Modern life sometimes makes it hard to find the time and space to just sit with your kid and enjoy being right there in the moment. For our family, the key to unlocking this magical time together is reading. Books have a special way of gently closing the door on real life and opening up whole new worlds we can live in – whether it’s for just a few minutes or hours on end.
How photo books open up reading for kids
I’ve often heard it said that there’s no such thing as a kid that doesn’t like reading, they just haven’t found the right book yet. And I think that’s probably true. Picture books, board books, lift-the-flap and tactile books, books with sounds, comic books, instruction manuals, reference books – there are so many types of books children can explore even when they’re little.
One of my little girl’s favorites when she was only about a year old was a big encyclopedia of British birds. She couldn’t even hold it on her own, but she loved sitting with us and turning the pages. We’d picked the book up in a charity shop, so we didn’t mind if it got sticky fingerprints on it or she tore the pages a bit. The local library has also been a treasure trove for her since she was tiny. We’re lucky enough to still have one in our town and to see how she runs off to pull all sorts of books off the shelves and start opening them up makes me so happy.
The point is, there are so many types of books out there waiting to be discovered. As a parent you can help by showing your child as many different books as you can and letting them play with them like they would with any other toy. Photo books can work especially well to entice some children to explore books. Realistic pictures that they can recognize make photo books really accessible. They also cover an ever-expanding range of topics, so it’s likely you’ll be able to find a photo book to match your little one’s latest obsession.
Must-have photo books for kids
Non-fiction photo books
Most photo books are usually found in the non-fiction section of the library or bookstore. Animals, vehicles, sports, science, cooking – photo illustrations lend themselves particularly well to books relating to kids’ interests and hobbies. Pre-schoolers especially like seeing real pictures of kids just like them too.
Here are some ideas to set your off on your photo book adventures:
i-SPY Nature: What can you spot?, Collins
Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre
Little Kids First Big Book of Why, National Geographic Books
Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly
Little Humans by Brandon Stanton
Show Me Happy by Kathryn Madeline Allen and Eric Futran
Ollie and Harry’s Marvellous Adventures by Ollie, Harry and Macneill Ferguson
Bear Grylls Extreme Planet by Bear Grylls
Story photo books
You don’t tend to find as many fiction photo books for kids as non-fiction ones, but when you do they can be truly magical. If you find one that your little one likes, its worth looking for more in the same series or by the same author as they often publish more in the same style.
Here are some we love the look of:
Helping Hedgehog Home by Celestine and the Hare
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen
Kiki and Coco in Paris by Nina Gruener, Jess Brown and Stephanie Rausser
Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border
Below by Nina Crews
Make your own photo books together
If your little bookworm loves photo books, it’s super simple to make one for them for as a gift. For a cute family activity, you could choose pictures from your camera roll together to make your book even more special. Or you could set out specifically to make a story photo book featuring your family, planning the story, setting up the photos and laying out the book exactly as you want.
Lifecake is a really easy way of making fab photo books for kids. Just go to the photo books page, join Lifecake for free and create the book right there. If you’re already using the Lifecake app, just use your details to log in on the website and you’ll be good to go.
Beyond making photo books, our baby milestone app can also help you securely save your most precious memories and share them with your loved ones.
And if you’d like to learn more about capturing great photos first, take a look at our blog 7 tips for taking awesome family photos.