surprise when you turn the page is fun too. Everything should be “concrete”
-no abstractconcepts. But we are never too young to learn about the God who made and loves us.
When children can talk in sentences, they will begin to enjoy having short,simple stories read to them. Once they have learned to turn pages without tearing them,little books they can hold in their hands are good. This is the age for bedtime prayers andvery first and simplest Bible stories: the world God made, or Noah (chosen for the animals!).
Little children are full of curiosity and questions
—especially “why?” Theywill enjoy fun books which pick up on “wondering about” the world around them, other
people, themselves, feelings (happy or sa
d). It’s a good time to tell them how special they
are. Many Bible stories can be told, bringing out a theme to which they can relate. Forexample: the Noah story will focus on rescue, not judgment (although they will know aboutnaughtiness and correction!); the Joseph story will bring out his showing off and the jealousyof his brothers. Sound and rhythm and repetition make stories enjoyable and memorable.
Simple picture storybooks.
There is a special section on these later. They include fairytales, folktales and fables, stories from the Bible, stories relating to Christmas and Easter.
First years at school (5-8): Learning to read
Children in this age group need a lot of encouragement. Learning to read is slow and hard. Itcan take a long time to turn a page that has a lot of text. They may well give up! So
not toomuch text, mostly using words they already know and can recognize; set in large type, withgood space between words and lines; not too many words in each line; not too many lines oneach page. A good ratio of pictures to text is a big help. These books will have 24, 32, or 48pages (up to 64 pages for stories).
Books for this age group largely overlap with the ones we have mentioned already. It’s the
content and concepts that are different
reflecting their wider experience and range of understanding.
5-8 is the prime age for the picture story. Again, Christmas and Easter
stories, folktales, and fables that will enrich a child’s imagination and understanding are all
good subject areas.
Activity books, coloring books.
Children this age love making things, being busy, andhaving things to do
especially when bad weather keeps them indoors. And parents are gladto have them happily occupied! The Christian author will want to choose a theme which givessome real point to the activities: Christmas and Ea
ster, exploring the wonder of God’s
creation, a caring and sharing theme, and so on.