.
9. Experts: Ask your child's teacher, librarian or children's bookseller what is popular. Go to the library regularly and allow yourself plenty of time to browse.
10. Book clubs: Join a children's book club and encourage your child to choose from the catalogues or leaflets. Children sometimes bring these leaflets home from school or nursery.
Use these tips to help you choose suitable books for your child, but don't overlook the traditional stories such as fairytales, fables, myths and legends. Every child should have some good quality anthologies of traditional stories to enjoy as well as modern books they will want to read over and over again.
Dorothy Massey is the author of Better English published by Studymates and the Ghost Twin Tales: Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies, a Pinestein Press publication. An expert in literacy for adults and children, she writes quality educational materials and children's fiction. To find out more about Dorothy and writing for children in the UK, visit Dorothy's blog: http://www.kidsbooksuk.blogspot.com