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Karen Allen, youth services manager for the Greenville County Library, provides solutions for parents’ preschooler struggles.

My child won’t sit still at the library!

“Bring them anyway!” Allen said. “We totally understand child development and what’s appropriate at different ages. We don’t expect them to sit still. We definitely don’t want people to stay away because the think their child won’t sit down.”

My child doesn’t like books!

“You don’t have to read the whole thing in a sitting,” Allen said. “You don’t want it to become a struggle.”

Tips to create interest in books:

Allen noted that some children who don’t enjoy fiction prefer books on a favorite subject.

Another of Allen’s ideas is putting the child in the parent’s lap to look at the book instead of reading it.

“Interact,” Allen said. “Look at colors or animals, not read. A lot of children will get interested that way because they aren’t being passive.”

How do I choose the right books?

Allen suggests starting more text-heavy books around age 3. Books like Dr. Suess, however, are fun for all ages.

Board books surprise!

Allen noticed a trend to of new board books with subject matter inappropriate for infants, for example, Jane Austen classics. Check the book before bringing it home, she advised.

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