5 Tips on Choosing Children's Storybooks

A few weeks ago, I shared in a video the first 2 tips/steps that helped us teach our son to read. The second step I shared was to develop your child's love for reading. And what best way to do that than getting books for them.

Babies and toddlers are attracted to brightly colored pictures or in contrasting colors, with simple texts, and those with rhymes.

Children who have started to be independent readers prefer books that are decodable. While older kids like novels.

Aside from getting age-appropriate books for your children, I'd like to share with you 5 tips we learned through the years when selecting reading books for our kids.

Tip #1: Buy board books instead of cloth books

If you have limited budget and are contemplating which to buy, whether a board book or a cloth book, I suggest you go for a board book.

Cloth books are priced higher than board books with some pricing at least Php400. Board books are cheaper, you can get as low as 35 pesos each at a thrift shop.

We've also noticed that our kids' interests on cloth books are shorter than board books. We have a few cloth books at home and they outgrew them earlier than I thought they would.

With board books, they re-read them for years!

I suggest that you get cloth activity books, also known as Quiet Books, for your children.

Tip #2: Go for classics

Check online for lists of literary award-winning and classic books like the list of Before Five in a Row.

These selections have been used for generations all over the world and are great for family read-aloud activities.

They are mostly available at thrift shops and book sales.

If you are like me who doesn't have a list of classic books on hand when shopping, I have a tip for you to spot good pieces: check the book's first year of publishing. If they were first published decades ago and are still in circulation, meaning still being printed at present times, then they are most likely award-winning classics.

Most of these books were written when our parents were children themselves, so they were mostly printed around these decades.

Tip #3: Buy preloved books

This is pretty obvious. To save, buy used books. Most books in our collection are from warehouse sales and thrift shops. My favorite places to buy are Booksale, Books for Less (their yearly warehouse sale is a must!), and the warehouse sale of Scholastic. Not only do you get to save, you can also find books here that are not available at National Bookstore or Fully Booked.

Tip #4: If you can't find classics and award-winning books, look for books that have these plots:

  • teaches good health habits

These books will help you be sane specially during times when you want to reiterate to your kids that they need to wash up before eating or that they need to finish their veggies. Storybooks with these stories encourages kids to do better with their health, and they just love being able to relate and do what the story's character is doing.

  • teaches good values

One of the reasons why we homeschool is that we'd like to be intentional in teaching our kids our values. And these books help me a lot in explaining to my son the values that we teach becausw he could relate to the characters in the story.

  • Stories where kids can relate

These books are my new favorites.

Buy books where your kids can relate to the stories. For example, if your kid is about to visit the dentist or to go to school and anxious with the new experience, get them books with plots related to their experiences.

When I got pregnant with my second child, my worry then is how to prepare my first child for the changes. So I got him a book about being a big brother. After reading the book he got more excited to be a big brother.

  • Bible stories

You can also get storybooks that are Bible-based, or any religion you believe in. We use these books when teaching  for both Religion and Values Education.

Tip #5: Choose reading-level appropriate books for independent reading

For kids who have started reading independently, choose books that are phonics-based. Some publishers like Scholastic produce books in different reading levels.

These are just a few tips we can share with you. Any other tips you'd like to share? Please let me know in the comments section. 


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