Quote: Anna Quindlen, Books are…
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx,
Books were an everyday part of my boys’ life from the time that they were very little. Instead of wanting to sleep with a plush toy, they all opted to sleep with their current favorite book at night. And of course, they all tried the flashlight under the covers to read past bedtime trick. When Son #2 was in elementary school, he was devastated to learn that books were for the serious purpose of homework and learning because until he reached 3rd grade, he thought that books were only for fun like toys. Harsh reality of life for the poor little guy in 3rd grade. To encourage a love of books and reading try a few of these books about books, where books and stories are central to the overall plot.
Review and label the parts of a book including the little noticed sections like the gutter, end pages, and dedications. Books also include information about their publishing including the country where the book was actually printed and the fonts or type used for the lettering. If you have a library book edition, you may notice that the brightness of the inks maybe vary depending on the age of the book – recently published books tend to have more vibrant colors while older books have more muted colors due to advances in printing. Exam some of these usually overlooked details to find out something new about the book and how it was made.
Periodically talk about the importance of stories or books and the role it plays in the overall plot. Also, ask your child how they would feel, if they were in the main character’s place. Would they feel the same way about stories and books?
Look at the back of the book and see if there are any author notes. Some authors write letters to their readers to help the reader connect and understand the book better or the writer’s thought process. Sometimes there are also questions in the back of the book that can be used to encourage discussion on the book.
Make a point to ask your child to share a simple story with the family — about their day, favorite events, challenges they faced. Share a story yourself. All books start out as a story in the imagination of the author before it is written down — your child can be a storyteller or writer as well.
Words by Mac Barnett
Pictures by Adam Rex
Picture Book Ages 4 – 8
Go behind the scenes or rather inside the scene, to see how this book was made — with a big dose of humor in the form of a tiger and pirate. Also see other “meta-books” with a sense of humor: My Worst Book Ever, words by Allan Ahlberg and pictures by Bruce Ingman; Once Upon a Zzz, words and pictures by Maddie Frost; Whose Story is this Anyway? words by Mike Flaherty and pictures by Oriol Vidal; as well as, Help We Need a Title, words and pictures by Herve Tollet.
Words and Pictures by Richard Byrne
Picture Book, Part of a Trilogy Ages 4 – 8
Bells dog disappears into the gutter of the book, the fold in the middle of the book when it is spread apart. Follow her adventure to rescue her dog as well as those who try to help her. Also see by the same author, This book is Out of Control! and We’re in the Wrong Book! For another carnivorous book tale see — Open Carefully: A Book with Bite, words by Nick Bromley and pictures by Nicola O’Bryne. Also enjoy the classic although not carnivorous, from Sesame Street, The Monster at the End of this Book.
Words and Pictures by Dan Yaccarino
Picture Book Concept Ages 4 – 8
Reminds readers about the power of storytelling to bring people together — past, present, future — no matter what format or shape the story takes.
Words by Oliver Jeffers
Pictures by Sam Winston
Picture Book Ages 5 – 12
The guide, A Child of Books, takes a young boy and the reader through a delightful adventure of the wonder of words, storytelling, and books. Includes snippets from classic children’s literature. Will be an encouragement to new readers and an inspiration to capable readers.
Words and Pictures by Tad Hill
Picture Book Ages 3 – 7
Parents’ Choice Silver Honor
Words by Kay Winters
Pictures by Nancy Carpenter
Picture Books Memoir Ages 5 – 9
Shares the story of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood love of books and how reading helped him grow into the man who became the 16th President of the United States. See also Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora.
Words by Kate Messner
Pictures by Mark Siegel
Picture Books Concept Ages 5 – 8
Reminds readers of the perfect process for reading a story.
Words by Andrew Larsen
Pictures by Mike Lowery
Picture Books Ages 4 – 8
Reminds readers, that they too can be writers and authors and it all starts with one letter.
Chapter Book Ages 8 – 12
Matilda loves books. She also has a secret superpower that she uses to save herself from the dreaded head of the school. Also enjoy the 1996 PG movie adaptation of Matilda which was a family favorite through the elementary and yearly middle school years, for more on the movie see https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/matilda
Chapter Book, Part 1 of a Series, Ages 8 – 12
A fantasy adventure, where the characters from classic children’s literature come alive in Astoria’s library.
Chapter Book Part 1 or a Series Ages 8 – 12
Owen teams up with classmate, Bethany, who is really a fictional character, to rescue her father by jumping into his favorite book for an amazing fantasy adventure.
Young Adult Fiction Ages 12 and Up
In 1939 in Nazi Germany, Liesel steals books to read to her foster family and the Jewish man seeking refuge in their basement. Also see the 2014 PG-13 movie adaptation for a review see https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-book-thief; for more on the Holocaust read The Diary of Anne Frank.
Quote: Sleep is good, he said, and books are better. George R. R. Martin
For more on George R. R. Martin see
Quote: Neil Gaiman on Books and Reading
“The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is…to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.”
— Neil Gaiman