Book Central – The Rainbow Fish

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how – that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister

What’s it about?

This is a story about a rainbow fish with shimmering scales that is referred to as the most beautiful fish in the ocean. Other fish want shimmering scales too, but the rainbow fish does not want to share them. His choice not to share makes him a lonely and unhappy fish so he seeks help in finding what might make him happy.

Children will start to understand this story line at 4-5 years of age. The touching moral of the story will challenge children to think about how their actions and behaviour can impact other people around them. The story line helps children think about the concept of feelings and we can impact other people and the way they feel. This story is accompanied by shimmering pictures and a beautiful ending that is sure to keep your child entertained.

Our top 3 tips

  1. Use expression when you’re reading

Always add expression into your voice when reading a story. Adding expression keeps your child more engaged. You can do this by using different voices for different characters and by adding emotion to your voice to suit what is happening.

  1. Talk about feelings and putting yourself in another person’s shoes

Ask questions about how the characters might be feeling. “How do you think the rainbow fish feels now that no one wants to be his friend?” or “How do the other fish feel now that they have shimmering scales too?”. You can also ask questions about how they would feel if someone didn’t want to share with them, or when someone does share with them.

  1. Ask questions about what might happen

It’s great to ask your child questions about what they think might happen next. This helps build their predicting and inferencing skills. Its great to ask questions “what would happen if…” or “what would you do if…”. These questions will challenge your child to think about the moral of the story and how it relates to their own life.

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