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when did you start reading chapter books to your little ones?

my 4 year old had a scholastic bookfair recently and i purchased "Charlotte's Web" for her for only a buck! i read the book and saw the movie as a kid and imo, it's a classic.

however she's still into short picture books. i really want to start reading it to her, even if it's only a few pages a night. but can a child this young absorb the story if only read a little bit at a time? meaning will she remember what i read to her the night before? will she even be interested since there's no illustrations or pictures?

when is a good time to start chapter books?


Asked by tnm786 at 10:33 AM on Jan. 26, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (12)
  • I started mine on chapter books when they started kindergarten. We would read one chapter a night. Before I read we would talk about what had happened in the chapter the night before, I would read the chapter, then I would give them a short summary of what we read, and then I would ask them questions. I think it helped them a lot with both their reading comprehension and their sequencing.

    Answer by missanc at 10:43 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • my granddaughter, age 5, can easliy remember what was read the night before. A new chapter is read each night.

    Answer by elizabr at 10:50 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Right around 5 or so. Part of our bedtime routine was for me to read a chapter to them. Charlotte's Web was great (although it made me tear up!). I also read Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the Glass Elevator. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" was great as well (Shel Silverstein), it's a collection of silly poems (a lot of which have a good moral to them).

    i don't see any harm in trying the chapter books now, she may enjoy them.

    Answer by Scuba at 10:57 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I think it's worth trying; if it doesn't go well you can always try again in a few months. My 3 year old daughter brought me one of her older sister's chapter books one night and I was pleasantly surprised that it held her attention. She will sit with me through 3 or 4 chapters if we have time. Her twin brother still only wants to read shorter books with lots of pictures.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:59 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Never. They wouldn't sit still for them. I'd get 3 pages in and they would wander off or start to stare into space and stop listening. It was pointless for me to lose my voice reading outloud for 45 minutes for them to ignore the entire story (they couldn't even tell me what happened on the first 2 pages. Once they learned to read they read them to themselves and enjoyed them much more but they still won't sit still for me to read them if I wanted. They get this glazed over look on their face and don't even realize I've stopped.
    I guess my kids are weird.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:00 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Around the age of 4 or 5 is (for most kids) a good time to start with "beginner" chapter books. Many of them have a few illustrations scattered through the books for kids who still like pictures. I'd go to the library and ask the librarian for recommendations on some starter chapter books. Get a few and give them a try. This will also help you narrow down exactly what subject matter and style your daughter likes, which will be helpful in the next couple of years when she needs guidance at the library.

    Answer by vicesix at 11:18 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Not exactally sure what age, they were pretty young. I think the first story of that nature I read to them was Charlottes Web.

    Answer by salexander at 11:30 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I'm reading Diary of a whimpy kid to my 6 yr old, we go through one chapter a night

    Answer by alotleft2do at 12:22 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Quite young. She was reading chapter books before she turned five.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:13 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I started chapter books with my son when he was 4. We have a Mrs. Piggly-Wiggly collection and we read a section a night. We also read Encyclopedia brown books. He wants to start some other books now, but we have to finish our current one first.

    Answer by kmath at 3:57 PM on Jan. 26, 2011