The importance of supporting children’s reading engagement and reading comprehension from the early years is widely acknowledged, particular for children growing up in areas characterized by socioeconomic challenges. This mission is collectively shared by teachers and librarians, although with differing starting points and responsibilities. This paper draws on a Swedish study of librarians’ book talks with eight-year-old students in Grade 2 and their teachers, and the views these participants express on reading and children’s literature. The methods used were observation and interview. In the analysis, different views appear regarding what reading is and might mean, such as the role that children’s literature plays in this. The results indicate two prominent narratives regarding reading, where one has a clear emphasis on being able to read and where the other stresses the pleasure of reading. Both these discourses display a narrowness regarding genres other than fiction literature, languages other than Swedish, and formats other than printed books. Further, an image of the reading child as an individual reader appears in both discourses. The results highlight the need for a broader approach that integrates functional reading with processes of reflection and active language use, drawing on the content in children’s literature, with an awareness of multilingual considerations. It is argued that children’s literature plays an important role in children developing a view of themselves as readers, and discovering that there are many ways to be a reader.
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