ARTICLE_ReadingTips_Flickr.jpgThere was a time when picture books were uncontested staples for every kid's bookshelf. However, it seems that shelves filled with books will soon become a thing of the past. Julie Bosman of the New York Times reports noted that picture books aren't flying off U.S. bookshelves, as parents seem to prefer text-heavy chapter books for their kids. It seems that the rising pressure to do well in standardized tests is making parents favor chapter books to prep their kids for academic assessments.

But not everyone is closing the chapter on picture books. "Pictures provide room for discourse--you can discuss the picture, what's happening there, what they think will happen next, etc. You can develop vocabulary, critical thinking, and logic. Rushing children to chapter books won't guarantee instant comprehension," Mars, a pre-school Montessori teacher, says. Karla, who teaches in grade-school, agrees. "Kids are visual, and pictures appeal to that sensibility." Chelly, a mom who was previously a teacher has this to say, "The key to make kids love reading is to make it a fun, delightful activity, and picture books do help a lot in this endeavor."

But while the picture vs. chapter books debate remains hot in the U.S., all parents agree on one thing: reading is an essential skill that needs to be taught to our kids. Here are a few tips that will help you give your child a head start:
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