If a child claims they ‘don’t like apples’ would you still put one in their lunchbox every day hoping they might one day change their mind? Or would you try bananas, plums, oranges, pears, blueberries until you found a fruit they did enjoy? After all, does it really matter what kind of fruit they eat?

Reading is exactly the same. We’re all individuals with personal preferences and from a fairly young age children develop independent tastes and opinions. But, if we don’t take the time to help them explore all the different types of reading material available, we limit their chances of finding something they truly enjoy.

Sometimes though, this can push us out of our comfort zone. If we’re not a fan of sci-fi or wordless books or books written in verse, it is less likely that we will present these with the same gusto as something we would have personally chosen (if we even offer them at all).

And while it’s absolutely fine (and actually quite important) to talk honestly about how we feel about a book, we need to be careful not to negatively influence their opinion - especially if we haven’t really given the book or genre a fair chance!

This blog by teacher and book blogger Jo Cummins gives an interesting insight into why we should be offering graphic novels as a reading for pleasure option. Have a read here.

Often, children who claim not to like reading have quite a narrow picture in their mind of what reading is – commonly believed to be the ‘tricky task of decoding lots of words which make up a fictitious story’. To help children move beyond this perception of reading, we need to share with them lots of options that can turn this notion on its head; and we need to keep going until we help them find their thing. But how do we make our bookcase as varied as our fruit bowl?

Click here for some titles we think offer a great diversity of choice.