Small TALK Speech Therapy + Book Reading

We love books!

At Small TALK, we love books and we love reading!

Did you know – Reading to your child for 15 minutes each day will provide 500 hours of literacy learning before they start school? Reading with children has also been shown to decrease negative behaviour.

The Australian Kids and Family Reading Report published by Scholastic in 2015 found that 86% of children (aged 5-17) loved being read books aloud at home (presently or when they were younger), because it was a special time with their parents.

What do kids want in a book?

Researchers in the Scholastic report also looked at what children looked for in a book. Understanding what your child likes to read about will increase your chances of engaging them in the book, and in the love of reading.

What Kids Want in Books Table from Australian Kids and Family Reading Report

Image downloaded from Australian Kids and Family Reading Report

Making the most of reading with your children:

  • Relate the stories you are reading to personal experiences
  • Point to each word as you read them
  • Choose engaging books and make your interactions fun!
  • Don’t quiz – make sure to make comments about the story as well as asking some questions, and, if you do ask questions try not to just ask ‘what’
  • Don’t focus on labelling – use words that describe actions, attributes, feelings and places as well as labels

Our favourite books

Each week our therapists choose a “Book of the Week” which goes on display in our waiting room for all of our clients to enjoy.

Here are our favourite books and how we use them to build language skills.

There's a Hippopotamus on our roof eating cake book cover“There’s a Hippopotamous on Our Roof Eating Cake” by Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland

  • onomatopoeia (“drip”, “bang”)
  • pronouns (“I”, “our”, “my”, “he”)
  • likes/dislikes
  • sentence building
  • rules and routines
  • negatives (“not”, “wasn’t”, “won’t”)


Old Hat New Hat book cover“Old Hat New Hat” by Stan & Jan Berenstain

  • opposites
  • describing words
  • rhyming
  • interpreting facial expressions


Tawny Scrawny Lion Book Cover“The Tawny Scrawny Lion” by Kathryn Jackson

  • figurative language
  • emotion words
  • verbs
  • prediction
  • recall (recall days of the week, animals and ingredients)



Hattie and the Fox book cover“Hattie and the Fox” by Mem Fox & Patricia Mullens

  • learn body parts
  • make predictions
  • talk about feeling scared
  • learn animals and their noises
  • build vocabulary


“Wilbur” by Phil Cummings Wilbur by Phil Cummings

  • ‘w’ sound
  • ‘wh’ questions
  • sentence creation (using nouns, verbs and location words)
  • rhyming
  • awareness of different languages


There was an old lady who swallowed a fly book“There was an old lady that swallowed a fly” by Lucille Colandro

  • rhyming
  • auditory memory (recalling animals)
  • size concepts (small to large)
  • pronouns (she)


Brown Bread and Honey Book“Brown Bread and Honey” by Pamela Allen

  • alliteration
  • rhyming
  • sequencing
  • retell
  • consequences and problem solving
  • social skills – using nice words and treating others nicely


The cow tripped over the moon book cover“The Cow tripped over the Moon” by Tony Wilson & Laura Wood

  • prepositions
  • rhyming
  • emotions
  • action words


Edwina the Emu book cover“Edwina the Emu” by Sheen Knowles & Rod Clement

  • rhyming
  • action words
  • humour
  • perspective taking
  • figurative language


The Crayon's book of colours cover photo“The Crayons’ Book of Colours” by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

  • naming and finding colours
  • answering wh- questions
  • generalising the ‘k’ sound
  • expanding categories (e.g. tell me something else that is red)


Where is the Green Sheep photo“Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek

  • opposites
  • describing words
  • generalising the ‘sh’ sound
  • making predictions


Want to know more?

Check out our Literacy blog for more information on reading, writing and all things literacy.

Did you know? Our team regularly run Book Lovers AAC Groups for AAC users.

If you would like to know more about literacy, books and language, contact our team on 1300 651 704 or by using the contact form.