4 Tips For Selecting Books For Kids
Not every child likes to read, but it's important for kids to keep reading, even when school is not in session. Picking out the right book for the right kid can be as tough as picking out the right toy. Here are 4 tips on selecting books for kids.
Keep It Interesting
A book does not have to win awards or show up on experts' lists to be a "good" book. Good books are the ones children enjoy, and they are more likely to enjoy a book if it features things that catch their attention. Children who are fascinated by cars and trains are likely to enjoy books about railroads and car racing. Books about dogs, a pet shop, and exotic creatures delight animal lovers.
The Right Fit
When picking books for children, keep their reading levels in mind. Something too simple will bore them, and something too difficult will discourage them. Most children's books are marked with the appropriate reading age or grade level. However, a child's grade level and reading level are not always the same. Try using the "five-finger rule" to help you tell if a book is too easy or difficult for your child. Ask the child to read the second page and hold up a finger for each word they do not know. If they hold up five or more fingers, they need to look for a different book. Ask his or her teachers if you have any questions on what reading levels your children are on.
One important guide to selecting a book for a child is what books and stories the child has already read and enjoyed. If they like one book by an author, chances are they will enjoy other works by the author. Many beloved children's writers wrote more than one book, and living writers often have new books coming out all the time. If your child does not yet have a favorite author, check out this list of the 10 best authors of children's literature for writers you may want to introduce them to.
The Comfort Zone
Checking out the actual content of a book for a child is an often-overlooked step. Before handing a book to a child, ask yourself this question: "Will I be comfortable with my child reading this book?" Most libraries have a wide variety of books printed over the last decades, as well as the latest bestsellers. Over the last few years, the subjects and words considered suitable for children have changed a lot. Even if a book does not have a reputation as a "problem" book that is frequently banned, there may be some sections your child is not ready put in proper context. Older books may have antiquated ideas that are unacceptable today. On the other hand, some new books may have scenes you think are too mature. Skim through a book to make sure the material is right for your child.
Children become readers one book at a time. Making sure they have a supply of good books encourages them to keep reading until it becomes a habit they do not want to break.