Tips for Helping Your Child Pick Books to Read

Selecting appropriate literature for your child holds a considerable significance, as making accurate choices in the initial attempts can potentially ignite the early embers of a sustained passion for reading that lasts a lifetime. The question then arises: in the midst of an overwhelming assortment of titles and genres, how does one discern a truly commendable children’s book?

The books that tend to etch themselves deeply into a person’s memory from their formative years typically boast a vibrant tapestry of imagery, narratives that brim with excitement, and a cast of characters that manage to captivate young minds. [1] These aspects collectively contribute to forging a strong connection between the reader and the story, creating an experience that lingers well beyond the pages of the book itself. As a result, a reasonable selection of children’s literature becomes an exercise not just in acquiring knowledge, but also in fostering imagination, empathy, and a lifelong affinity for the written word.

Why Is Picking Books For Your Child Difficult?

Selecting the right books for your child can be a challenging endeavor due to several key reasons. First and foremost, the task involves the delicate balance of finding literature that captures your child’s interest and aligns with their current reading proficiency. [2] The challenge lies in identifying titles that strike the perfect equilibrium between engaging content and appropriate complexity. Additionally, as a parent, you aim to provide reading material that not only entertains but also enriches your child’s cognitive development and literacy skills. 

Furthermore, the vast array of available titles spanning diverse genres, themes, and styles can be overwhelming. The sheer volume of options makes it difficult to pinpoint the books that will resonate with your child amidst the sea of possibilities. [3] Hence, the desire to encourage your child’s exploration and expansion of interests further complicates the selection process. Seeking books that align with their hobbies, passions, or curiosities requires a deep understanding of their inclinations and a search for literature that both captures their attention and imparts knowledge.

Perhaps most significantly, the act of selecting a book should ideally be a collaborative one, wherein you either gauge your child’s inclinations and handpick options you believe they’ll relish, or, better yet, grant them the autonomy to choose on their own. It’s a well-known truth that children and adolescents are more likely to engage with and read books they’ve personally selected.

What Does BEST And CLAP Stands For? 

To facilitate a mindful selection process, consider the following pointers encapsulated within the acronyms “BEST” and “CLAP”:

BEST:

Blurb: Delve into the description provided in the blurb of the book. Does it possess the allure to draw you into its narrative?

Emotion: Reflect on your current emotional state. Are you seeking a source of laughter, or are you in the mood for something that evokes fear and suspense?

Series: Determine if the chosen book is part of a series. If it is, consider whether you’ve explored any of the preceding books and found enjoyment in them.

Topic: Evaluate whether the subject matter explored within the book aligns with your areas of interest and curiosity.

CLAP:

Cover: The book’s cover can provide ample hints to aid in your decision-making. Does the visual imagery and design resonate with you?

Length: Gauge whether the book’s length seems appropriate for your current reading preferences and attention span.

Author: Familiarize yourself with the author’s name. Have you encountered any of their previous works? Did you find them appealing?

Pictures: Examine whether the book includes any illustrations or if there are images on the cover. Do these visuals pique your interest?

By employing these strategies and considering these factors, you can effectively support your child in identifying books that align with their passions, capabilities, and preferences, fostering a deeper connection with literature and a lifelong love for reading.

Tips on Picking the Perfect Books for Your Child

Assist your children in selecting books that are an ideal match for them by adhering to these strategies:

1. Select literature that imparts valuable lessons to children. Be it imbibing a timeless moral from stories such as “The Tortoise and the Hare,” or understanding concepts like numbers, fruits, and days of the week through “The Hungry Caterpillar,” exceptional books seamlessly provide learning opportunities. Choose books that communicate important messages or subtly introduce crucial skills such as the alphabet, counting, colors, and the shifting seasons.

2. Discover books that align with your child’s reading level. Employ the Five Finger Rule if your child intends to read independently. Should the book contain a handful of challenging words, engage in shared reading by reading it aloud together. Introducing children to more intricate language within a meaningful context can be beneficial. However, if you anticipate that the language and concepts might overwhelm their ability to relish the story, opt for a more accessible book to prevent deterring them from reading altogether.

3. Opt for quality books that facilitate relatability. Select titles that enable your child to venture into diverse realms and lives while maintaining a sense of familiarity that allows them to identify with the characters. Whether the narrative unfolds in an imaginary realm of fantastical creatures or magical beings, if the characters’ aspirations and dreams are relatable, your child’s engagement with the story will likely extend until its conclusion.

4. Choose books that diverge from your own preferences. According to children’s author Libby Gleeson, a prudent approach in selecting suitable literature for children involves refraining from exclusively introducing them to the books you cherished during your own youth. Your child might not share the same enthusiasm for the classics you adored, and as Gleeson astutely observes, “The world has changed and children have changed.” Embracing a fresh perspective on literary choices acknowledges the evolving nature of reading preferences and allows for a more relevant and captivating reading experience for your child.

Why Is Picking Books For Your Child Difficult

5. Pick entertaining books to read aloud. Consider the countless instances your child has eagerly requested another round of Dr. Seuss stories. Books characterized by rhyming patterns or a melodious rhythm offer a delightful experience when read aloud and listened to. Infuse your reading sessions with enthusiasm, employing distinct voices for various characters, thereby infusing the act of reading with vibrant life and engaging your child’s imagination in a more immersive way.

6. Explore current trends in children’s books. Initiate conversations with your child’s teacher, librarian, or fellow parents to gain insight into the latest popular reads. Alternatively, embark on online searches for compilations of award-winning children’s books or peruse platforms such as book review websites to glean recommendations from other parents. You can also tap into platforms like TikTok to catch a glimpse of what’s currently trending in the realm of children’s literature.

7. Search for children’s books that boast compelling illustrations. Crisp and vibrant visuals that align with the narrative hold particular significance for young readers between the ages of 4 and 8. Opt for books that showcase well-executed illustrations that harmonize with the storyline, as these visuals can significantly enhance the reading experience. Additionally, wordless books present an excellent avenue for fostering your child’s language proficiency, as they necessitate readers to decipher the illustrations as the story unfolds, stimulating their imagination and linguistic comprehension.

8. Allow your child to choose their books. In essence, what characterizes a truly valuable children’s book is one that aligns with your child’s personal inclinations. At the core, a quality children’s book is any age-appropriate title that genuinely captures your child’s interest and enthusiasm. Grant your child the autonomy to decide which books they wish to explore, as this act of choosing to read holds immense significance in fostering a lasting affection for reading throughout their life journey.

Conclusion

Selecting books for your children transcends parent-child bonding; it guides their intellectual growth. This highlights the importance of involving them in choosing their own books. Engaging with books holds significance beyond enjoyment; it shapes their development as they grow. Throughout life’s stages, books become companions, mentors, and wellsprings of inspiration. Hence, granting them autonomy to choose their reading material is crucial. The provided tips ease your role as a parent in leading your children to a brighter future through book selection.

References

[1] https://readingeggs.com/articles/2014-10-15-how-to-choose-books-for-kids/

[2] https://www.kumon.co.uk/blog/how-to-help-your-child-choose-books-that-are-right-for-them/ 

[3] https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/raise-a-reader-blog/choosing-just-right-books-young-readers.html 

[4] https://www.readingrockets.org/topics/childrens-books/articles/finding-right-book-your-child