There are many benefits of reading to children and hundreds of fantastical books to bewitch a child’s imagination. It’s vital to get little ones thinking about the types of books they’ll be learning in school and enjoying at home. Asking your child what they love about storybooks will enrich their learning. They’ll develop their comprehension and critical thinking skills. The right questions can stimulate your child’s responses and ultimately help them understand there is more to a book than just a pretty cover.
Think about the questions for parents to ask when reading. Asking your child questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer will open up their imagination, and make them think. Reading with questions about the story will motivate your child to create their own connections throughout the book. We’ve got a few guided reading questions for parents to get you started.
Questions to Ask Before Reading
We’re using our personalised pet dinosaur book to show you how to approach the questions you can ask your child before reading a book. This book specially features your child on a Jurassic journey to find the perfect pet dinosaur, written using incredibly fun rhymes.
What do you think this storybook is about?
First impressions count with books. Storybook covers are a crucial indication of whether your child will be captivated by what they’re about to read. The pictures and colours can trigger previous associations with topics they’ve encountered, helping them build important metacognitive skills.
Can you point to the title of the storybook?
Simple and easy actions like finding the title on the cover of a book will help your child identify with the story and whether they’ll be able to relate to the subject matter. A great title can sum up a book in one line and inspire your child to wonder even more about the adventure that’s about to unfold…
What do you like about the cover of the book?
Did you let your child pick the book? If so, chances are there’s something on the cover that caught their curious little eye. Find out what details captured their attention so you know what to buy next, for example, a book about their favourite character or in this case, dinosaurs!
What type of storybook do you think the story will be? A fairy tale? A spooky story? A funny journey?
This book features dinosaurs, including a Triceratops, a T-Rex, a Velociraptor and more. Find out if they think the story will be funny, or an adventure or whatever their imagination can conjure. Understanding the genre of a book helps your child build a bigger picture of what they’re going to read.
Do you know what the blurb of a book is?
This is the kind of question your child will be asked at school, so it’s handy to give them a head start. Plus, it’s a funny word. Kids love a phrase that makes them giggle, especially if the word sounds like nonsense, and ‘blurb’ fits the bill.
What does a blurb do? Where is the blurb?
This funny word, ‘blurb’, will help your child remember its function. Go one step further and ask them where the blurb is on a book? On the cover or is it on the back of the book? Questions like this will shape a child’s understanding of how books work.
Do you like seeing your name on the cover of the book?
This question is essential if your child loves a personalised story. If they answer “yes”, just imagine their reaction when they see their name featured throughout the entire book. Most importantly, they’ll learn reading is going to be fun!
Questions to Ask While Reading
The personalised Frozen northern lights book is a magical adventure with layers of detail, giving you many questions to ask during reading. Children adore Disney and this book is utterly fascinating as it features the Aurora Borealis. Who said reading can’t be fun and educational?
What’s happened in the storybook so far?
Take a moment to check if your child understands what’s actually going on in the story to help develop their basic comprehension skills. 10-15 minutes is the average attention span for a child aged 5-6 interested in one activity.
What do you think is going to happen next?
Predictions show your child has digested the scenes so far in the story. They will have picked up clues along the way from the text and images. This provides your child with signals to predict what could happen next.
Who’s your favourite character in the storybook and why? Are they friendly? Smart?
Children respond to characters who have similar traits as themselves and to those who have traits they aspire to obtain. Storybook characters lead by example. These examples will help your child interact and develop friendships in real life scenarios. For example, is “Anna” kind? Is “Kristoff” smart? Is “Olaf” funny?
Who’s your least favourite character in the storybook and why? Are they mean? Unkind?
Learning right from wrong is one of the earliest stages of your child’s development. Being able to recognise the qualities that make a person ‘kind’ or ‘mean’ helps your child become aware of other people’s behaviours in real life. For example, is “Little Rock” whiny? Is “Sven” naughty for trying to eat “Olaf’s” carrot nose?
What’s happening in the pictures?
The storybooks we read as children always stay with us. And it’s not just the story. The illustrations imprint on our minds and evoke all kinds of emotions. This Frozen book features hand-drawn illustrations created on a digital easel. Pictures like this will conjure responses your child will remember the next time they read the book.
Do you like seeing your name throughout the storybook?
Storybooks should be interactive, teaching your child to read for pleasure. Your child’s name is a part of their identity. With this Frozen book, your child will see their name appear throughout the book, giving them an interactive reading experience they won’t have with normal storybooks.
How do you think the story is going to end?
Stories are more fulfilling when they defy our expectations. But it’s delightful to see the cogs of your child’s brain ticking away to think of all the possible outcomes. It shows they’ve embraced the story and that they’ve been immersed in the action.
After Reading Questions
The personalised Disney The Incredibles 2 book is an enthralling read for children. There are numerous elements to the book that will appeal to excited little minds, from the vibrant illustrations to the easy to read text. Best of all, your child becomes a part of the story!
Did you enjoy the book? Why?
Did the denouement deliver? Would your child read the book again? This question is so important once the book has come to a close. Sure, reading is a necessary basic skill. But it’s the fun that counts. Children will naturally want to read if they have enjoyed the experience.
Who was the most important character and why?
Was it the protagonist? An antagonist perhaps? Now that your child knows how the story ended, do they feel differently about their favourite character? Was “Mrs Incredible” the real hero or was it “Edna”? Did they teach your child an important lesson?
What was your favourite part of the storybook? Why?
Ask your child to find their favourite part in the book. See how responsive they are. This will indicate how they evaluate the story and what part they decided was so valuable to remember. Was it the reveal of Jack-Jack’s mind-blowing powers? Or maybe the identity of The Screenslaver?
If you could give the book another title, what would it be?
This particular question should trigger your child to recollect the scenes from the book and look back on the plot retrospectively. Critical thinking is a skill. It requires initiative and an emotional response. This will show your child has connected with the story.
Do you prefer books with your name or without your name? Why?
A personalised story opens up your child to real-world scenarios, helping them handle life in real contexts. They can explore other cultures and even make history interesting. We bet your child will have lots of questions to ask too!
Key Points to Remember with Questions to Ask Before, During and After Reading
- First impressions count with books. A great title can sum up a book in one line and inspire your child to wonder.
- Questions for parents to ask when reading should always include at least one question on the functions of a book like guessing the genre. This helps your child build a bigger picture of what they’re going to read.
- 10 – 15 minutes is the average attention span of a child aged 5 – 6 when they’re interested in one activity. If they’re truly interested in the story, you’ll get more than “yes” or “no” answers.
- Children respond to characters who have similar traits as themselves and to those who have traits they aspire to obtain. Storybook characters lead by example. These are the role-models your child will learn from.
- Storybooks should be interactive, teaching your child to read for pleasure. Keep this in mind when your child has finished the book. This will help you and your child decide what to read next.
Even adults have questions to ask before, during and after reading. Our natural curiosity is at its peak when we’re animated by the characters and the plot. Parents reading with questions about the story open up a world of understanding to a child that was never there before. Enriching their learning, assessing key points in the story and providing your child with an interactive reading experience are amongst the many benefits of asking a few simple questions. Most importantly, the strong threads of a parent and child bond are sewn into a nourished and fulfilling relationship.