This is one of the common questions I get often. So I thought I would jot it down.
Choosing a kid’s book is a huge process. No two kids like the same book. Some like board books, some like paperbacks, some like bright pictures, some like interactive books and some like wordless books. According to your kid, you can pick a book and start reading.
Selecting appropriate books for your child will put them on the road to learning, and build their vocabulary, and object recognition skills. It sparks their curiosity about the world and creates wonderful memories of you both reading it together.
You can select a book from a library or online bookstore, a pre-loved bookstore, or a thrift store. Reading reviews also helps in choosing a perfect book.
Before selecting books, randomly, ask these questions to yourself.
- Is that book age-appropriate for my child?
- Is it economical?
- What will my kid learn from this book?
- Are the illustrations appealing?
- Will it fascinate them?
- Will the book build basic literacy?
- Is it a book apt for reading aloud?
Sometimes book covers are appealing and we pick them randomly, reading nothing about them. Most of the time, we get lucky and we enjoy the read. There are times we dislike them or they may not be perfect for our kid. Once we find our kids’ tastes, picking books is a breeze.
I have categorized books based on levels and what worked for us.
BOOKS FOR BABIES:
- For babies less than three months, pick books that are black-and-white on pages.
- These black-and-white images help to strengthen the eye muscles.
- Books should have fewer words and fewer pictures on each page.
- Perfect books are vinyl books are cloth books.
- They don’t get destroyed while they chew the books.
BOOKS FOR OLDER BABIES:
Reading from a very young age has lots of benefits. A few points to take care of when choosing books for them are,
- Choose a bright colour and touch and feel the book.
- Babies love to touch different textures, and this helps them explore sensory play.
- Choose rhyming and repetitive books. They love to listen to repetitive words and respond well.
- Sound books are perfect for babies who love exploring the objects around them.
- Babies like to explore books by turning pages and touching them.
- Lift-the-flap, books and pop-up books are perfect for this age.
BOOKS FOR TODDLERS:
Toddlers will be in constant movement. Select books appealing to them and with bright pictures. Books that kindle their imagination is perfect.
- Choose books that have colourful pictures and fewer words.
- Interactive books are perfect for developing literacy.
- A Wordless book is perfect for them to tell the story according to their imagination.
- Choose books with a story that says what will come next. Those help them develop their imagination and their questioning skills.
- Any story with a short length attracts them and holds their attention.
A few topics to pick are,
Choose concept books like animals, feelings, colours, numbers, shapes and letters. Predictable text, rhymes and stories with funny-sounding words.
- You can also choose books about mealtime, potty time, park time, bedtime, and any other routine, too.
BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS:
They are growing up and they ask lots of questions. Any book with an interesting story is my cup of tea.
- Preschoolers enjoy books that have a lot of pictures, repetitions, and stories about themselves or other children their age.
- They like to hear the same book repeatedly: while this may seem tiresome to the reader, it is very beneficial to the child’s learning.
- A wonderful variety of books from different genres is also important to build their curiosity.
- Beautiful illustrations are fascinating for them and remember to choose a book with beautiful illustrations.
- We can read books on lots of topics at this age.
A few topics to pick from are,
- Real-life stories like fire engines, animals, weather, Emotions, bulldozers, seasons, construction vehicles, farm animals, Underwater Animals, Insects, Dinosaurs, etc.
- Stories about what animals do, how they help us, and what sounds they make are perfect for this age.
- Stories that have a repetition of sounds or words.
- ABC and counting books are perfect to introduce during this age.
- Books with pictures that almost tell the story.
- They love interactive books, wordless books, and sticker books.
- Wipe-and-use books are also good for early writing.
- Few kids love asking questions. It’s perfect for introducing non-fiction books.
Choose books that you both will enjoy together and not somebody suggested randomly on social media. Don’t make reading a chore. Make it fun.
WHERE DO I PICK BOOKS?
I love pre-loved book groups sold by a lot of independent booksellers who are usually stay-at-home moms. Apart from them, I wait for a sale on Amazon and Flipkart.
A few Indian publishers we love are,
A few Facebook / Instagram groups I love are,
Let me know how you select books for your kids and when you start reading to them.
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