Using Children’s Books to Boost Imagination

Boosting Imagination With Reading

There are many benefits when it comes to children reading books. A 2015 US study which looked at the effects of different toys on children’s learning found that traditional toys, including books, were more effective in increasing the quantity and quality of language than modern electronic toys. The small-scale study looked at 26 children aged 10 to 16 months, and found that along with traditional toys, such as wooden puzzles and shape-sorters, reading encouraged “a rich communicative interaction between parents and infants,” with parents talking more and using more vocabulary associated with themes in the book than when playing.

“Reading encouraged “a rich communicative interaction between parents and infants,””

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Research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggested that reading to children as babies could boost their literacy skills for years to come. The researchers found that mothers reading to babies during early infancy boosted language, vocabulary, and literacy skills, with results lasting up to four years later. In addition, the team also found that the quality of the books read strongly affected early reading skills, while both the quality and quantity of books read had a strong impact on children’s later literacy skills, such as being able to write their name at age four.

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How To Boost Imagination With Reading

A small-scale 2015 study of 19 preschoolers aged three to five showed for the first time that reading during early childhood appears to have a measurable and positive effect on the brain. After measuring how much parent-child reading the children were exposed to at home, the researchers took MRI scans of the children’s brains while they were listening to stories via headphones. They found that children exposed to more reading showed increased brain activity in the areas critical for oral language and reading, as well as the areas linked to mental imagery, which can boost children’s imagination and enable them to “see” the story.

Children’s imaginations are amazing things that respond brilliantly to being “sparked”. Anyone that’s played imagination games with children, even as they approach the teenage years, will know that the scope of their imagination can be beyond anything you remember from your childhood. Pebbles on the beach can become ships on the sea, a cardboard box can become a sports car and the most simple pieces of furniture can be a roller coaster. When the imagination kicks in, children can start imagining past and future events, and this also gets their cognitive development fired up. New knowledge is learned through the imagination, as curiosity comes out and they begin to engage in objects and situations on another level. By taking their imagination to a totally new place through reading, you’re offering them the chance to engage in new worlds and characters, potentially creating more acceptance of the unknown to the child, and also giving them the chance to make up their own. Have you ever read a book with a child and stopped before the ending to ask them how they think it’ll end? Or as how certain characters might behave in different situations? All of this helps to set their problem-solving brain off, and get them thinking in a way that they hadn’t before. Exercising the brain like this helps to encourage analytical and emotional thought. By feeding all these parts of the brain you’re helping to give the child a wealth of skillsets and growth, all from reading a book and firing up the imagination!

children's illustrator
Vocabulary Support

Norwegian research which looked at 1,171 first-grade pupils and their parents found that children whose parents read to them in early childhood and who grew up in homes with lots of books were better-prepared to learn to read when starting school, in part due to having a larger vocabulary. Children who were read to before age two, and who had access to plenty of children’s books had a vocabulary that is almost twice that of those who have less books at home and who were only read aloud to after the age of four years, added the researchers. A wide vocabulary helps boost children’s reading, and ups school performance, as children understand more of what is happening and find it easier to keep up in class.

Check out our gallery pages to see all the books we have worked on, and click on each one to find out how to buy that book!

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "You do have a very positive feel about everything you do. I do wish you continued success in all your work. All the best, SimonSimon James, Famous Children’s Book Illustrator

  • "Yes!!!! Wow…Love it!!! ..thanks so much, I absolutely the character design you have done for us!!! xx” Lisa Dell, Cornish Firewood

  • "Sarah provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could" Discovery Leisure

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • "I am absolutely THRILLED TO BITS with your illustrations! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!”
    - Susanna Jennicrai, Book Author

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • Got home tonight and the books had arrived. Absolutely love them. My girlfriend loves your illustrations.” - Andrew Jeffery: 'Wolfboy Book'

  • "i really like ur books my mommy reads them 2 me all the time ur really good at drawling and i want 2 be like u when i grow up :-)"  Natassia Flegal (hd fan)

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "Sarah is quality.  Not just her design but she is a pleasure to work with."
    - Bob Harper, Portfolio Marketing

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "Our brand wouldn't be the same without her on-going input. Just fab xx”
    - Justine Rogers, Dainty Dizzy

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • “Logos received with a BIG thanks, Basically I love them all” 
    Helen Chuah, Giggling Baby Products

  • "It won’t be a struggle working with Sarah, it’ll be a pleasure. Can’t recommend enough”
    - Richard Quick

  • "Thank you so much Sarah! What a fantastic set of illustrations for the first in our series of children’s books. We can’t wait to work with you on the second book!" Jane Archer-Wilms & Marlies Veenhof