If you’ve been following me on social media, I’m sure it’s no stranger to you that I enjoy collecting books for Noa. Our book collection is a mixture of brand new and mostly second-hand ones that I get from Fully Booked or Books For Less. Reading books is something that I really enjoy when I find time since I was younger. This habit is something that I want Noa to love, too.
When Noa was a little baby, we enjoyed reading Karen Katz’s picture books as well as Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” We read books anytime of the day, but our favorite is bedtime. We can read 3-5 books in one sitting so just imagine how many books we already have at home. She also requests a repeat for each book before we move on to another just like her current favorite, The Gruffalo.
But in the presence of an overwhelming number of book titles and authors available today, how do you choose a book to read with or give to your child? Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Remember your own childhood books. — If you still don’t have an idea on what first set of books to buy for your child, why don’t you start by remembering the books that you’ve read and loved when you were still young. In my case, I grew up reading a lot of classic fairy tale stories like The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel & Gretel. This can also be a conversation topic with your child as you share why you loved that particular story as a kid. I’m sure you’ll love the nostalgic feeling as you do a throwback because now you’re already a parent reading YOUR book to your own child.
2. Read on what the experts recommend on children’s books. — During your spare time, I suggest checking out the recipients or winners of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the John Newbery Medal. These award-giving bodies are the most prestigious and well-known ones in the United States to recognize the outstanding books written for children.
You can look for the Caldecott Medal Seal to identify the award-winning books like Madeline (1954).
Caldecott Medal’s First and Recent Winners: The Animals of The Bible by Dorothy P. Lathrop (1938) & The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (2015).
- The Randolph Caldecott Medal annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children” since 1937. This prestigious award is given to notable children’s books and was named after Randolph Caldecott (22 March 1846 – 12 February 1886), a 19th Century British artist and illustrator whose skill was even applauded by the Royal Academy.
- The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is given to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
This award is named after John Newbery (9 July 1713 – 22 December 1767), an English children’s book publisher. His publishing contributions made children’s literature a sustainable and profitable part of the literary market. This earned him the title, “The Father of Children’s Literature.“
Newbery Medal Winners: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon (1922) & The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (2015)
You can also consider checking out the compilation list made by several reputable websites like Time Magazine’s 100 Best Children Books of All Time. This book list published by TIME is one of my personal favorites.
3. Take a trip to the bookstore with your child. — If you haven’t visited a bookstore with your child yet, this is a sure-fire way to know what books he enjoys reading. Let him pick his own book and interact with him by asking simple questions about his chosen book.
Or you can also set a time to visit a nearby library to raise awareness in your child that aside from your home and his school, the community also values book reading. Take note of the kind or type of book your child picks and make sure to keep them in mind as you buy his next set of readings. Shopping in book fairs or a publisher’s warehouse sale is also a great idea.
In this digital age where almost everything happens in a click of a button, I still enjoy hearing the sound of flipping pages of a book. I really hope that the kids of today would never outgrow the love for reading books and visiting bookstores and libraries.
Let me give you some children’s book recommendations to have in your home. I personally use this list as I complete Noa’s home library.
100 Best Children Books of All Time
TIME Magazine compiled a survey in consultation with respected peers such as U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, children’s-book historian Leonard Marcus, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, the Every Child a Reader literacy foundation and 10 independent booksellers.
I will spare you from a hundred click on their website, so here it goes down to four!
[table id=5 /]
Note: This table has four (4) pages so please make sure to check them out.
You can also visit the following links for some awesome book titles that you can get for your children:
- Caldecott Medal Winners (1939–present)
- Newbery Medal Winners (1922–present)
- Time Magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time
- Scholastic 100 Greatest Books for Kids
- New York Public Library 100 Greatest Children’s Books
- Amazon Best Sellers: Children’s Books
What are your favorite books to read with your children? Do you have any suggestion or recommendation to add? Feel free to join in the conversation and let’s fill this nation with book-loving children!
Happy Reading with your kids, Musers! ♥