What kinds of books should you offer a child who doesn't like reading? 

Whilst children are obviously unique, and there definitely isn't a list of books to suit everyone, there are certain characteristics to look for that make a book more likely to appeal to a child who 'doesn't like reading'. 

At Coram Beanstalk, when we choose books to share with children, we follow our guide of 'What makes a book Beanstalk Brilliant'.  Our many years of experience have shown us that if you can reel a child in with something short and snappy and perhaps just on the 'edge' of acceptable, you might well get their attention.

We have found time and time again that poetry, when read aloud by an adult, is difficult for a child to ignore (particularly if it's silly or a bit rude!).  They don't need to concentrate on pages of text before they get something back, poems are pretty instantly engaging - especially if they're written by poet Joshua Seigal!

With a book of poems you can dip 'in and out', skip the ones you don't like the look of, read them aloud or just to yourself.  Poetry books have self-contained sections and a child can choose which bits to read giving them choice and control, they also allow for shorter bursts of concentration.  Children can feel accomplished by reading only a small chunk of text because they still read the whole poem - even if it's only 4 lines!

The trick is to make reading whatever you want more accessible and acceptable.  We need to move a child's (and their adult's) thinking away from reading only being 'proper' if it's a big thick novel - reading and readers come in many shapes and sizes!