The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
This is the tenth anniversary edition of “The Other Side.” A fence has always separated the black side of town from the white side of town. Two girls who live on opposite sides of the fence have been told by their mamas not to go on the other side of the fence. One girl decides to sit on the fence! The other girl is brave enough to talk to her. Sometimes, things can change, if one has the courage to try.
Stay, Benson by Thereza Rowe
Benson is a friendly dog. When Benson’s owner, Flick, leaves to go to school, he tells Benson, “Stay at home and no chasing!” Benson’s animal friends remind him what Flick has said. What do you think Benson will do?
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead
Amos McGee is a zookeeper. He has many friends at the zoo. He always has time to visit with his friends. One day he is sick with a cold. His friends from the zoo decide to visit him at his home. His friends take care of him just as he has taken care of them at the zoo.
How to pick a great children’s book
The selection of books is as important as the selection of toys. Young children have incomplete information for understanding the world around them, which results in what we often refer to as “magical thinking”: explanations for things that don’t make sense to adults. Magical thinking can make it difficult to know what’s going on in a child’s mind, and may lead to unexpected reactions of fear or stress.
Here are some thoughts about selecting appropriate books:
- Look for pictures that may be scary to a young child. Is there a fire? Do the animals have long sharp teeth? Are there depictions of things that you know are troubling to your child specifically?
- Is the vocabulary suitable? Are the words scary, like yelping, snarling and hissing sounds. Are there references to violence or antisocial behavior – fighting or throwing things?
- Is it developmentally appropriate? Books for young children should be uncluttered and simple with a clear presentation of the important concepts. The first words that children learn are nouns – the objects of everyday life.
For more insights about selecting books and reading with young children, look at our original list of 100 great children’s books.
Book links go to Amazon, and will generate a small donation to Hanna Perkins Center when used to make a purchase.