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A guide to exploring different book types with your children

A guide to exploring different book types with your children

Diving into books with your children isn’t just about learning new words; it’s about sparking imagination, understanding the world and sharing some special moments together. Frank Milner, President of Tutor Doctor, the children’s tutoring firm, gives his guide to exploring books with your children.

From the colourful pages of picture books for the little ones to the complex worlds found in novels for early teens, each genre opens up new avenues for exploration and bonding. Here’s my parent-friendly guide to navigating this exciting journey through genres, and how you can make reading a cherished part of your family life.

Popular Genres in Children’s Literature

Before we begin, here’s a list of popular genres in children’s books, catering to various age groups and interests:

Picture books: typically for toddlers and young children, featuring stories told primarily through illustrations with minimal text.

Fairy tales and folklore: classic and modern tales featuring magical elements, lessons and mythical creatures.

Fantasy: stories set in imaginative worlds with magical elements, fantastical creatures and adventurous quests.

Science fiction: books that explore futuristic concepts, space exploration,and advanced technology.

Adventure: tales of exploration and exciting journeys, often featuring brave heroes and thrilling plots.

Mystery and detective stories: whodunits and puzzles for children to solve, featuring young detectives and mysterious situations.

Historical fiction: stories set in a specific historical period, offering insights into the past with fictional characters and events.

Realistic fiction: books that reflect real-life situations and challenges, relevant to children’s everyday experiences.

Humour: stories designed to entertain and amuse, often featuring quirky characters and funny situations.

Graphic novels: comic book-style narratives that tell a story through a combination of text and illustrations.

Non-fiction: informative books covering a wide range of topics such as animals, space, history and science, aimed at educating young readers.

Poetry and rhymes: collections of poems and rhymes that play with language, sounds and rhythms, suitable for all ages.

Biographies and autobiographies: stories about the lives of famous people, tailored for a young audience.

Here’s the journey you may have already started making with your child and their reading development.

Starting Out: Picture Books and Bedtime Stories

For the tiny tots, picture books and simple bedtime stories are where the magic begins. These books are packed with bright illustrations and tales that captivate their young minds.

MY TIP: Make Bedtimes Magical – make reading a fun, interactive activity. Use funny voices for characters when reading aloud, and let your child turn the pages. It’s a beautiful way to introduce the love of stories and make those bedtime moments even more special.

Growing Up: Exploring Fairy Tales and Adventures

As your kids grow, introduce them to the enchanting world of fairy tales, myths and adventure stories. These books not only entertain but also teach valuable lessons about bravery, kindness and curiosity.

MY TIP: Make Time for Family Reading Time – pick a book and read it together, then chat about the story. It’s a great way to hear what your child thinks and feels about the adventures the characters go through.

Tween Years: Diving into Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Mysteries

For the curious minds of tweens, fantasy and science fiction books offer endless possibilities, while mysteries keep them guessing till the last page.

MY TIP: Discussion Time – share your thoughts on the book’s world or the mystery’s solution. It’s a fantastic way to engage with your child’s imagination and encourage them to think critically and creatively.

The journey continues…

Books can become a source of solace, knowledge and inspiration as your child enters their teenage years. Realistic fiction can reflect their own experiences, historical fiction can open a window to the past and non-fiction can cater to their burgeoning interests.

Reading shouldn’t just be a solo journey. A guide to exploring different book types with your children provides a world of sharing stories, discussing characters and exploring themes together which can strengthen your bond with them. Yet, encouraging them to read independently lets them develop personal interests and discover their unique taste in books.

For more advice on your child’s education and development journey, you can visit Tutor Doctor’s blog BY CLICKING HERE


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