Choosing Books for Every Age

Babies

  • Board books or indestructible books  so you won’t have to worry about baby tearing it up
  • Black and white or bright colors for babies developing eyesight
  • Short books for little ones with short attention spans
  • One word per page to identify objects
  • Simple rhyming books such as Mother Goose
  • Large faces in the illustrations…better yet, make your own book with pictures of family members

Toddler and Preschooler books

  • Board books or stiff paper books are easier for little fingers
  • Texture or lift-the-flap books with things to touch
  • One word per page to identify objects
  • Mother Goose or other rhyming books
  • Simple stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Alphabet, color, or number books
  • Books about an area of interest: trains, favorite animals, princesses, etc.
  • Non-fiction books that relate to their life:  animals at the zoo, how to make cookies, new baby in the family, etc.

Elementary books (K-3)

  • Books for beginning readers- fewer words, rhyming words, repeating words
  • Simple stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Fairy tales
  • Longer books for read alouds
  • Books about an area of interest
  • Non-fiction books that relate to their life:  subject studying in school, family vacation, hobbies, etc.
  • Chapter books for advanced readers- Check to make sure subject matter is appropriate for their age-level.

Upper Elementary books (4-6)

  • Chapter books
  • Picture books with complex plots or subject matter
  • Non-fiction books: subject studying in school, area of interest, biography, etc.

The best way to choose a book is if it makes you or your child happy.  Start with books that you enjoyed when you were little.  Then ask friends with kids to recommend some good ones.   For older children, ask their teacher and librarian which books fit your children’s reading level.  But don’t let that limit you.  Maybe your first grader is reading on a second grade reading level.  That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy reading first grade or even kindergarten books every now and then.  And it doesn’t mean you can’t read a third grade chapter book together before bedtime.  Remember, your job is to provide your kiddo with lots of book choices, and let them make the final decision.

Happy reading!

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