How to Cultivate a Habit of Reading Fiction in Children (Age 5-7) - NariShakti How to Cultivate a Habit of Reading Fiction in Children (Age 5-7) | NariShakti Humane ClubMade in Humane Club
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How to Cultivate a Habit of Reading Fiction in Children (Age 5-7)

Co-authored with Ritvvij Parrikh.

Sabi’s passion for reading began four years ago, when she was a toddler. She discovered stories and deepened her love for reading in preschool. Soon, reading was no longer just a mealtime or travel activity. She consistently brought books to school and read during class.

Our role shifted to ensuring a steady supply of reading material, helping her plan her reading, and collaborating on ideas she wanted to explore.

Sourcing Books

To ensure cost-effectiveness, we took these measures:


Sabi’s family and friends knew of her love for reading and began to gift her books.

  • Her aunts gave her a box full of stories.
  • A school friend introduced her to the Amar Chitra Katha series on warriors.
  • Another friend shared the Ladybird classics with her.

Reading Parties 🥳 🎉:

We regularly organized book exchange sessions with Sabi’s friends, accompanied by light snacks and drinks. Friends brought their favorite books, and Sabi would indulge in them. In return, they had the liberty to pick a book from our collection.

Brown Mommies Unite

In search of new book recommendations, we reached out to Brown Mommies Unite, a forum for over 85,000 South Asian mothers globally who inspire and educate each other. We received a wealth of feedback, which helped us compile a comprehensive list of books.

10000ft for Data Dashboard: Reading list for 6 to 8 yo

Her Preferred Reads

Here is a glimpse of some books that resonated with Sabi:

World of Reading Avengers

Now, we had introduced her to the world of Marvel movies. As a consequence, she developed an insatiable appetite for comic books. We indulged her craving by purchasing Spider-Man Storybooks, 5-Minute Avengers Stories, and World of Reading Avengers. She devoured these books with great enthusiasm.


Geronimo Stilton Series

She particularly enjoyed the Geronimo Stilton sci-fi series, in which Geronimo and his crew time-travel to different eras in the past. The humorous phrases like “Mouldy Mozzarella” and “Great Cheese Balls” made her laugh, while the stories provided a fun way to learn about history.

Reading Geronimo Stilton

The Roald Dahl Series

Next, Sabi dived into the Roald Dahl Series, thinking she would tackle one book per month. Yet, in just four months, she breezed through them all. Three books stood out as her favorites:

  • Witches: After being exposed to a bit of Harry Potter, she developed a fascination with witches. This book provided a fascinating glimpse into the world of witches, including how to identify one.
  • Matilda: Having already watched and loved the Matilda movie, she felt a connection to the protagonist’s love of reading.
  • BFG: This whimsical tale about a Big Friendly Giant and an adventurous girl named Sophie captivated her with its quirky words like “frobscottle” and “snozzcumber.”

However, two books, Boy and Going Solo, didn’t hit the mark. Going Solo felt like it was stretched thin, and Boy had too much about rats, which wasn’t her thing.

Reading Plan For Children
Reading Roald Dahl Series

The Famous Five Series

In the summer of 2022, Sabi tore through all 21 books of The Famous Five Series in a month. These tales of cousins embarking on thrilling adventures during summer breaks sparked her imagination and made her daydream about her own escapades with her cousins.

Reading Famous Five

Unlike many children’s books, this series did not feature illustrations. However, the descriptions were so vivid and evocative that Sabi couldn’t resist sketching out the characters in her mind. George, an 11-year-old independent spirit, stood out to her. This young tomboy navigated boats with ease and bravely defended her family. Sabi admired her greatly.

Imagining The Characters Of The Famous Five

The Naughtiest Girl Series

Sabi discovered “The Naughtiest Girl Series” by Enid Blyton, and it gripped her. In just 10 days, she devoured the entire 10-book set. And no wonder—the protagonist, Elizabeth, is as fiery and headstrong as Sabi herself.

The story follows Elizabeth as she enters her boarding school as the most spoiled and rebellious kid on the block, determined to misbehave so much that she would be expelled. Sneaking around after bedtime, venturing into forbidden zones, and giving cheeky replies to her teachers became her norm. Elizabeth’s boldness didn’t stop at breaking rules; she even had the guts to talk back to her teachers.

And here’s the twist: Sabi started acting a lot like Elizabeth at her school. When we went for a parent-teacher meet, Sabi’s teacher said she was copying Elizabeth’s ways – being rude, talking back, and not vibing with everyone in class. Quite the plot twist, right? 🤯

Related: Are you turning into a Smoothie?


Secret Seven Series

Sabi dived into the Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton, a four-book set of mysteries featuring a team of young sleuths who cracked community cases from their HQ in Peter’s backyard. Each book offered a fresh adventure, from finding missing persons to recovering stolen items. With their badges and notebooks, these kids exemplified teamwork, ingenuity, and courage.

The series sparked Sabi’s imagination:

  • Secret Hiding Spots: She created secret nooks in our house.
  • Treasure Hunts: She hid seashells in the park for her friends to find.
  • Secret Meetings: She and her friends held private conversations in a park treehouse.
  • Builder Club: Inspired by the series, she founded the Builder Club and awarded badges to her fellow members.
  • Moral Lessons: The stories strengthened her resolve to do the right thing, even when her friends didn’t.

One time, while joining me for a coffee shop meet, her inner detective emerged. She spotted a suspicious-looking individual and, just like in the Secret Seven, began scribbling down her observations.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Sabi dove into the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, enticed by its humor and whimsical illustrations. However, red flags soon emerged. The protagonist, Greg, was manipulative, avoided accountability and sought validation from others. Beyond Greg’s antics, the stories failed to impart meaningful life lessons or strategies for navigating tricky situations.

Thus, the decision was made: the series was not a good fit for Sabi.


Sudha Murthy – My First Collection

We read positive reviews of Sudha Murty’s books and decided to pick up a few: Mythology Collection, Gopi Diaries, and My First Collection.

Murty’s stories highlight values and character, and they’re easy to read and captivating. Sabi read them all quickly and even wrote to the author requesting more children’s stories.

Here are Sabi’s top three picks:

  • The Gopi Diaries: this book shares touching stories about pets. After reading it, Sabi really wanted a dog. Coincidentally, a cat abandoned her kittens near our house around the same time. Sabi felt empathy for the kittens, so we had to take them to a shelter.
  • The Sage With Two Horns: this book includes a tale about Kannagi and Kovalan from the Chola and Pandya dynasties.
  • The Upside-Down King: this book piqued Sabi’s curiosity about different dynasties, such as the solar and lunar ones.

Harry Potter Series

Before embarking on the Harry Potter book series, Sabi had watched all the movies at her older cousin’s urging. To her surprise, the books far surpassed the films, immersing her in a magical journey. Despite their captivating allure, Sabi felt that she didn’t gain much else from them.


Other books she read

  • “The Treehouse” Series
  • “Magic Treehouse” Series
  • The “Big Nate” Series
  • High Tide in Hawaii
  • The Knight at Dawn
  • Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 2)
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities VOL 1
  • A Curly Tale / Gole Mole

The Journey of Discovering a Comfortable Reading Position

Sabi embarked on a quest to find her optimal reading posture. Over the span of six months, she experimented with various positions.

Eventually, she embraced a posture that many find comfortable.