Tips on Selecting Kids' Books for Small Children

Published May 26, 2011 | Updated June 16, 2015

By every measure, reading is great for children. Kids' books improve communication and comprehension skills with creative and fantastic stories. The key is for you to provide fun and engaging books that your child will enjoy. You'll want to find age-appropriate children's books that will catch his imagination and spark a love of reading that will serve him throughout his life. Here are a few tips for finding books for your child that will help nurture that love.

Selecting Kids' Books:

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  • Start with Board Books

    You can start reading to your baby as early as you want; even before they understand the words, they enjoy hearing your voice. Board books are sturdy enough to get thrown around, beaten, and even chewed on. Look for bright, simple illustrations that your baby can focus on early in his development. You may also want to look for topics that are interesting to you, as you'll be reading your collection of board books over and over for a while.

  • Choose Picture Books for Toddlers

    From ages two to five, picture books are ideal. Fully illustrated short stories will offer a pleasing narrative for you to read to your child, and he can follow along with the plot through the pictures. Look for best sellers and read reviews from librarians and other parents to find the best picture books.

  • Share Favorites from Your Childhood

    Many kids' books are classic for a reason. Chances are, your children will love the kids' books you used to read, and you may discover old titles or series that are now back in print. Fairy tales and fables aren't just for helping with literacy, but they are important for cultural literacy as well.

  • Let Little Children Choose Popular Books

    Children have unique personalities and interests. You never know which kids' books will become favorites. When shopping for kids' books online, let your kids choose a few. Many children like to read books based on popular cartoon characters. Although the stories and illustrations are usually simpler than award-winning books or classic children's literature, the subject matter will help your child develop a love of reading.

  • Move Up to Early Readers

    Preschool and kindergarten age children are often ready for early reader books. These are books with larger fonts and often some sort of vocabulary review. The large type allows your child to more easily recognize letters and words. Look for children's books with a few lines of big text per page, coupled with engaging illustrations, to keep his attention focused. Early reader books prepare your child for the transition to more advanced reading.

  • Find a Few Audio Books

    Shop for kids' books that include a CD with an audio book version. Children can then read along with an animated reading of the story. Many audio books will even tell kids when to turn the page. Not only is it a great way to encourage independent reading, but kids' books paired with audio readings can also teach kids to identify and pronounce new words.