Oh, the piles of books! If you were to stop by our home at any given point during the week, it's likely that you'll see several piles of books scattered throughout. Just excuse the mess, if you will. Yes, we have bookshelves. And I do encourage the girls to put them away, but sometimes we just need all the books. Am I right?
So, how did we get here? When my oldest children were small, we'd all load into the minivan and head to our local library. I had only two girls at the time and without fail, they would run directly to the "candy books," as I've heard them called. Candy books? Yes, you know them. These are the typically well-worn books filled with the latest popular characters.
Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with candy books. We have read and enjoyed them on many occasions, but most of these books are not written to challenge our readers. It's important to offer some diversity and depth in our children's book choices to develop their "taste buds" and to help them grow into lifelong readers. But how?
One piece of advice that I'm going to offer today is to find reliable booklists. Naturally, we want to offer books that interest our children, but we also want to be sure that they are content-appropriate. It is almost impossible to pre-read every book that you place into your child's hands. This is especially true if your child has a great love for reading or if you have several children. Moms, don't beat yourself up for this.
Book lists are a fantastic resource and they are scattered all over the internet. But beware- not every booklist has your child's heart or character development in mind. My favorite booklist, thus far, is Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. Within this book, Hunt discusses how to choose appropriate books for our children and how to encourage them to enjoy reading. The books that she recommends come from many different genres and they encourage children to make good use of their imaginations and vocabularies.
This is one that sits on my bedside table at all times. Seriously, go check it out. What are your favorite resources when searching for great books?