Whether you are reading to your preschooler or elementary aged child, point out the vocabulary associated with reading that will later help your child become a good writer. Point out the title and the author. Talk about what an author and illustrator does. Take time to examine the pictures and describe them. Recently, I found a new book in the library called Lola and Fred by Heuer. It is a delightful wordless book that I have used with children of many ages, since they become the author as they tell the story from the pictures. Kids were fascinated at the story behind the illustrator. He is from Switzerland where not one but four national languages are commonly spoken so a book without words appeals to everyone and leaves no one out! Take time to read about the author or illustrator and share it with your child. The insight about where they live, what they like or how they got started writing can be an inspiration to your little one.
Talk about the beginning, middle and end of the story, who the characters are, what problem they faced and how they solved it. Take the story a little further and ask your child how they would feel in the same situation or point out a similar theme in their everyday world of activities. Bringing books to their life makes the stories real and stimulates their imagination to create stories launched from their own experiences.