How To Talk About Books with Kids {Guest Post}

I couldn’t be more excited about the buzz that Kids Cook with Books has generated.  When I met Jodie, an expert on literacy with kids, I knew she would be a perfect compliment – offering some tips for how to talk about books with kids (in a meaningful way!) Hopefully, you’ll be able to combine some of her great suggestions below with this month’s book club selection: Blueberries for Sal.

How to talk about books with kidsDo you struggle with finding time to read and talk about books with your kids? Do you eat at least one meal together a week? If you answered yes, I’m going to show you how to combine talking about books and eating family dinners together. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

My name is Jodie Rodriguez and I blog at Growing Book by Book. I’m a busy mom, website owner, and educator. I know how precious our time is with our kids and look for opportunities to squeeze in literacy learning and book talk wherever and whenever I can. I’m excited Michelle invited me to share with the What’s Cooking with Kids’ readers on the topic of talking about books at the dinner table.

Family dinnertime is a great platform for talking together as a family. We try at least once a month to talk about books with our Family Dinner Book Club. We talk about our reading at other times in the month too. But, I sure do like having our reading ritual of Family Dinner Book Club.   Whether you are using one of Michelle’s great cooking with book projects, my Family Dinner Book Club, or any book you have enjoyed during the day, you can generate some great book talk with your kids.

Have you ever asked your child, “How was your day today?” And, then get the response, “Fine!” We also get those one-word answers when we talk about books with our kids. Let’s look at a few questions or prompts you can ask about ANY book to generate great book conversation at the dinner table.

Think about your own personal reading as an adult. Would you like someone to quiz you each time you finished a book with questions like: What is the setting of the story? Who is the main character? or What did the main character do after (blank)… Boring, right? As adults, we like to talk about our reading. We want to share the moving parts or the parts that were “aha” moments for us. We don’t want to just spit back facts from the story.

How To Talk About Books with Kids

Let’s look at how we can make this desire to talk about books with kids a reality. The next time you sit down at the dinner table, try some of these prompts for any book you have read together.

Prompt #1

Tell me your favorite part of the book.

Prompt #2

What do you think the author wanted us to take away from this book? or Why do you think the author wrote this book?

Prompt #3

What questions do you have after reading this book?

Watch your dinner conversation transform when you try these prompts. There will be no more one word answers. Instead, you will open up dialogue and transformational conversations about great books. Enjoy and savor!

Jodie Rodriguez has a passion for helping caregivers nurture our youngest readers. As a former National Board Certified early-childhood, elementary teacher and administrator, she has worked with thousands of families and educators providing best literacy practices. She lives near St. Louis, Missouri and now stays home with home with her two young sons (ages 4 and 5). She is the creator/founder of Growing Book by Book. Connect with her: Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

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3 Responses to How To Talk About Books with Kids {Guest Post}

  1. Thanks so much for letting me share with What’s Cooking with Kids readers!

  2. Andy says:

    Thank you for posting this article. 😉

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