Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So Many Books! - How Do We Decide?

The Scholastic book fair is always an exciting event at Washington school!
 So many choices, how can we decide?

     A child's book is something special--uniquely rewarding and pleasurable. It is never too soon to introduce children to books. Here are some basic points to keep in mind when making selections for children.
Babies and Preschoolers
  • They are attracted by brightly colored pictures of simple objects.
  • They are listeners, if a book with simple text and good rhythm is selected for them.
  • They are visually and mentally stimulated by wordless books that encourage them to create their own stories.
  • They are delighted with board books or cloth books (which have the virtue of being practically indestructible.)
Nursery School and Kindergarten
  •  Mother Goose, nursery stories, and other books depicting familiar objects and experiences are enjoyable to this age child.
  • These children like listening to slightly more complex texts with good rhythm and effective word repetition.
  • They are also coordinated enough to have constructive fun with pop-up and other paper engineered books.
Early School Years (Ages 5-8)
  • There are children who begin to read as early as nursery school and others who may not be reading until the first grade or later. 
  • For reading to the latter type of child, select picture books with strong story lines and character development.
  • For the child who is reading independently, choose a book with a straight forward story employing words that will be familiar from everyday use.
  • Third graders can usually handle stories of some complexity; the vocabulary should  be relatively familiar while including some challenging words.
  • Non-fiction books encourage children to read about topics that interest them and satisfy their curiosity about countless objects.
Older Children (Ages 9-12 and older)
  • Consider who the child is--his or her personality traits and personal preferences.
  • Make your selections with the child in mind; choose a non-fiction book or a novel in an area of specific interest.
*Adapted from Choosing a Child's Book, The Children's Book Council, Inc. New York, NY.