Literacy at Home: Parts of a Book

By learning the parts of the book, children will be more prepared to start reading books as their literacy skills develop.

How does it work?

Before reading a story with a child, get them to look at the book and ask what they see. Spend time pointing out the following parts:

  • Book
  • Front Cover
  • Title of the book
  • Cover Art                  
  • Author
  • Illustrator           
  • Back Cover
  • Book description             
  • Spine
  • Pages and page numbers
  • Words and sentences on the pages

As you point out the items, say things like:

“This is the author. They wrote the words in this book.”
“This is the illustrator. The illustrator is the person who creates the art for the story”.

Make it a Habit

This activity can become part of your routine. When you sit down to read with your child, spend a few minutes going over the parts of the book that you are going to read. 

After doing this a few times, encourage your child to participate. Have them tell you which parts of the book are what. Remember that it should be fun though! It’s not a quiz.

The Mechanics of Book Reading

You can also introduce them to the mechanics of how a book is read. They will learn this by watching you read, but you can also talk them through the process!

Let them know that you start reading a book from front cover to back cover, and talk about how you turn pages (from the corner, not from the middle). 

You can also talk about which direction you read sentences in. For example, if you’re reading in English, you read the words in a sentence from left to right, but if you’re reading in Japanese, you read the words in a sentence from right to left.

Books that Play with Books

While your child is learning about this, it might be fun to check out one of Richard Byrne’s picture books. They play with the way books are put together in really fun ways!

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