Tips on Teaching your Children how to handle books

As someone who invests in books, ensuring your children know how to properly handle books is crucial to ensure no damage is done to the books. Handling a book right is as important in helping to protect your investment and teaching your kids the right way to handle a book either while reading them or in storage. This will also help them develop a sense of responsibility. Here are a few tips on teaching your kids the right way to handle a book.

1. Have book storage

Create book storage like a bookshelf. This will help you keep books in good condition. Teach your little ones to always store their books after reading at all times. This will help will protect the books from trampling and tearing.  Shelves, as well as decorated boxes and box lids, also make good places to keep books. You could let each of your children keep some books that they especially enjoy in their box and then keep books that the whole family enjoys in a separate box.

2. Set an example

Children learn more by watching what adults do than by listening to adults tell them what to do. So, if you don’t treat books well, you can’t expect children to do so! Encourage your children to care for books by showing them how to do so. For example, when you are reading to them, turn the pages carefully, and when you have finished reading a story, return the book to its place on the bookshelf − and sometimes, ask your child to do this for you. 
3. Learn to love books – Unless you love a book, you can hardly appreciate the value. Make your children learn to love their storybooks, we cannot expect them to treat the books that hold these stories as treasures that need to be taken special care of. When you spend time reading stories with children, they soon learn to associate their enjoyment of these times with books.

4.  Be reasonable

Be reasonable with your expectations when dealing with children. Monitor them closely and gently correct them. Speaking harshly to them when they make a mistake can result in avoiding reading books entirely. They need to spend time looking at or reading books on their own because this helps them to understand how books work – an essential ingredient to learning to read. We don’t want our children’s books to look like they did when they first came from the shop because that would mean that they aren’t being used! It is natural for books that are read again and again to show signs of wear-and-tear after a while. What we need to encourage in our children is age-appropriate book behavior. For example, it is completely “normal” for babies to chew the corners of books – because they tend to put everything into their mouths – but we wouldn’t expect three-year-olds to do this. And it is reasonable to expect seven-year-olds to turn the pages of a book gently, but many three-year-olds do not have enough fine motor co-ordination to do this yet – especially if they are engrossed in a story! 

5.  Keep it Simple

Let your rules be simple. Make rules that are easy to understand and follow. Remember, you are dealing with kids. For example, “Let’s keep water and things we eat away from books because if we spill on our books, they will get damaged.” Also, “Let’s make sure our hands are not sticky when we look at books because if some of the pages stick together we won’t be able to read the whole story!”

Most importantly, always remember that teaching a child takes time, patience, and encouragement.

Happy Reading!!

Love Chelis Bookazine 

Choosing Age-appropriate books for Children.

Parents are often at crossroads on the age-appropriate books to buy for their children especially when you have kids of different age groups. Most times as a book lover, you might have a child’s party to attend and probably confused about the age-appropriate books to gift the little celebrant. We understand this as there are so many colourful and fun options to choose from when buying books for children.

We listed a few criteria that you need to consider when buying a children’s book. 

Criteria to consider when buying a Children’s book

1.  Buy the right book – The best judge of what appeals to your child is you. Don’t just buy a book because it is popular or written by a famous child author. Keep your child’s unique personality in mind.

2.  Properly Illustrated – Books with good images are good and more effective for kids. Wordless books are also a wonderful source of language development, requiring your child to interpret the illustrations as the story progresses.

3. Well written – Age-appropriate language is the minimum requirement. The language should be also imaginative, rich, and challenging. New and difficult vocabulary words are wonderful when meanings can be inferred from the context of the story.

4.  Informative – Choose books that communicate clearly and engagingly to children.

5.  Timeless – Children and adults alike enjoy themes they can identify with.

Having this in mind you can use the following guide in buying a children’s book.


0 to 12 Months

Birth to 6 monthsBoard books make good choices. Since an infant’s vision is still developing, choose books with little or no text and big, and high-contrast pictures. The more pictures on the book the better. You can read to your baby from grown-up books or magazines too. Comprehending the words isn’t the point with babies this young. For infants, reading is about the tone of your voice and cuddling up to you.

