Thrive in 2025: Hit the Books!

Captivate Your Kid

The more you share books with your child, the more likely he is to fall in love with reading. Timothy Basil Ering, illustrator of the Newbery Medal?winning The Tale of Despereaux, sees proof of this whenever his 4-year-old, Phineas, "reads" to his 1-year-old brother. "The way Phineas describes the story as he moves through the illustrations is priceless," Ering says.

Keep it cozy. Though her three boys are grown, Judith Viorst, author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, now reads to her grandkids. "They're in a snuggly mood once we get started," she says. Her son Alexander, the inspiration for her most famous books, used to curl up in her lap. "One of my greatest book memories is when we were reading Charlotte's Web, and he became so overwhelmed with emotion that he leaned down and kissed a picture of Wilbur the pig."

Preview the book. Familiarize yourself with the punch lines and dramatic parts ahead of time. "Repetition is one thing I use to build anticipation," says Mark Teague, a dad of two daughters and the author and illustrator of Dear Mrs. LaRue. "If you can see you're building toward a recurring line or event, you can help your child start to feel it as well." Encourage her to guess the line.

Read it again, Mom. No matter how tired you are of flipping through the same old picture book, don't try to convince your child to pick something else. "For kids, it's a joy to read a book time after time," says Paterson. "Eventually they'll start to memorize it, which is a precursor to reading."

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