Our search has the following Google-type functionality:
If you use '+' at the start of a word, that word will be present in the search results.
eg. Harry +Potter
Search results will contain 'Potter'.
If you use '-' at the start of a word, that word will be absent in the search results.
eg. Harry -Potter
Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
If you use 'AND' between 2 words, then both those words will be present in the search results.
eg. Harry AND Potter
Search results will contain both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'OR' between 2 words, then either or both of those words will be present in the search results.
eg. 'Harry OR Potter'
Search results will contain just 'Harry', or just 'Potter', or both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'NOT' before a word, that word will be absent in the search results. (This is the same as using the minus symbol).
eg. 'Harry NOT Potter'
Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
If you use double quotation marks around words, those words will be present in that order.
eg. "Harry Potter"
Search results will contain 'Harry Potter', but not 'Potter Harry'.
If you use '*' in a word, it performs a wildcard search, as it signifies any number of characters. (Searches cannot start with a wildcard).
Search results will contain words starting with 'Pot' and ending in 'er', such as 'Potter'.
by Lindy Jones, our Children's bookseller.
Congratulations! You are the caretaker of a brand new human being - what amazing adventures are in store. And one of the most wondrous, truly magical experiences ahead of you is being able to read to your child, knowing you have the awesome responsibility and privilege of setting your little one on a lifelong path to a rich, rewarding inner life.
Sound frightening? Difficult? Impossible? Well it isn't - all journeys start with a step and continue one step at a time, and in the case of reading, it starts very simply.
You can begin reading to your child from the very first day; indeed some people will have started before the child was born. It doesn't matter what you read, the sound of your voice at this stage is most important. Bub hasn't got the hang of using eyes yet, and up to about three months colours are not as important as contrasts in the books you share. Try cot books for instance, then start on simple pop-up books that can help bub practise focussing and moving their eyes. An excellent example is Chuck Murphy's work; particularly One to Ten and Colour Surprises. Don't forget cloth books and bath books, which bub can grip (and inevitably gum on) some of which come with textured surfaces or squeaky or rattling inserts. These are fun and intriguing - not a bad association when it comes to books.
Developing sensory awareness is important. Tactile and sturdy board books invite the child's participation and can be considered as play things. Flaps, pop outs, cutaways, contrasting textures, sparkly and mirrored insets all invite interaction. As bub gets used to holding a focus, paying attention for small (but increasing) periods of time and co-ordinating movements, then the books you share can become a little more developed. This is when simple repetitive language driven by its rhythm becomes attractive. Books like I Went Walking or Brown Bear Brown Bear What do You See give lots of pleasure to the listener. As do nursery rhymes - there are plenty of excellent collections around.
As your child enters their first year the stories can start to be a little more structured as well eg Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy or Who Sank the Boat? There are the perennial favourites like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Where's Spot, with their simple, brightly coloured illustrations and invitations to participate. Be assured, those squeals and excited noises are participation - you are teaching your child the expectations of language. You are helping your child develop its communication skills. You are teaching your child not only that reading is important, but they are too, as it is a time to yourselves, full of pleasure, sharing, fun and the association of sounds with meaning and images on the page.
So off you go, on a wonderful journey. If you need more signposts, try Reading Magic by Mem Fox for its motivational style. Or the locally produced booklet Don't Leave Childhood Without… by the Specialist Children's Booksellers, which lists recommended titles suitable for babies up to teens. And don't forget to ask your local librarian or bookseller - you'll usually find someone who is only too willing to share their knowledge and help you - and your child - nourish this essential life skill.