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children's literacy

Finding the Good Stuff: How I Choose Books For My Kids


Since I’m an avid reader, it’s important for me to intentionally approach my children’s literacy.  My ultimate goal for them is simple: to create lifelong readers and learners.

Like many parents, I have high goals for my kids’ learning–a lengthening attention span, a love of language and the intricacies of words, and a developing vocabulary. Reading them good quality books helps us head in the direction of these goals.

When it comes to choosing high quality books I usually steer clear of any dumbed-down literature for my children.  In the literary world, those types of books are referred to as “twaddle”, a coin termed by Charlotte Mason during the 19th century.

Examples of “dumbed-down” books include most books based on kids’ television shows (Thomas the Train, Doc McStuffins, etc.), abridged versions of classic books that simplify the language and meaning, and books that don’t leave scope for a child’s imagination.

As a parent, it’s my job to nourish my kids’ minds as well as their bodies.  Therefore, I pay attention to the quality of reading material they digest.

When choosing books I do any of the following:

  • Look for children’s books with text, illustrations, and topics that appeal to me.  Yes, it’s important for me to like the book too since I’ll be the one reading it aloud.  If I don’t enjoy it, the kids will be able to tell and they won’t enjoy it either.
  • I follow the kids’ interests.  For example: whenever the kids show signs of a new interest, I jot it down. Then I go to the library and do some research on different books.
  • Browse different book lists.  No need to reinvent the wheel, right?  There are so many wonderful book lists have been written to help you discover the best books for kids.  I refer to these often.

I truly believe by giving kids the best literature from the beginning, they’ll grow up to choose it for themselves.

I hope this helps you in your search of great children’s books for your little ones.  Now, head to your local library, bookstore or online store and fill your world with the good stuff!

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