Ready for reading

When a child turns four years old, they can come into any Christchurch City Library and pick up a free Ready for Reading pack. The pack contains a special bilingual, purpose written book Storytime Te Wā Kōrero, and stickers.

Download the Ready for Reading booklet Ready for Reading booklet [1.44 MB PDF]

Important skills

There are six important skills that your child will need to learn to read. Children can begin to develop these skills from birth.

  • Print motivation: interest and enjoyment in books.
  • Vocabulary: beginning to know the names of things.
  • Print awareness: noticing words on a page and understanding how to follow them, knowing how to hold and treat a book.
  • Letter knowledge: recognising and naming letters, recognising letter sounds.
  • Phonological awareness: awareness of sounds and rhymes and beginning to understand the link between written and spoken words.
  • Narrative skills: describing things and events, learning how to tell stories.

Tips for sharing books

  • Talk, sing or make noises with the pictures.
  • Let the child turn the page.
  • Show the front of the book.
  • Create voices with the characters.
  • Use child’s name or other, for the characters.
  • Ask questions about the pictures and story.
  • Make your own books.
  • Make it a regular time.

Visit these pages for more information and resources to use at home

How to read to children

Kids who read succeed sticker

What you need

  • Children’s books
  • Time
  • Enthusiasm

General guidelines

  • Position yourself so both you and the children are comfortable.
  • Allow your listeners, especially younger children, a few minutes to settle down and get ready to hear the story.
  • Mood is an important factor in listening. Create anticipation.
  • Use plenty of expression and change your tone of voice to fit the dialogue.
  • Adjust your pace to fit the story. During a suspenseful part, slow down, draw your words out and bring your listeners to the edge of their seats!
  • Be enthusiastic. Read stories that you enjoy yourself – your dislike will show if you read books that you don’t like.

Why create readers?

  • Readers are better writers.
  • Readers get better jobs.
  • Exposure to early reading experiences can increase IQ.
  • Good readers acquire second languages more easily

What makes a good reader?

  • Reading aloud to a child from birth.
  • Modelling reading daily.
  • Exposing them to books and stories.

How to help children love what they read

  • Set an example – read what you love and love what you read.
  • Slow down and find the time.
  • Read aloud.
  • Have books in lots of places.
  • Don’t turn it into a vocabulary lesson.
  • Read a variety of books.
  • Go to the library and discover…


For kids

  • BusyThings - Access colourful, quirky and fun games and activities for 3 to 11 year olds. Designed to entertain and educate. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
  • TumbleBook Library - Access to an online collection of animated books which teach kids the joy of reading. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
  • Starfall - bright colours and animations bring the alphabet to life. Includes sign-language.
  • Online games with Inky and Gus - entertaining stories and engaging activities that explore a variety of essential early literacy skills.

For adults

Photos from the Ready for Reading launch

Photos from the launch at Aranui Library, Wednesday 13 May 2015.

[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src="set" uid="126510258@N06" sid="72157652707575756" imgl="fancybox" style="gallery" row="4" grwidth="600" grheight="400" size="500" num="12" align="center" max="80" nocredit="1"]

Print this page