We recommend Board books like the Lovely Board book series, Kiddy Board book series, Sparkle Board book series, and My Small Board book series.

picture of a Lovely Board-book.
A Lovely Board-book.

We also recommend reading audiobooks with them as read-aloud helps build literacy skills.

7 to 12 monthsAt this age, babies may begin to grasp some of the words read to them. The most meaningful words are the names and things from their everyday life. Words like “mama,” “dada,” or “tata(water).” They make gestures and can recognize familiar words or sounds. 

Books with just one object or person per page are best; hearing you name something he recognizes reinforces your baby’s vocabulary and slowly helps him realize that illustrations stand for real things. Point to the pictures he shows interest in. And act out what you read with your face, hands, and voice. Let the baby babble back in the conversation. This “conversation” helps him learn to take turns and teaches him about focusing on the same thing as someone else.

picture of a Lovely Board-books(Toys).
A Lovely Board-books(Toys).

One more tip: Because babies this age tend to be hard on their playthings, stick mostly to board books, which can take rough handling and even chewing. Picture books are good too, though turning the pages can be trickier for a baby.

13 to 24 Months

13 to 18 months: Now you can begin to introduce books with a sentence or two per page. The sillier you are while acting out the story, the better. For instance, if you’re reading about animals, make animal noises. This will sound funny but create a bonding moment for both. Sooner or later, he will “moo” or “baa” back to you and you’ll be ready to fall off the couch laughing.

Invite participation by asking questions such as “What does the dog say?” or “Do you see the cat?” Ask your baby to point to real-life examples of what’s pictured, (“Where’s your nose?”). At this age, you can show more pictures of things your baby doesn’t encounter every day. 

Also, at 15 to 18 months, your baby may be able to answer questions with a word, so give her the opportunities by asking, “What’s that?” If she answers, you can boost her vocabulary by expanding on her thought:” Yes, a car. That’s a big green car.”

We recommend books like My ABC Picture Dictionary or First Pictorial Dictionary. Using real-life examples with these books help build their mind.

picture of  My  ABC picture Dictionary
My ABC picture Dictionary

19 to 24 monthsMany toddlers find the familiar routine of reading reassuring and calming. The same goes for familiar books. This helps explain why, starting at about 18 months, children may ask for the same book over and over and over — and why they won’t let you change your reading performance by a single “meow” or “vroom.” However, this dogged repetition has a learning benefit as well: Experts think it helps children make sense of and then remember new words.

picture of Dreamland Happy ABC
Dreamland Happy ABC

We recommend books like Happy ABC and Collins ABC Dictionary

2 to 3 years

Finding the best books for 2-3 year-olds is an adventure in itself. Choose books that are creatively illustrated with greater detail and show actions. Toddlers have short attention spans, select books that are relatively short, and tell simple stories. Books about a familiar activity or favorite interests help to keep her attention! And most 3-year-olds will have stopped eating their books and started devouring stories instead. Meaning parents of 3-year-olds can move away from board books and toward early picture books with narrative, heart, and humor. Though they’ll still love a simple book about concepts like colors, numbers, or farm animals 

Picture of my first colouring fun abc book
My first colouring fun book

We recommend books like Learn at home and My First Coloring Form – ABC

4 to 7 years old.

This is Reception and Key Stage one – is when most children learn to read.

For some children this involves starting with basic books with simpler and fewer words; while others take to reading with speedy gusto, zipping through picture books and straight onto chapter books.

It’s important to get books right at this age while making it all about fun and not about being forced to read.

Get this right and you’ll create readers for life, able to banish boredom with a browse of the bookshelf. The ideal book opens up a whole new world to the reader, so we’ve sought out some of the best that do so for this age group, from the “real” world of space exploration to the imaginary world.

Picture of a Molly Book series.
A Molly Whuppie and the Giant book

Everyone should enjoy these, whether being read to, reading with help, or reading alone.

 We recommend the Molly series and A Sound Mind.

With these tips and examples in mind, you can go ahead and shop for your children’s books. Have fun reading.