Choosing Exceptional Children’s Literature


Original article written by Shiela Alejandro of Buckets of Whimsies

So, today we are discussing what makes a children’s book good–as in truly high quality versus mediocre. Books are an unlimited investment in the human mind and spirit. They can promote understanding, provide context, and facilitate conversation. One of our first views of the world comes in the form of a book and many of our values, morals, and expectations develop within those important pages.

Selecting good books is more important than ever because there is so much competition for the quality time you spend with your children. Every minute spent reading a mediocre book is time taken away from reading a good one. So, how does one know what makes a good children’s book? What makes a book stand out among the infinite choices?

Books should provide motivation and challenge the reader as age appropriate. A good book will often have literary merits and represent a range of styles and literary structures. It will broaden students understanding of cultural diversity and knowledge of historical facts. A good book will help the reader develop sensitivity of different views and elicit personal critical responses. Books should be bridges to other activities that expand on what the young reader heard, observed, questioned, or thought about during the story. The child should not want to put the book down.

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