How To Choose A Picture Book
An award winning author, Ellen Jackson, offers advice that early childhood teachers can give to parents about choosing good picture books for preschool children.
How To Choose A Picture Book by Ellen Jackson
People need stories and books to help them make sense of the world - and children are no exception. Books can be a wonderful way for parents and children to share feelings, concerns, and emotions. For a child, nothing can be as safe and cozy as reading a special book with Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa and learning something about the world at the same time.
Children who love books at an early age are likely to love them when they are older too. But choosing the right book for a preschool child can sometimes seem like a difficult task.
The first thing you should know is that there are no rules to follow in choosing a book. Any book your child likes is the right one for him or her. But if you want to expand your child's horizons, you may need some help. The following is meant as a general guideline to help you find appropriate, quality books that will interest your particular child.
PICTURE BOOK STORIES
A good story for preschool children should have a fast moving plot and an up-beat ending (even if the story deals with a difficult subject). Ask yourself these questions:
Will you enjoy reading this book to your child? If you like the book, chances are good that you will communicate your enthusiasm to your child.NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Nonfiction books for young children cover a wide range of topics. Some help children deal with a common problem-a new baby in the house, the first day of school, the death of a pet, etc. Others provide basic information about science, sports and other topics. A good nonfiction book takes a child on an exciting journey of discovery.
Questions to consider:
Is the writing clear and straightforward? Is the topic one that will interest your child?
Ask the librarian or bookstore owner to recommend a book for your preschool child. Be prepared to name some special interests of your child. Ask the librarian or bookstore owner why she recommended a particular book. She should be able to give you a reason: "It has a wonderful ending." "The illustrations are great and the story makes kids laugh."
Read the book yourself before buy it or taking it home. Trust your judgment. If the book doesn't seem right for you and your child, leave it on the shelf and choose another one.
Librarians and bookstore owners can give you information about award winning books. But take this information with a grain of salt. Some awards are given mostly for the illustrations, and the story may not be as appealing as the artwork. No matter how many award a book has won, it may not be right for you.
GREAT BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN - (some personal favorites)
The Stray Dog
by Marc Simont
If You Give a Mouse A Cookie by
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Leo The Late Bloomer by Robert
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
by Doreen Cronin
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Julius the Baby of the World by
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by
Alexander and the Terrible,
Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Day by Judity
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