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You can make a pre-reader which your child can then 'read' to you, by using the publishing program on your computer.

Children love the feeling of ownership, having helped to make the book, and the experience of being able to read it with little help.

To make the pre-reader, use a publishing rogram such as Publisher, and select a book format. You can choose the number of pages in your book, usually about 16.

Create a cover page, with your child choosing a favourite piece of clip art. Give the pre-reader a simple title such as "I Like" or "My Book" and include the child's name on the cover (By John Smith, for example).

Now, create the book together. On each new page, let your child choose a clip art picture that they like. Make the picture fairly large - to cover most of the page. Then type the text below the picture.

If the picture was of a cat, the text would be: I like cats. If it was an elephant, the text would be: I like elephants.

Continue this pattern until each page has a picture and a sentence, then print, collate and staple. Read the book with your child, pointing at the pictures as you read the words, to help them recognise the pattern.

Next, have the child read the book to you. Many four year olds will be able to 'read'the book straight away, but for others it will take a little longer.

Once your child grasps the concept and can 'read' the book to you, begin to point at the words as they read. This will encourage their awareness that the words tell the story as well as the pictures. Graduate to having them point at the words.

You can make other pre-readers with different texts. Possible patterns include:
This is a ....
I can see a ...
Here is a ...

For younger children try having just the picture and one word: cat, elephant, car; and for more confident readers, use more complex patterns, such as
a is for ant, b is for ball...
1 elephant, 2 ...

You could also use a scanner or digital camera to make a pre-reader about your child's family, favourite toys, and so on.