Reading football books could help your little one develop their English skills

Football books could provide your reading-averse child with the entry route they need to the written word.

If your little one would rather be kicking a ball outside, pretending to kick one on the FIFA video game, or talking about football than reading a book, you're definitely not alone as a parent.

It's a problem that particularly affects boys. A parliamentary commission investigating boys' reading standards found that three out of four (76%) UK schools are concerned about boys’ underachievement in reading and that, in 2011, an estimated 60,000 boys failed to reach the expected level in reading at age 11.

Inquisitive minds

There's nothing wrong with exercise and competitive sport, video games or that. Each of those activities enhances and develops skills that will stand them in good stead as they get older.

But an engrained love of books is another attribute that will help them over the years. Possessing the inquisitive mind of a young reader is a big help through the education system. From basic comprehension in primary school, through to dissertation research at university, it is all far easier if you are accustomed to soaking up information from books (and even better if you enjoy doing so).

Reading football books might be the answer

If that spark for reading is currently missing in your child, reading football books might be the answer for them. For starters, it will show them that there are books about things that are of interest to them. They probably associate books with stuffy subjects that they find boring, so why not show them that this doesn't have to be the case?

Reading football books might be an easy way into reading, but it is by no means a concession. A book like World At Your Feet contains many of the literary devices your youngster will be starting to learn at school. Rhyme, similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, hyberbole, assonance and many more can be found on the pages.

Sinking in

Granted, your fledgling reader probably won't be aware of the use of those devices or getting to grips with the concept behind them (not when there are so many awesome goals being scored), but they will be sinking in on some level. 

You will be well aware that the more they read, the more those things will sink in. For now you can only focus on the first step of trying to get them hooked on books.

World At Your Feet is a children's football book written by Rob Parker and illustrated by Lawerta.