Building a Love of Reading

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Reading with your grandchildren reinforces the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and sets them up for success. These early learning experiences help foster a love of reading that, research shows, will affect children’s success in school and life. This summer, spend some quality time forming new reading traditions together. The Greater Victoria Public Library recommends five ways grandparents and grandchildren can bond with books.

Family reading time

BC Summer Reading Club encourages kids to read 20 minutes a day during the summer. Lead by example and set aside time to read together. Seeing their grandparents make books and learning part of their routine shows kids it’s important to prioritize reading and nurturing the mind. To sign your grandchild up for BC Summer Reading Club, visit a library branch near you.

Carve out a special place for your grandchild to read

Having a room—or a place—of one’s own is a point of pride and helps develop a sense of ownership. Let your grandchildren choose where they’d like to read: Grandpa’s recliner, Grandma’s porch swing, the kitchen table, the fancy couch. This spot will become their special realm for spending time with books.

Bonus: Make room for their books on your bookshelf. Having their own space will help the kids associate grandma and grandpa’s place with reading, comfort and autonomy.

Get yourself a library card

An outing to the library is full of fun: checking out new books, playing with the library’s toys, participating in a storytime, and discovering educational kids’ games on public computers. Do you have a library card, too? Checking out your own reading material models good habits that kids will remember for years to come.

Get high tech together

For kids and grandparents, using technology together provides new opportunities to develop common interests and build memories. Challenge yourself to use one of the library’s digital collections for kids; Tumblebooks is a good one to start with. Go to gvpl.ca/read, click on and log in to Tumblebooks with your library card, then, sit with your grandchild and watch books come to life with sound and animations.

Recommend books they’ll love

Do you remember your favourite childhood story? Help your grandchildren find theirs. Visit a librarian to discover the best books for every age, or choose from the books below, selected by GVPL librarians to match your child’s interests. Decide if your grandchild is curious, creative or an epicurean, or take a quiz at gvpl.ca/yourbrain to get a personal suggestion.

Books for an Adventurous Child

1. The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White

2. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

3. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Books for a Creative Child

1. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

2. Try This!: Extreme 50 Fun and Safe Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You by Karen Romano Young

3. Frindle by Andrew Clements

Books for a Curious Child

1. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

2. History’s Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past by Kitson Jazynka

3. Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere by Elise Gravel

Books for a Healthy-Minded Child

1. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde

2. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

3. Restart by Gordon Korman

Book for an Epicurean Child

1. All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

2. Chef Gino’s Taste Test Challenge by Gino Campagna

3. This Book is Not Good for You by Pseudonymous Bosch

Go create…and celebrate the artist in each child

Looking at books of beautiful artwork reveals what is possible when we use our imaginations.

Check out some art books, and then borrow one of GVPL’s new plein air easels.

Gather some paper and crayons, and head to your favourite view point with your easel in tow. Set up the easel and watch your grandchild express their unique creativity on paper. Grab your easel, and go create! Learn more at gvpl.ca/gocreate.

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