Why it's important to read to your baby


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Transcript of 'Why it's important to read to your baby' video

Mother reading to child: This is the story of a little pig that poops like pudding.

Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.: Reading picture books to children really helps them to understand about language. Talking to them, explaining to them about just the everyday things, like what happens when you go for a walk on the street. None of that is terribly difficult or resource-intensive or requires a great deal of skill. Really, it's just about paying attention to what the baby is doing and giving the baby a chance to figure out the everyday world around them.

Zilma de Oliveira: Reading stories to children is fundamental. The grown-up voice gives meaning to the existence of that object we flip through and use to tell a story. Children should be curious and know they're mimicking grown-ups when they read, even if children can't read themselves. Flipping through books, for example, sets the stage for older children to have more hypotheses when exploring books. Nowadays, it's believed that the most basic fact for literacy is not perceiving it as a meaningless practice in children's lives.

Child: I'm going to read.

Severino Antônio, Ph.D.: Children need stories. Children are made of stories. Telling stories is one way to care for them. When they're little, we can make up micro narratives. For example, while we care for them. We can tell them what we're doing and what we're going to do to them. Later, we'll tell them longer stories and the child will be made of these stories.

Severino Antônio, Ph.D.: Stories provide origins and destinations, destinations to where children belong. That's why they're so important. Even when children are extremely underprivileged, they could still have someone who tells them stories and treats them with a lot of affection. Stories care for children, give their lives meaning and solace, because children know stories are a form of love.