What are the different approaches to reading, especially if you are introducing books to a child? When should you introduce your child to the world of books? Parents who attended an interactive session on ‘Children, Reading and Parents' here on Saturday got answers to these and many more questions.

David A. Brock, Vice-Consul, U.S. Consulate, Chennai, grabbed the attention of the small group of parents by combining the talk with examples from his role as a father and a former teacher. The event was held as part of ‘Kids Win Week' and was an activity for the summer at the American Library.

Studies have shown that children read better when there are many books around them, when parents also read and encourage them to read, said Mr. Brock. “Children need to be taught to read from a young age, even as young as two-and-a-half years,” he said.

It could be by flipping through pages of hard-bound picture books that have a lot of visual element, by narrating stories and reading aloud.

“But, make sure books are appropriate for the level of the child and has the right illustrations,” he said. “Remember to not frustrate your child by giving books he does not like. Your view about a book might differ from that of your child, but do give him a fair chance to choose the books he/she likes,” said Mr. Brock. His other suggestion was to make a child read a book that the parent has already read.

To encourage more children to enrol and read books, the American Library would soon be adding to its collection of books.

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