Children's talking books can be helpful tools in a child's journey on the path to reading. Talking books, or audiobooks, range from new bestsellers to classic children's books that have been favorites for years. Look for your child's favorite author or subject to find a talking book that he or she is sure to enjoy.
Benefits of Children's Talking Books
Learning to read is an important part of a child's education. Talking books can be a good way to help kids begin their reading process or to help a child who is struggling with reading. The benefits of a talking book for a child can include:
- Memorization and Word/Sound Recognition: Memorizing the words in a book is often considered an early step in the reading process. Children as young as three can begin to recognize words and letter patterns. When they hear them aloud, along with the word in front of them, they can associate the two in their minds.
- Audio Learning: Not all kids can comprehend stories simply by reading them. Some are auditory learners, meaning they need to hear a new concept aloud before they can fully understand it. A talking book helps them do just this while they follow along.
- Pronunciation: Kids who have pronunciation or speech issues may benefit from hearing a book read aloud. This way, the next time they read a word or say it, they can remember how it was pronounced by the talking book.
- Entertaining: Professional actors may read the stories using precise inflection and a flair of drama. This keeps the child engaged in the reading while enjoying the tale as it unfolds.
Parents can also benefit from the books. Talking books allow kids to hear their favorite stories when a parent is busy on the phone or cooking supper. Also, not every parent has the talent to create unique character voices that really help children get into a storyline. A talking book may provide this additional perk, depending on the one you choose to purchase.
Types of Talking Books
A number of children's talking books are available to parents and kids interested in adding audio stories to their children's libraries. These include:
- Books with CDs: Look for a book that includes a CD with purchase. These CDs play as the child reads along with the book. The narrator may be the actual author, famous actor or professional reader. Older books on tape for kids may be available at garage sales or consignment stores.
- Online Books: Websites for children to listen to free books online are plentiful. This is an economical way to find a talking book if your budget is tight.
- Recordable Books: A recordable book is one where you actually read the story aloud and it records your voice for your child to listen to later. This is a great gift for kids from grandparents who live far away from their grandkids. Some recordable books can also be personalized.
Choosing a Book
It is important that you choose a children's talking book that is an appropriate length and theme. Young kids may not sit still long enough to hear the entire story without you sitting next to them, so consider picking out shorter stories for them to hear aloud.
Upper elementary school children are often bored by picture books and stories and want to read something more advanced. Look for talking chapter books geared toward preteens, like Island of the Blue Dolphins, that comes on a CD or are available as an audio download for their mp3 player.
A talking book is an excellent gift for pre-readers and kids who are struggling with their reading. The book is a perfect choice to send with a homesick child to camp, or as a way to keep kids busy in the backseat while on a long car trip. Regardless of the reason you purchase one, it is a novelty item that is sure to be a favorite for any book-loving child.