• Reading to children contributes significantly to their language development in general and their reading growth in particular. Children learn to comprehend and produce oral and written language through a variety of language experiences. Exposure to the world of books through a regular story time contributes to the child's knowledge store of language, concepts, and ideas. Story time also provides practice in attending to and comprehending written language and promotes a positive association with books and reading.
The developmental needs of children suggest practical guidelines for the selection and evaluation of books to read to young children. Pediatricians are in a unique position to educate parents about these developmental needs as well as language acquisition. They can guide parents in providing a rich literary experience that could contribute to the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of their children.
(Am J Dis Child 130:180-183, 1976)