Children's Books

A look at the best books for kids

One of the most enjoyable and beneficial activities we can share with our children is reading books together. A good book opens a young mind to a world of imagination and knowledge. It can amaze and delight, entertain and inform. A best-loved book becomes a good friend, and later, a cherished childhood memory. For parents, kids books are a way to spend quality time with our children. Nothing matches the joy of seeing a young child engage excitedly with the story and illustrations, anticipating favorite lines.

Excellent childrens books are available for every age group. Whether your child has a wild imagination or prefers to learn about the physical world, there are books to get him or her reading.

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0 to 3 Years

It's never too early to start reading to your child. Even babies can enjoy looking at picture books and hearing your voice as you read aloud. Cloth books for very young babies may seem to be merely teething toys, but baby is learning about turning and exploring pages.

The best books for preschoolers are very short and repetitive. They focus on simple, concrete themes and often have very simple illustrations as well. Many classics for babies and toddlers are available as board books. These editions are printed on heavy-duty, unrippable cardboard to stand up to abuse.

Some favorite childrens picture books include:

4 to 8 Years

Primary school children are able to follow a more complex story line. The pictures are still important for interest, but they no longer convey the whole story. As your child gets older, he or she will become more adept at reading independently, but most school kids still love being read to.

Look for these classics for young readers:

9 to 12 Years

By this age, many children are reading "real" chapter books. You can still make this a shared activity, reading one chapter, or a few pages, aloud every night. Your child may discover an interest in specific genres, such as science fiction or historical fiction.

These examples show just how diverse children's literature can be:

Buying Books for Children

Discovering great new books together is half the fun of reading with your child. Be sure to involve your child in choosing and buying new books. There are several ways to do this:

Get Reading!

Children who are exposed to books and reading from a young age tend to earn to read earlier, and they are more likely to enjoy reading. They often do better in school, not just because they have a head start in reading skills, but because they can use those reading skills in all of their other subjects. Reading opens the world to them and introduces them to new ideas, fostering a love of learning that will benefit them for their entire lives.