Finding the Best Books for Your Child

can still remember reading Guess How Much I Love You to my son. I’ll even admit that their were tears in my eyes. We were cuddled in the recliner with a stack of books beside us – our favorite booksthe ones we both had memorized, and new books we had picked out at the library. This memory came to mind as I was helping a customer pick out books for his daughter recently. 

With thousands of books at the library it is easy to find a stack of books, however sometimes it’s hard to find the “right books” for your child. Selecting books for your child may even seem like a match-making process. A good book deserves thoughtful attention and it rewards your and your child’s mind and spirit. So, take a few minutes to ponder and look at the book.   

Tips to Select a Good Book for Your Child and You 

  • A father and son are reading a book together on father's day in their home.Will you and your child enjoy reading the book together? A good book provides special and fun moments between you and your child. 
  • Do you like the illustrations? Is there a relationship between the illustrations and the text?   
  • Does the book support your family’s values and morals?           
  • Will the story stimulate your child’s curiosity and imagination? 
  • Can your child see himself/herself in the pages of the book? Does the book’s child, family or world look like your child’s? 
  • Is the language age-appropriate? Does it expand your child’s language skills? 
  • Does the book introduce your child to the larger world? A good book introduces your child to different people and places.
  • Is there a nonfiction option? Nonfiction helps your child learn about the real world around them. There are nonfiction books related to every topic of interest (for example: trains, sports and dinosaurs).
  • Keep your child’s unique personality in mind. Will the book appeal to your child?               

No matter the book you select to read to your child, make it an enjoyable experience. Share in the adventure of traveling to a magical place, meeting a new friend and sharing a laugh. A good book is an excellent resource indeed.  

We’ve Got Book Recommendations

Not surprisingly, librarians are always eager to recommend books. We’re happy to help you in person when you’re at the library, but we can also help behind the scenes and speed up your visit. With Browsing Just for You, a librarian will select books for you (as many as you want) and have them ready for you at Curbside Pickup. Just answer a few questions online to let us know the type of books, movies or music you want and we’ll do the rest. You can even complete the form once for kids books and another time for your books. If you’re always in the mood for the same type of books, check the box for a subscription and we’ll have a new stack ready for you every 4 weeks.

Here are some of my most recent favorite picture and board books.

View complete list

Make Your Reading Count

Sign-up your early learner for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and you’ll be rewarded along your reading journey. You can also sign the whole family up for the Fall Reading Challenge, which rewards everyone who reads 3 books during October.

Get Free Kids Books to Keep

If your child under 5 isn’t already part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, they should be! This free program mails an age-appropriate book to your child every month from birth (or as soon as they sign up) until their 5th birthday. All kids in Shawnee County are eligible for Imagination Library.

Sherry Hess

As the Early Childhood Learning Coordinator, Sherry is focused on engaging young children and their families in play-based early learning experiences. The Learn & Play Bus and its service are at the heart of her work. Sherry has a background in early childhood education.