5 Helpful Guidelines to Selecting Books for Your Child


5 Helpful Guide Lines for Selecting Books for Your Child
1. Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover. The illustrations should be beautiful and engaging. There should be details to spark further conversations with your child.
2. Read a few pages. Make sure the amount of words are appropriate for the age of your child. Also check the language being used. It is always better to talk up to your child and explain unfamiliar words than it is to talk down and lose a learning opportunity.
3. Aim for stories based in reality. Children are constantly absorbing the world around them and distinguishing the reality from fantasy. Books based on real life experiences are great!
4. Follow your child’s interests. Select books based on what is most interesting to your child at that time to encourage frequent reading.
5. Make sure you enjoy it! Children love reading stories again and again – get something you like and can tolerate repeating! 🙂

It can be more than just reading!

The goal when encouraging children to spend time with books is to develop their language skills as well as instill a love for literature. We all have stories we remember reading as children, and this is a wonderful place to start with your own child.

A low book shelf or attractive basket with beautifully displayed books will naturally draw your child in. Start with ten or fifteen and rotate out as time goes on. It’s fun to put in new books with the change of seasons and holidays!

Respect for books is an important part of introducing literature to children. Take the time to teach and reteach your child how to properly turn the pages and take care of a book. Explain the differences between the author and illustrator, share any dedications from the book creators, determine if is a story of fiction on non-ficton.

Find a variety of illustrations – watercolors, paper art, graphic, hand drawn. Books with real photography are great finds! Here’s a few illustrators we love.

Incorporate books into your daily routine. Reading the same story each night can signify the end the day and provide comfort to a child.

Selecting Books by Age

Board books are wonderful for infants and toddlers. At this age it is more about the rhythm of a story being read. For that reason nursery rhymes are great! Children at this age will watch your mouth move and connect to the words they are hearing. Introducing books early on will continue a love for reading into the next plane of development.

Children from the ages of 2-4 are spending most of their time classifying the world around them. They are figuring out their place, how things work, and what is real vs. their own imagination. I’m sure anyone who has interacted with a child this age knows how confident and elaborate they can be when it comes to telling tall tales. For this reason, it is best to avoid books of fantasy at this point. Instead chose books with beautiful realistic photos that will inspire conversation. We partner up with Usborne Books every year and absolutely love this series!


From the ages of 4-6, most children are able to identify the difference between fantasy and reality and it is an appropriate time to introduce fairy tales. Children at this age can also begin to appreciate humor in a story. This is also a wonderful time to start encouraging your child to read with you. Select books with short words he/she can be in charge of reading. There are many wonderful series meant to be read-along stories for parents and children. Here are a few of our favorites:

Check out our Instagram each Tuesday for our Weekly Book Club! Each week we will post a tried and true book recommendation from our classroom. If you have any favorite children’s books please share them in the comments below!

Small World

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