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22/12/13 00:01

Give the gift of reading

Parents urged to make books part of festive fun.

Parents are being urged to give the gift of reading this festive season, as Scottish Book Trust publishes a list of Christmas books for babies and toddlers to enjoy over Christmas.

Reading to children improves language skills, increase bonding between parents and young children and promotes a lifelong appreciation of learning and reading, books are the ideal way to stimulate children in a fun, relaxed way.

Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, said:

“Reading with a child can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things a parent can do. Studies have shown that the most rapid brain development occurs from newborn to the age of three, so developing a habit of reading now can lay the foundations of a lifelong love of the written word.

“The Scottish Government’s Play Talk Read campaign has helped many families discover the joy and benefits of reading.

“Reading to young children can also help develop their verbal abilities, strengthen the parent-child bond and be a great excuse for a cuddle and some quiet time after a visit from Santa!”

Minister for Leaning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan, said:

“It’s great to see Gaelic titles in the lists. The Scottish Government is committed to developing Gaelic, and reading children’s favourite stories to them in the language is a brilliant way to give children an early taste of Gaelic and build a foundation for the language as they grow.”

Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust, added:

“Christmas is the perfect time to close the door on the miserable weather and snuggle up with your wee one and a book about Christmas, which is many children’s favourite topic! Sharing books together is not only a lovely thing to do, it is one of the key building blocks in the early years which helps children to lead fulfilling and productive lives.”

Notes to editors

Research underpinning the Early Years Framework shows that:

  • During the first three years 75 per cent of brain growth is complete
  • By the age of three, 50 per cent of our language is in place
  • Children whose parents talk to them frequently have better language skills than parents who seldom talk to them (at 20 months babies of talkative parents knew 131 more words that infants of less talkative parents. At 24 months the difference was 295)

The five Christmas books are:

5 books to read to babies at Christmas

Top 5 books to read to toddlers at Christmas

Title

Author/illustrator

Publisher

Title

Author/illustrator

Publisher

Happy Christmas Spot!

Eric Hill

Warne

Father Christmas needs a wee

Nicholas Allan

Red Fox Picture Books

Christmas Cot Book (cloth)

Stella Baggott

Usborne

The Snowman

Raymond Briggs

Puffin

Chan E Sin Mo Cheann-Fionn (That's Not My Penguin)

Fiona Watt/Rachel Wells

Usborne

Tè Bheag A’ Ghruffalo (The Gruffalo’s Child)

Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler

Acair

Baby Sees - Christmas

Chez Picthall

Picthall & Gunzi

Olivia Helps with Christmas

Ian Falconer

Simon and Schuster

Baby's first Christmas lullabies

Fiona Watt/Elena Temporin

Usborne

Dear Santa

Rod Campbell

Macmillan

5 books to read to toddlers at Christmas

Title

Author/illustrator

Publisher

Father Christmas needs a wee

Nicholas Allan

Red Fox Picture Books

The Snowman

Raymond Briggs

Puffin

Tè Bheag A’ Ghruffalo (The Gruffalo’s Child)

Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler

Acair

Olivia Helps with Christmas

Ian Falconer

Simon and Schuster

Dear Santa

Rod Campbell

Macmillan

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