There would be something the matter with you if you had a conversation with a table, kettle, or animal. If it is ridiculous for adults to believe that is possible, is it not dangerously ridiculous to introduce that to your child who hasn’t yet seen much of the world and cannot really differentiate between what is real and what isn’t? So, why then do we have books and programmes for children where these things talk?
Very young children are getting to know the world little by little every day. What they need are stories that will be informative about reality. It needs to be about subjects (or objects) that exist physically in this world doing things that are real (so, no crying potatoes or laughing puppies).
Although books need to be based on reality for the child, they need not be limited only to what the child already knows. For example, a child may not have the experience of a beach yet, but books based on the beach and what the child could see there can be read to him. Let’s try, however, to first introduce books that the child is likely to experience in the near future. It makes sense to have a book about the Eiffel Tower if you are traveling to Paris, but if that’s not in his near future, it may be a good idea to read about more relevant experiences. But don’t reject the Eiffel Tower book entirely, just defer it.
Books that are read to children can be about hundreds and thousands of things without ever needing to go into fantasies about unicorns, fairies and talking animals. And reality is more interesting and captivating to a child, trust me. He is more enamoured about the earthworm which he can find in his own garden than about garden fairies which he will never see. When children can make connections between the book and real world experiences, they understand it better. Even if they have never seen something before, when they do, it will be all the more exciting and they will already have the words to express what they want to say about it. Isn’t that fun?
Read a book every day or night with your child. Watch how he absorbs information and gathers vocabulary. There is no better way.