In their view, it should be entertaining, didactic, informative, and therapeutic, and it should help the child grow and develop. A children’s book should also strengthen the child’s feelings of empathy and identification.” (qt. from Oittinen, 2000, p. 65). Stories that depict various issues that relate to the children’s life situation help them deal with “threats to their well-being positively and successfully can release their coping skills” (Honig, 2000, p.47).
Giorgins & Glazer (2008) suggest some tips for choosing stories to be read to young children. Those with simple word phrasing, strong beginnings, and satisfying endings capture and hold children’s attention. Preschool-aged children enjoy stories with whimsical plots and repetitive words that they can easily predict and follow. Children aged six and older can tolerate stories with a little violence because they are aware that it is only make-believe. They can already distinguish reality from fantasy.
Teachers use different strategies in engaging children in literature. The most common is the outright read-aloud of stories to them. Militante (2006) identifies 3 read aloud styles: Interactional, Performance, and Co-Constructive. These strategies describe various behaviors observed from teachers as storytellers. The following have been proven effective in storytelling with children.
With the Interactional Storytelling strategy, teachers read and discuss stories with their students, keeping them involved in the reading process. This style included limited talk, group recall of text that is predictable, recall of recently read the text and more discussion about the organization of the text.