It’s never too early to start reading books to a young child. When a child is just an infant, you can show him or her children’s books that mostly consist of tactile and/or movable elements, such as a furry cat tail that moves. Such books will not only be inherently interesting to the curious infant but will also help cultivate a positive feeling about books and reading in general.
As the infant’s mind continues to develop and he or she becomes a toddler, you can progress to picture books that have interesting pictures and words but are still simple enough for him or her to understand. These kids books can benefit a child in so many ways, including enhancing the child’s perceptions of shape, color, direction, and other aspects of the physical world through which he is learning to navigate.
As the toddler continues to grow intellectually and emotionally, you can then move up to kids books with increasingly sophisticated sentence structure, more complex illustrations, and deeper story content that describe and teach in engaging ways the principles, intricacies, and nuances of human relationships and interactions and the workings of the larger world outside of the child’s immediate environment.
This natural progression from simple to more challenging, if done gradually and with careful observation of the child’s attention and interest levels, making sure not to jump ahead too quickly, will greatly reduce risk of books having any kind of negative association for the child.
The benefits of reading books for children will be enormous: the child’s brain will be filled with all kinds of new and useful information, the mind will be increasingly stimulated and primed for absorbing even more input, and his or her love of books will grow and grow, preparing the child for a lifetime of learning, growing, and thriving intellectually, emotionally, and socially.