It’s Literacy Week at TPK! You might have seen our littlest friends parading about the building in costumes – teachers too – and carrying books related to their costumes. So we are taking this opportunity to share with you about books we love and how to help your child find books they will love too.

You already know that reading is one of the most important ways for your child to develop early literacy skills. This is without a doubt one of the best reasons to get acquainted with your local library: an extensive supply of books which can be read and used, all for free, with a wide variety of themes and characters. But do you ever go to the library and look at the selection of children’s books and wonder how to choose?

First, one of the best ways to choose a book for your child is simply to let your child choose. Here’s something I learned about my own child’s reading habits – pretty much any reading is good reading. We brought home some real duds from the library over the years, but I promise that letting them choose their books sometimes helps to develop their joy of reading.

Second, help your child find books that they will connect with. We’ll make some suggestions at the end of this post. But finding a book your child will really enjoy can mean finding books starring favorite characters, books with interesting illustrations, and books that have rhyme and musicality that your child responds to. You will find with time that you can identify better what your child likes or doesn’t like about a book. Does the plot keep their interest? Do the characters talk in a way that your child identifies with? Do the illustrations spark their interest?

Third, try diversifying your child’s book selections by finding books that are different from the ones your child gravitates to naturally. Try books that have rhymes, opposites, colors, or that help promote social skills and understanding of different experiences.

A note for our friends whose children are learning to speak and read English: your local library may have a selection of titles in your family language as well as in English. This is a great way to bridge your child’s language learning. When choosing books in English, you may wonder how to select books that are age appropriate but still readable for a child whose language skills are developing. Look for simple language, repetition, and books with pictures that lend themselves to conversation with your child.

Here are some books we love. We hope you’ll enjoy them too!

The Kissing Hand – A favorite for our friends who are anxious about being away from Mom. Sweet and tender, builds personal emotional skills and self-regulation by reminding children of a parent’s love that goes everywhere with them.

Are You My Mother? – This charming book will create lots of opportunities for laughter and silliness – and vocabulary building and critical thinking, too.

From Head To Toe – An Eric Carle classic, this book will have your kids wiggling and stomping all over. Beautiful illustrations, too.

The Big Red Barn – If you liked Goodnight Moon, you’ll like this cozy farmyard tale that builds vocabulary. It’s a soothing story for naptime or bedtime, too.

The Snowy Day – This classic children’s story follows a little boy through an adventure in the snow – this is a book that demonstrates how children can describe what they see, smell, feel, and do.

Harold and the Purple Crayon – The simple illustrations and engaging story make this a favorite for many generations of children by showing the far reach of your imagination.