Your child’s learning and development are important to you – that's why you're here looking at books, because books can support both of these things and more. As well as parents, teachers, friends, tv shows and toys, books like the ones we make at Miles Kelly can play an enormous role in how your child develops.
Children's books are wonderful in so many ways – they can teach, entertain, and support your child's skills, all from pieces of paper.
Start (as soon as you can)
Imagine a life where you couldn't read, and how much your world would lack without the stories, imagination, and information that reading affords you. This rich, creative life all starts with books, and if you start your child early they will have access to a world of curiosity and wonder for the rest of their lives.
Miles Kelly creates a lot of fact books and encyclopedias, and if that’s what you’re here for, your child can learn fact upon fact about their favourite subject to their heart’s content within their pages. And they’ll want to keep reading, because our fact books are fun and interesting to read. And here I'll let you into a secret: they are fun and interesting because we are a selfish lot. Since we have to go through each book from start to finish about 30 times before it is thoroughly planned, illustrated, edited, tested, checked and proofread, a boring book is just not happening, just for our sakes.
Storybooks and picture books teach children too – to understand new words and learn intonation, to interpret illustrations and make connections between them and the text, to follow plot and remember characters, to recognise social cues, and to prompt their imaginations to dream up wonderful ideas. These are all vital skills in the social development of your child, and these skills advance in leaps and bounds from just a few minutes of reading together.
Keep your child entertained
You don't need lots of expensive kit or to set up a messy area – just you and a book will do, and sometimes just a book when it comes to older children. Lots of the Miles Kelly team are parents too, and we all understand the time pressures parents are under. So we craft our books to keep children (including our own) busy and engaged. So whether you've got just five minutes or a whole half an hour to spend entertaining your child, a simple book can be a way to read, laugh, learn, and even play – together. You'll bond, they may go on to continue a new activity independently, and at the end everyone feels just a little happier.
Support development (by stealth)
It's not just something I've made up. Reading a book with a child requires little more than a comfy seat. You have to read a book, granted, but the rest takes care of itself without anyone realising (that’s the stealth bit).
I've already listed many ways in which your child's development is nurtured with a book. But what about a child that can't sit still or doesn't like reading? Miles Kelly books are crafted to develop every child's skills, and each book gives something different to each type of learner.
Some children respond most to visual stimulation, so we’re passionate about pictures. We pour over thousands of photos to make sure we choose the one that’s most informative and exciting, collaborate with artists from around the world to create illustrations chock-full of imaginary detail, and work with expert consultants to ensure our books are full of a diverse range of characters – so your child can connect with what they see.
If your child thrives on activity-led learning – well, first off, our Convertibles fit the bill perfectly. Once your child has got over the excitement of sitting inside a vehicle, you can encourage them to see the vehicle in action in the storybook, or fold out the playmat and point out details together. Activities are also a key part of our titles for older children – many of our fact books include activity panels to help kids understand complex ideas. It may include a little making or crafting (sorry!), but if your child finds concepts easier to understand when they are made practical, these more active elements will soon help them to realise that books aren't all that bad.
This long article isn't here to worry you, but to reassure you that we've got your back and, that we care (a lot!) about how much your child likes and learns from our books. We work with expert UK authors who are forever researching and learning themselves because they love what they do (one of our natural world authors even visited orang-utans in Borneo to see first-hand how these incredible primates live). Our educational books are checked by specialist consultants to make sure we're covering the right things in the right way, and we strive to be accessible to all kids, whatever stage they're at.
And lastly, we welcome your comments and ideas. Miles Kelly is a small, close-knit team, and we would love to hear what works for you and your family, so always feel free to drop us a line to tell us what you think.