When it comes to reading, some children will take to it like a duck to water, while others will avoid it at all costs. However, as a parent, it's important that you are a constant source of support, encouragement and engagement in this area.
If your child is having trouble reading or simply doesn't enjoy it, there's no big issue, but helping your younger family members in this area can help them in many areas of life and development. Being able to read well will help them learn better and easier at school, while it will also help them build confidence in their own abilities.
For many parents, the struggle comes when their child has learnt to read but doesn't seem enthused about challenging themselves further and taking their reading to the next level. Some of the books in this list may seem too advanced for your child, but you can start by reading it to them before they go to bed, and slowly encourage them to read more and more of it themselves.
There are many books that are ideal for helping bridge this gap in reading, and continue to encourage your child.
ROALD DAHL - THE TWITS
Roald Dahl is a fantastic author when it comes to persuading children that reading is not dull. His stories are exciting, gruesome and funny, which immediately inspires most young people to continue reading his books. The story of The Twits focuses on Mr and Mrs Twits, who are nasty people who do horrible things to those around them and each other. This story is full of funny anecdotes, which children will instantly love, but also has a sentimental and important message that parents will love too.
The best thing about Roald Dahl is that, if your child gravitates towards his books, there are plenty more for you to choose from.
BEATRIX POTTER COLLECTION
If your child isn't quite up to reading Roald Dahl, start them off with some of Beatrix Potter's work. Starting off as an illustrator herself, Beatrix Potter's books are full of beautiful and detailed pictures to accompany her heartwarming stories. These alone should be enough to encourage children to delve a little deeper, but the tales are amusing and innocent stories about animals.
JK ROWLING - THE HARRY POTTER SERIES
As the most popular children's series of all time, Harry Potter is an obvious place to start for people that are looking to develop their reading ability. Although fans of the films may worry about the dark undertones, the shorter, earlier books are ideal for young children. There is enough action and excitement to keep them entertained and there are fantastic lessons to be learnt from reading them. Not only does good conquer all in the Harry Potter books, but it also deals with many other issues like the power of friendship, loyalty, bullying and judging others. One of the best things about this series is that, as your child matures, they can carry on reading the series.
Reading with your child is a fantastic way to build a close relationship between yourself and them. Of course, you don't want to be too pushy but make sure to praise and encourage them even when they are struggling.
For lots more help with and information on getting children reading, it's well worth taking a look at the Book Trust website all year round, as well as getting involved with Children's Book Week each summer.