What Makes Children Want to Read?
When i was a child, reading was a lot more fun and interesting than it is today. When i was a young kid, books of science were a lot more interesting to me. I enjoyed reading them and didn't mind that i did not fully understand everything. What i did not understand only drove my curiosity. Now, in college when i hear the words assigned reading, i roll my eyes at the inconvenience that was just put on me. I don't ever look forward to assigned readings. Why is it like that? What makes reading books as a child much more enjoyable and easily tolerable, but often different as an adult?
There are many different answers to this question. To help understand my answer better, i read and compared two children's books. One of them takes a much more mature approach on the science about Darwin. The text is very informative and detailed. It also used bigger vocabulary to describe things that i felt like no child would really care about. With so much detail, there is also much more to read. When i read these two books, i first looked at them with the view of a mature adult, and then again as if i was a young child. What i realized was that if i was a child, i would much prefer the book that had simple, precise vocabulary. I also preferred the book that had much shorter amounts of text per page. When reading, anything seeing that there is a lot to read can feel overwhelming. It happens at any age, as a child, or a college student who has 100 pages of dense text to read. A high amount of text is uninviting to the eyes. Text that is short, simple, and precise is much more desirable for me as a reader, and no doubt a small child reading his science book.
Then we have probably the biggest factor that makes a children's book work for children, illustrations. When we read books as an adult, there are very few pictures and illustrations in informative text. It may be considered a more mature aspect about advanced reading, but lines and lines of text without a break or illustrations can cause the reader to lose focus in what he/she is reading because the mind has no artificial image to hold on to and associate with the reading at hand. In children's books however illustrations and images are almost necessary. They do a great job at helping the young reader understand what he or she is reading about and also to keep their interest in what ever they are reading. Imagine reading about enormous dinosaurs as a kid and not seeing a single picture of one. Not as awesome right? Colors and art in children's books are a huge factor for creativity and imagination.
A children's book has to be fun to read. Adults may judge a book less often by its cover, but what really draws a child to a book is how it is presented visually. Vibrant pictures, cool illustrations, concise vocabulary, are all the things a children's book needs to attract young readers.