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When we pull out our nightly books during bedtime, we may just assume that our children are aware of different literacy-related terms (for example, what a “page” is). But that might not always be the case. Because books will hopefully be an important part of your child’s life, it’s important for him or her to know and understand certain literacy related vocabulary words. Here are the top 5:

  1. “Front Cover”

Teach your child what this is by pointing it out before you start each book. Narrate out loud by saying something like, “let’s look at the front cover”. That’s a good way to start off a conversation about what your child thinks the book might be about. Or, if it’s a familiar book to them, you can talk about the pictures or characters on the front. Ask your child to describe what he or she sees as well!

2. “Word”

They see them as we read, but as children grow it’s important to explicitly point out the words on the pages of their books and to let them know what they are. It can be especially fun to point out words in illustrations or those written in a bolder, larger font. Draw attention by pointing and telling your child, “look at this word! It says…”. Your child will start to understand some early pre-literacy skills, like how different letters make up a word, which represents something.

3. “Page”

Narrate how you or your child is turning the pages as you read a story. Using a word repeatedly can help your child understand the meaning and remember it better. Try incorporating this word frequently as you read books by saying thing such as, “let’s turn the page” or “wow look whats on this page!”.

4. “Author”

Encourage your child to be a little storyteller themselves by talking about how an Author is somebody who writes a book. Point out their name on the cover and the picture and bio in the back if there is one. That’s a great way to boost your child’s interest in writing and creating stories themselves.

5. “Illustrator”

Another important book-related vocabulary word! Explain what an illustrator is and talk about the pictures in the books you and your child read together. Ask questions to spark conversation about the illustrations, such as how the illustrator created them (for example, drawing or painting) and what you and your child like about them!

While it’s easy to focus on the stories inside our books, make sure to talk about these book-related vocabulary words to your child while reading every day!


Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist

Proud Member of The Story Box Family