Though it is good practice to let children choose which books to buy, it is inevitable that adults are the ones tasked to do it most of the time. Knowing how to choose books for your little ones is crucial in developing their love for reading. Assuming that one can freely select which ones to purchase, here are some tips to help you with book shopping for your kids:
- Create a balance between books that children like and what adults think children like or should read. Determine which books children like by asking them about their favorites or observing their reading habits. On the other hand, online reviews by parents and teachers can be of great help to check which books pass adults’ tastes. (This tip entails preparation before going to the bookstore.)
- Provide variety with the books you choose. Besides the ones that fulfill tip#1, purchase books that neither you, nor the child you are buying for, will purchase under normal circumstances. Trying something new and unexpected will provide children the opportunity to explore other topics or types of literature. It goes without saying that boxing them in with the same sets of books will limit their taste and knowledge.
- Check the book cover for some clues. It is, of course, difficult to know what a book really contains given a limited shopping time (and most books are tightly sealed in plastic cases). It is best to read the front and book covers to get useful information to consider before purchasing. Usually placed at the back cover is a description about the book, but there are other ways to see whether the book you are holding will be great for the kids: One, look for the label which tells the age range for which the book is recommended. Bookstores also shelve books by age bracket recommendations. Two, some books put seals of awards, citations, and praises. These can, at least, guarantee you that some people like and recommend a book, and give you a hint as to why these people like the book.
- Browse book catalogues. Get a copy of book catalogues regularly released by publishers of children’s books. Most of these are available on the publishers’ websites. Book catalogues provide useful details about all their books in print – from age recommendations to awards, from themes topics to prices. Check out the online Adarna House book catalogue for a sample.
There are many other tips you can use whenever buying books for children, but the best thing to do is to read the books yourself. Your growing familiarity (and enjoyment) with this genre will give you a lot of information to consider next time you are tasked to buy books for kids.