Do your kids
ever get stuck on Repeat with a book that annoys you? Maybe you even liked it
the first five or ten times, but the 97th time? Ugh.
few books that I flat-out won’t read anymore. (We have plenty of other
choices.) Is that mean? I figure I’m teaching them that having preferences
about books is perfectly fine.
The Wonderful Ones
How did you find your favorites? Did you choose them deliberately, or stumble onto them?
1. Start with what you already like.
Search for other books by the same author, or go to Amazon
and look up a title you love, then scroll down to “Explore Similar
Ask a friend with kids a bit older than yours, or chat with your
local children’s librarian.
Caldecott books are a great starting place for fantastic titles that stand the test of time.
likely to become a favorite with you as well as your kids.
Remember learning about figurative language and sensory imagery in school? Many great picture books are chock full of wonderful metaphors, similes, and more.Even on my zillionth time through Owl Moon, I still appreciate Jane Yolen’s masterful use of language. Reading about a “train
whistle long and low like a sad, sad song” and a night “as quiet as a dream” makes me feel mellow and happy.
9. Symmetry is pleasing, but watch out for too much repetition.
When a story has parts that are symmetrical, like Little Sal and Little Bear in Blueberries for Sal, the story can engage your adult brain and feel satisfying.
When it is overly repetitive, it might make you want to run away screaming, or at least try to get
away with skipping lines or even entire pages. (Please tell me you’ve done that too!)
you find something that tickles your funny bone, you may have a winner.
Consider Your Kids
Of course, Murphy’s Law means that your children aren’t going to love every book you do. And Aunt Ethel will give them a completely annoying book that they love. Go with it — at least the first 96 times.
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