A beaming young girl holds up her book that she is very excited to read and her Storypod speaker

How to Strengthen Your Child’s Literacy Skills Using Their Favorite Books

Background Knowledge - What Is That? And What Does It Have to Do With Literacy Skills?

Does your child ask for more books on a particular subject, in their favorite series, or by their favorite authors? That’s good news for many reasons! It means your child is developing background knowledge about characters, situations, events, and people that they read about.

Background knowledge is when a child uses what they already know to infer or build additional meaning. This Is an important part of early childhood literacy. Asking for more of what they like to read about also means they are enjoying reading! When kids genuinely enjoy and are interested in their reading materials, they are more likely to experience the long term benefits of strong literacy skills.

Here are some easy ways to strengthen your child’s background knowledge using their favorite books:

  • Ask your child frequently what their favorite book is. Knowing this important information will help you understand and support their expanding background knowledge. As your child grows, learns, and develops, their favorite books will change and evolve as well. Staying up to date with what your child enjoys reading will help you become an invaluable resource in strengthening their background knowledge and literacy skills.
  • Don’t force your child to read. “The fastest way to lose a child is to tell a child to read", explains Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Try taking afternoon excursions to the library or bookshops and let your child organically discover, develop, and explore their own unique interests when it comes to their reading materials. This will help them to expand and strengthen their background knowledge.
  • Tell family and friends what kinds of books and topics your child likes to read about. Incorporating trusted family and friends into your child’s literacy skill development provides you and your child with new levels of support. This “literacy support team” can encourage and develop your child’s background knowledge and interests with relevant books given at birthdays, holidays, or other occasions.
A brother and sister sit on a couch reading a book, laughing hysterically and having a great time
In photo: Townie-Town read-along audiobook, Storypod speaker, and interchangeable sleeve.

Storypod can support your child’s background knowledge and early literacy skill development in the following ways:

Our interactive trivia cards can help your child build practical knowledge about the real world, from seasons to colors to numbers. Our stories frequently build upon one another, helping children bring knowledge from a previous story to a new book, like Meet Rambee Boo and Rambee Boo Loves Mom Too.

Our read-along audiobooks help children establish real-world connections between what they read & hear and their daily lives or school curriculum. Space Safari takes children on an exciting journey through time and space. Elee and the Shining Star discusses African animals and Princess discusses the necessity of conservation. Planetpals has creative songs about helping the environment, such as picking up trash.

Our Daniel Tiger Craftie models experiencing real-world scenarios for children, such as going to the doctor to get a shot, being angry or frustrated, learning to calm down, and how to articulate feelings. As children listen and understand the story, they can comprehend what it will be like to experience that event themselves, building on their developing background knowledge.


  1. Saroj Ghoting, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant, The Five Practices And The Early Literacy Components Support Each Other
  2. From CBS News: Jason Reynolds on stories told for, and by, young readers