Ms Roslyn Rowen  – BA Arts (Hons)

Benefits of Reading for Children:

As a linguist, sharing a love for reading and books is something that I think, should be experienced by all children.  Not only should reading be fun for children but if nurtured it can become a powerful learning tool. Reading to your child from a young age to many might seem like a counterproductive task. Why am I reading to my child when they don’t even know what I’m saying? DON’T BE FOOLED! Many cognitive psychological and linguistic studies have proven with phenomenal results, that reading to your child at a young age is where the majoring of literacy skills and phonological awareness skills emerge (Burgess & Lonigan, 1998).

The Alphabet Buddies book series, uses a creative and extensive vernacular to engage children and challenge their comprehension and reasoning skills. Not only is this a great way for your children to learn to read and expand their vocabulary, it’s the perfect way for parents to connect with their children.  After all, we are never too young or too old to enjoy the wonder and fun of books.

Why Rhyme?

Many parents often ask why, for their young children, who are learning to read, is rhyming beneficial?  The answer to this question is one which involves both a simple and a more complex explanation.

Firstly, to draw an analogy to the way in which rhyming helps children develop a reading vocabulary and essentially, begin to read, I use the example of a catchy song on the radio. Ever wondered why you often hear yourself listening to a song on the radio you may have heard a few times before or even for the first time and wondered why, you find yourself singing along with the correct lyrics? These songs use common rhyming patterns which allow for us to pick up the catchy song with ease. More often than not we can predict what the rhyming word pairs will be.  If you relate this analogy to children learning to read, you can see how an intellectually crafted rhyming pattern, within an enchanting story can allow for children to more easily develop a reading vocabulary. Rhyming prompts the child to begin to draw connections between the sounds and the words; building their vocabulary book by book.

The books in the Alphabet Buddies series use a variety of rhyming patterns and techniques such as alliteration, that make the books continuously appealing to children while also teaching core reading skills. It is the fun rhymes and quirky characters that promote autonomous reading for your child.

From a linguistic perspective, the use of rhyming in children’s books has seen a strong correlation to the development of their reading and literacy abilities, as well as phonemic awareness, fluency,  vocabulary and comprehension ( cf. Drake & Kowalski, 2006).

Research into the use of rhyming and child literacy skills has also reported  that repetition using fun rhyming patterns and sounds makes reading enjoyable for the child. Unlike more traditional stories without rhyming, children often find themselves struggling to arduously sound out these foreign words on the page. Whereas, rhyming creates a repetition that is fun and builds the child’s confidence to absorb and understand the words with relative ease.

Beyond the deeper intellectual face to the Alphabet Buddies series, the books promote a warm sense of friendship and strong moral values, we sometimes ourselves as adults forget. So next time your child asks to play war games on the computer, consider an Alphabet Buddies book!