What are the Best Books for Children?
In today’s world that is filled with technology more and more children are losing out on one of the greatest past times, reading. Their lives are filled with television and video games, even reading a book is now done on an electronic device. While I admit to buying a kindle for my nine-year-old and to reading books on it as well, there is something to be said about holding a book in your hand and losing yourself into another world. The best part about reading is that although the world is created by someone else’s words, it is your imagination that conjures up the images.
With that being said, as a parent it is important to read to your children. Instill this joy while they are still young as it is something they can enjoy throughout their lives. There are thousands and thousands of books available, just pick one and start reading it. Here are some of the best books for children that I recommend.
Best Books for Infants and Toddlers
Almost any book by Eric Carl is great for this age group. His drawings are full of color and the stories are short. These books can be enjoyed with your child through preschool and kindergarten as well.
Any board book with lots of pictures is perfect for the infant toddler age group. When it comes to choosing the best books for infants and toddlers, remember the stage of development they are at. They are going to want to grab, bite, and chew on the book and you should let them! Just make sure the books are sturdy and let them explore.
Best Books for Pre-K and Kindergarten
Every preschooler and kindergarten should read books by Dr. Seuss. He is by far one of the best authors of children’s books. All of his stories are timeless and should be enjoyed by children of all ages.
Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” is a must read for this age group as well. This is perhaps one of the greatest children’s books of all time. He has several other books for children as well.
For children that like series type books, Junie B. Jones is a funny little girl that children of this age will really enjoy.
Best Books for Preschoolers
Best Books for School Age Children
This is the age where reading becomes tricky. Children are in school and there will be required reading for class. Teaching your children that they can read for fun as well is extremely important. When my son was in Kindergarten we read every night before bed. Our books of choice were the Harry Potter books. The rule in our house is that you have to read the book before you are allowed to watch the movie. My son and I would read the Harry Potter book and then have a movie night when we were done.
Some of the other books that this age group should read include:
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
If your child likes series books, the Percy Jackson series is wonderful as well. Hunger Games is a great trilogy, but some younger children may not be ready for it. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is another great series, but once again many children will not be ready for it until they are teens.
Overall, the key to teaching your child about the enjoyment of reading is simple, read to them! Starting when they are young, read to them every day. Use your child’s interests as your guide. If they like dinosaurs read them books about dinosaurs, if they like dogs, Clifford, Biscuit, and Kipper are all great books about dogs. The best books for children are the ones that they enjoy. I have learned to enjoy other genres of books through my son's interests. He has expanded my view on books just as much as I have expanded his. Once a child learns the magic of books it will become as fun to read as it is to play a video game and they will be much better for it.