top of page

Let’s Talk about books! (Part 2)

In the previous blog, we have discussed the importance of books in learning language at an early stage and the different types of books suitable for ages 0-12 months. We have also explored different ways to use these books to develop communication skills in a fun way.

In this blog, we will show you how to choose books for children from 12 to 24 months and how to use them to promote the development of words.

In fact, it is so fascinating that children’s vocabulary expands from few words to 50 words between the ages of 12 toy 24 months. Choosing short books with real bright pictures that narrate daily activities such as bath time is very important because it helps them generalize words used in their daily routine. Moreover, the use of repetitive simple sentences and rhymes in books is crucial because it gives toddlers many opportunities to grasp words. Try to choose wordless picture books or simply describe pictures in a book. At this stage, they are still attracted to interactive books with peek-a-boo flaps or moving pictures. Books should be thick to allow the child to turn pages easily. You could also make your own books through photographs of your family members’ actions taken at home, the park, or the mall, e.g. photos of mommy riding a bicycle, daddy eating a banana, Sam drawing a house, Diana making a sandwich etc. By the end of this stage, you could start telling short and simple storybooks.

How to use these books to promote the development of words?

Always sit facing your child and at his/her level. Use gestures and actions, repeat words after your child and add words to them. Always produce a word, wait for their reaction, then respond. Keep the interaction going by taking turns. It is not important to read the whole book or flip the pages in the right order, just follow your child’s lead. Change the words if they are too hard or link them to real actions by role playing to help your child understand new concepts. Use toys to re-act the events in short stories.

Stay tuned to find out what to choose for your children between 24 and 36 months in my upcoming blog!

Learn more about speech and language pathology here.


- Jan Pepper and Elaine Weitzman, It Takes Two To Talk (5th edition), (2017), The Hanen Centre, Ontario, Canada.

- Cindy Conklin, Elaine Weitzman, Jan Pepper, Anne McDade & Tamara Stein, Making Hanen Happen ITTT, Leaders Guide for Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologists/Therapists, (May 2018), The Hanen Centre, Ontario, Canada.


bottom of page