Going to Sleep on the Farm, by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This is the story of a young boy getting ready to go to bed. He asks his father, “How does a cow go to sleep?” His father explains how all the animals on the farm fall asleep. “A cow lies down on the soft sweet hay, in a cozy barn at the end of the day.” The father continues the story of how each of the animals fall asleep at the end of a day, until the boy begins to fall asleep.
Off to School, Baby Duck, by Amy Hest
This is Baby Duck’s first day of school and she is worried. Baby Duck reluctantly walks to school with mom and dad. Grandpa Duck meets them at the school. He asks her if she is worried about school. Baby Duck says, “Yes.” Grandpa Duck helps her express her worried feelings.
Zero is the Leaves on the Tree, Betsy Franco
Zero is a difficult number for preschoolers to understand. It’s nothing! Shino Arihara does an excellent job with her illustrations of Zero. Zero is the leaves on the trees in the fall.
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.
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