Oh, the places you'll go!

Choosing Books for Children

Our experts’ favorite books and tips to help you read to your little one.

Title: Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks
From A to Z
Author: Richard Scarry
Publisher: Random House Inc., 1990
Reading To Your Six To Twelve Month Old

Small books are perfect for babies' hands.  It is a normal developmental behavior for babies to put items in their mouths. The thick cardboard pages of a board book are designed to withstand this action. Books are the perfect way to entertain a  baby in a carriage or crib.

Title: Smile!
Author: Roberta Grobel Intrater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 1997
Reading To Your Six To Twelve Month Old

Board books with photos of babies fascinate infants.  Name the parts of the babies' face as you speak to your child. For example, "See the baby's nose.  You have a nose too." You can touch the photo and then your baby's nose as you say this to reinforce the word "nose."

Title: Clifford's Animal Sounds
Author: Norman Bridwell
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 1991
Reading To Your Twelve To Eighteen Month Old

Books that introduce sounds are perfect for using with your baby. For example, ask your baby, "What sound does the dog make?"  This game reinforces language development and is fun to play!

Title: Hide and Peek
Author: Odette Ross
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 2009
Reading To Your Twelve To Eighteen Month Old

This tactile board book features objects and animals familiar to your baby.  You can name an object and point to the image to help reinforce language development.

Title: Polar Bear
Author: Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company LLC, 1991
Reading To Your Eighteen To Twenty-Four Month Old

Rhyming texts, with their repeated patterns, increase your child's awareness of how language works. Rhymes help your children begin to decode the sounds that make up words. 

Title: You Are My Sunshine
Author: Caroline Jayne Church
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 2011
Reading To Your Eighteen To Twenty-Four Month Old

Reading together helps increase your child's vocabulary. As their words develop, children will start filling in familiar parts of their favorite stories.

Title: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Author: Eileen Christelow
Publisher: Clarion Book/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1989
Reading To Your Twenty-Four To Thirty-Six Month Old

A rhyming text introduces numeracy skills to young children as they learn to count the monkeys in this appealing book.  Books are filled with so many learning opportunities!

Title: Goodnight Moon
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, 1947,1975
Reading To Your Twenty-Four To Thirty-Six Month Old

Books can be used to help establish a bedtime routine, which can make bedtime pleasant for children. Using books with repetitive text helps set the routine for a good night for both parents and children!

Title: Big Dog... Little Dog
Author: P.D. Eastman
Publisher: Random House Inc., 1973
Reading To Your Three Year Old

Preschoolers can easily learn useful concepts, such as opposites, in classic children's books. 

Title: Stone Soup
Author: Jon J. Muth
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 2011
Reading To Your Four Year Old

Sharing classic tales or nursery rhymes with your child is a wonderful way to expand cultural literacy.  Think about how often a reference to classic children's stories such as "Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" is made in conversation, with the expectation that everyone knows the stories.

Title: Maybe a Bear Ate It
Author: Robie H. Harris
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 2008
Reading To Your Five Year Old

Children have wonderful imaginations and books can encourage their creative play just like the improbable events that caused the book in this story to disappear.

Title: Mufaro
Author: John Steptoe
Publisher: Puffin, 2008
Reading To Your Five Year Old

Books are a wonderful way to introduce your child to experiences and stories outside of what is familiar to them. Reading expands their world!

Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111