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Choosing Good Books:

Choosing Books for Young Children

Parents, caregivers, and teachers have a wide variety of books to choose from for young children. By sharing different kinds of books with children, they can enjoy different kinds of reading experiences.

Some books help children build confidence as they join in with a repeated rhyme. Others jump-start the imagination with tales about talking animals or a grandmother who flies. Books about familiar objects, people, and events are reassuring to young children, while books with unfamiliar topics can excite them about new ideas and places.

Books Types for Young Readers (ages Birth—5)

ABC and counting books:
Fun and colorful illustrations of the alphabet and numbers
Example: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Wordless picture books: A story told through pictures and few or no words.
Example: Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day

Concept books: Pictures or photos of familiar objects or ideas such as colors, shapes, opposites, or sizes.
Example: Color Dance by Ann Jonas

Pattern books: Repeating text and predictable plots that let children join in
Example: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle

Information books: Realistic pictures or photographs that introduce facts about a specific topic
Example: Bugs by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright

Traditional rhymes and stories: Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fables, and folktales from various cultures
Example: The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton

Picture books: Words and pictures that tell a story about realistic or imaginary characters and events
Example: Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Poetry: One or several illustrated poems for young children
Example: Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Easy-to-read books: Limited vocabulary, rhyme, and repetition for beginning readers
Example: The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Source: Read with Me, a RIF Parent-Teacher Partnership

Choosing Books for Young Children