Our wonderful guest contributor, Carol Zook, is back with a follow up to her last post “Read, Read, Read to Your Children and the Benefits of Doing So“! Learning to choose a good book is such an important factor in getting kids hooked on reading. Thank you, Carol, for your great tips on picking that perfect book!
CHOOSING A GOOD BOOK
Let your child choose:
- One of my former students came to Third grade reading way below grade level. On a trip to the library he found Captain Underpants. He read it and LOVED it. (Thank you, Dav Pilkey!) He devoured the rest of the series and went on to enjoy other books “with funny titles.” He ended up a year and a half above grade level at the end of school.
- Take advantage of school book fairs and the “book club” order forms your child brings home. You can find great values on wonderful books.
If you’re selecting a book as a surprise:
- Book for infants and toddlers should be sturdy, have bright illustrations and very few words.
- Picture books for young children should have good rhythm, great illustrations, an exciting story line and a satisfying (and/or surprising) ending.
- Chapter books should have a “grabber” at the beginning and problems to be solved by the young main character. Adults in the story should play minor roles. The ending should give a feeling of completion.
- Don’t be afraid of non-fiction. Children of all ages love to learn about the world they live in. There are so many great non-fiction titles now. It’s no longer a “text book” world.
- Children have wonderful imaginations, and can understand the difference between fantasy and reality. After reading a book, ask if the story is real or pretend. There’s room for both in a child’s life.
- If your child enjoys a book by a certain author or illustrator, look for other books by that person. Read the author’s bio at the end of the book. Share this information with your child. My students loved learning about the author and enjoyed writing to them. (And I know that authors LOVE hearing from their readers.)
- Sometimes you CAN judge a book by its cover. (Or at least by the synopsis on the jacket flap.)
And always remember…
The library is a free and wonderful resource. The librarian is always ready to help your child select a good book and to suggest enjoyable books.
Carol Zook grew up in a small town with two younger brothers. She realized she loved children’s books when she took Children’s Literature in college. One of her favorite part of the school day was reading aloud to her classes. She misses that so much. Carol is God’s child, Vaughn’s wife and was a “3 hour mom” to over 1,500 Kindergarten students. She has been published in Pockets, The Secret Place, Guardian Angel Kids e-zine, Learn Every Day About Numbers and Learn Every Day About Social Studies.
What are some of your kid’s favorite books?