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What is book-sharing?

‘Dialogic’ book-sharing is a special kind of interaction between an adult and a young child using a picture book. It is not simply ‘reading’ to a child who listens passively – instead, it is an active exchange, led by the child, and supported by an adult who is attentive to their interests and communication.

This enjoyable and simple activity has been proven to improve children’s language and cognitive development, and help children understand and get along with other people better.

Following more than three decades of research on the impact of dialogic book-sharing in high-income countries, we have been at the forefront of research on book-sharing in low- and middle-income countries.

Our programme has been adopted by the World Health Organisation’s Parenting for Lifelong Health Initiative, a suite of evidence-based programmes designed for developing countries.