Children's Books: Which Ones Should We Choose?

Either you are a teacher or parent, if you are educated enough to read this post, it is likely you understand the role of books in a child's education. This post is not going to be about that, but about choosing the right kind of books, according to your child's/ children's needs and interests. And speaking of good books, it is impossible not to give you some clues of some of my favorite authors and illustrators.

Fist of all, here are 3 non-exhaustive criteria parents and educators should have in mind when choosing books for their children:

1. Correlation to age / development level - it's not bad to buy books in advance, but some children may get frustrated for not understanding the story or the meaning, not being able to read, etc. Choosing books for the right age and development level of the child can facilitate certain sensitive periods (Montessori ) and stimulate his/her quest for knowledge;

2. Message - many of the traditional, well known stories for children were a mirror of the society and its development back then, a couple of centuries ago. Stories of murders and revenge, deceit and violence were normally told in an age parents were advised to beat their own children and child development was not on top of the agenda - at home or in the scientific community. 21st century research has given us a few clues on the do's and dont's of child education and development. Today's books should reflect some of the things children need to hear about as they grow up: how to positively express their feelings, how to take care of themselves, how to socialize, or how to deal with loss or other traumatic experiences. So before buying a book double check if the messages of the book are aligned to your beliefs as a parent / educator and if they help your child develop in a positive way.

3. The illustrations - I always give an equal importance to the illustrations, because they can enhance or alter the message of the book. Beautifully illustrated books scream: "Pick me", they have live colors, out of the ordinary characters, they make use of more visual art techniques: drawing, sculpting, collage or painting, mixing real - life photography in fictional stories, mixing different painting styles and periods and providing different sensorial stimulation. These books have breath-taking, out-of-the-box, vivid imagery, unexpected surprises folding or unfolding, beautiful fonts in line with the story and the characters.

 You can find some of my favorite books and authors in the collage underneath! Can you guess the authors and the titles? Enjoy the quest for character-building books!








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