Updated: Dec 8, 2022
These questions are only suggestions - to give you an idea of the types of things you could talk about when sharing a picture book with your child.
Not all of them will be appropriate for the age or reading readiness of your child - but you will know which ones are most suitable for your own situation.
Front and back covers
If it's a book you haven't shared before, you can talk about the front cover. Read the title. For older children you can point out the author and illustrator names and talk about what an author and illustrator is.
Have we read any other books by this author? If so - do you remember any of them? Which one was your favourite?
What makes you think this book might be interesting?
Look at the illustration on the front cover. Ask:
What do you think the book might be about?
Who do you think the main character might be?
What do you like about the cover?
What things can you see - animals, people, objects etc
Look at the back cover. Read out the blurb.
Is the story what you thought it might be from looking at the cover? (was the prediction correct?)
Does the blurb make you want to read on?
Look at the pictures. What can you see?
Here is an illustration from my book, Baby Worries. Underneath are some questions you could ask about the illustration. You only need to ask one or two - not all of them! Ask one or two the first time you read the book together, then next time you read it, you could ask some different questions.
What is happening in the picture?
Who are the people in the picture?
What do you like about the picture?
What do you think might happen next?
What do you think the baby is thinking/ feeling?
Does the baby look happy/ sad/ thoughtful?
What is the person in the jeans (Kate) doing to the baby
What things can you see on the shelves in the background?
Can you find the keys? Who do you think the keys might belong to?
Can you find the cat? Where is she?
Why do you think the cat has gone inside there?
Do you have a cat that likes to hide?
What room do you think this is in the house? The kitchen, the hallway, the living room, bedroom? What tells you this?
Where might the doorway lead to?
Do you like the clothes the people are wearing?
Do you have any clothes like that?
What do you think might be inside the handbag?
Find the umbrella holder. Do you have one in your house? What is it like?
What pattern can you see on the floor? What do you think the floor might be made from?
What colours can you see in the picture?
How many things can you find that are blue/ orange/ yellow/ etc
How many - books on the shelf, umbrellas, photo frames, black tiles, white tiles.
Each story is different, but there are some general questions you can ask as you read.
Tell me what has happened so far.
What do you think will happen next?
Which character do you like best? Why?
Which part of the story did you like best? Why?
What is your favourite illustration in the book? Why do you like it the best?
Would you like to be friends with any of the characters? Which one(s)? Why?
Have you learnt any new words?
What was the most interesting thing you learned from reading the story?
Do you think other children would like to read this story? Why?
Did you like the way the story ended?
If you could act out a part of the story, which part would it be?
Can you think up a different ending?
Would you like to read the story again one day?
Was there anything that surprised you in the book?
If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?
If you could ask the illustrator a question, what would it be?
Do you have a friend you think would like to read this book? Why do you think they would like it?
What the book a thumbs up or a thumbs down?
Can you think of one word to describe the main character?
Where does the story take place? Can you tell me what it's like?
Did you learn anything new from reading this book?
Does this story remind you of any other stories?
I hope these sample questions give you some good ideas for reading with your child. If you think it was useful, please feel free to share this blog page with others - thanks!