Ever find yourself wandering the aisle of a bookstore wondering what title to pick for someone you love? Relationships can be strengthened by recommending someone’s next favorite read. When it comes to kid’s books, there are a few fool-proof rules to follow: stick with a series, cartoon-style illustrations never disappoint, and when all else fails – make ’em laugh. My top picks are listed below and are currently in stock at our independent children’s bookstore: Petunia’s Place.
My top picks for reluctant readers are Holes by Louis Sachar and Hoot by Carl Hiassen. These books feature kids with moxy rising up and working together for fairness. And if you know kids, you know they have a lot to say about fairness.
The 3rd-6th grade boy often loses steam with reading. Let’s face it: gaming is just more interesting. I’ve hooked boy and girl alike on this series of action-packed historical fiction called I Survived…
And then there’s the kid who is still mourning Hogwarts. Try them on Percy Jackson and the Olympians. A modern reworking of Greek mythology, this series seems to fill the 9 3/4 gap relatively well.
There are few recent authors that I have fallen for more completely than Mo Willems. I giggled along with my three and four-year-old students over Knufflebunny, shouted at a naugty Pigeon with my kindergarteners and got giddy over speech bubbles with my first and second graders in the Elephant and Piggie series. If you don’t know Mo, you need to.
For the littlest ones, board books are always the safest bet. Young children who are read nursery rhymes are more capable of hearing letter sounds and rhyming patterns once they get to school. Those early moments are special and so very important. Find an author that you just adore. For me, that’s Tomie de Paola. He writes nursery rhymes, silly picture books, nonfiction and chapter books – so your child can essentially grow up reading him.
This is part of a series on where to shop local this holiday season. For more Fresno-area small businesses, see my top ten list here.