Which books should I choose

The choice of children’s books suitable for Dialogic Reading is particularly important. The advantage in this choice is that a book considered suitable for Dialogic Reading is what we commonly define a ‘good book’, which means a book that meets certain quality criteria in terms of contents.

First of all it is good to clarify that, except for younger children (from 3 to 5 years old) where books with a preponderance of simple texts and images are needed, for any other age (from 6 years to 12 years) any age children’s book is fine. This is because the very method of Dialogic Reading requires an extensive and continuous dialogue between adult (who reads) and child (who listens), therefore the major textual difficulties that the child could encounter with a book are addressed by the parent or the teacher, who will help the child overcome individual limits in understanding the story. Dialogic reading allows greater flexibility in choosing the book to read with the child. Taking two classic examples, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or The Guardian of the Stars, The journey of Anais with the wind by Davide Amante, both books can be tackled by any child between 6 and 12 years old, and so also for many other books. The younger the child, the ore relevant will be the adult’s intervention or support.

Care should be taken, as researchers Diana Brannon and Linda Dauksas of Elmhurst College make clear in their academic research on the efficacy of Dialogic Reading (2014), to children’s books with simplistic and repetitive stories and illustrations, which inevitably limit responses and parental interactions.

In conclusion, a good home library or classroom library suitable for Dialogic Reading is the one that brings together good books, carefully chosen for the relevance of their content and story. This is enough to start a constructive and intense discussion between adult and child, with the content of the story as a shared theme.