Sharing Books with Infants and Toddlers: Facing the Challenges

Barbara Kupetz & Elise Green

Although the literature on the importance of reading to the very young is extensive (Kontos 1986; Lamme & Packer 1986; Dinsmore 1988; Trelease 1989; Hanson 1991) and most early childhood professionals realize the value of introducing books early, it is the frustration they feel in actually implementing book sharing that stands in the way of frequent and early book experiences. The benefits of early book experiences include helping the infant’s eyes to focus and their recognition of objects, development of language, and enhancement of listening skills; in addition to building sensory awareness, reinforcing basic concepts, stimulating the imagination, extending experiences, providing a good reading model, and establishing physical closeness so critical to the young child’s emotional and social development.

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