It's often said that if a child likes to read, half the battle of learning is won.

You can help your preschool child get interested in books by reading to them and by encouraging them to read and play. The nonprofit organization Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. has some tips on honing your child's pre-reading skills.

Children often ask questions when you're reading and that's OK. Be a patient listener because preschoolers often ramble while completing their thoughts. Give each child time alone for talking to you so they don't compete for your attention.

When you read to them, find stories about everyday experiences and those with main characters who are about your child's age. Youngsters also like tales about real or imaginary playful animals.

Make sure your child can see the book you are reading and read slowly. Encourage the child to guess what will happen next. And don't forget, children like to be read to even after they've learned how.

Parents can find out more about helping their child to read through RIF publications. You can obtain a catalog by writing to RIF, P.O. Box 23444, Washington, DC. 20026