Saturday, February 5, 2011

Read with Caution

Be careful little eyes what you see.
Be careful little ears what you hear.
Baby board books…numbers, colors, letters, animals, textures – they’re all pretty much no- brainers when it comes to selection.  Now that we’ve entered the toddler phase, the ante ups. A whole new type of reading and comprehension is before us.
I won’t bore you with a heap of developmental statistics, I’ll just say ‘the first 5 years last forever’ in terms of behavioral/emotional development (at least that’s what the pros say).
I realize that getting off to a great start is key and there are many things under that umbrella, but one of my focuses recently has been on children’s literature.
I’m often irritated by many of the books I see today. Magic, fairy and princess overload,  children acting disrespectful under a disguise of ‘being funny’, empty stories that lack compassion and moral educational worth. It has probably always been this way, but now it's right under my nose... and it stinks.
J to the UNK.
P to the OOP.
What you put in, is what you get out. 
This led me to wanting to find a resource listing for books that are up to the standards I want to instill (without having to pre read them all, or trust reviews posted by strangers).  I talked with a few librarians (one being a very special Aunt) and got some scoop.
There are many awards given to children's books, based on specific criteria. This is a good way to search for books, then order them via your library or purchase them. This free online database called DAWCL (Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature) is AMAZING.

It has more than 7,477 entries of award-winning children's books under 99 different literature award categories. You can search according to pretty specific criteria too (age of reader, gender, key words, historical period, get the idea).

The website also has specific information on the awards and criteria.
Here’s an example of an award under The Christophers (they give only 5 awards per year to children’s books):  “To affirm the highest values of the human spirit” and "winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others”.

Ahh, that smells better- doesn't it?

So, we are big fans of God and Jesus Christ around here. We read many books in this category as well. A great resource is Christian We love the Happy Day series and of course, we are gearing up for Veggie Tales.

When searching for children's bibles, I kept running across some that were very wordy with uninteresting illustrations & that just doesn't pair well with 'toddler'.

One we LOVE and read daily is The Jesus Storybook Bible. The stories are short (very key), easy to understand, colorful and they keep the attention of my tot.

This is another one we like, the Pray and Play Bible. I love that it gives the story and incorporates an activity with it -  really helps the comprehension and enforces the value. It's just plain fun too. I like that she specifically requests to "pray play".

We have many favorite books in the non religious category too. Recently, it's been 'Snowy Day' by Ezra Jack Keats (Caldecott award). There are some days when I'm asked to read it 5 times or more.

What are some of your favorite books/authors and why?


Anonymous said...

We love Eric Carle books. Thanks for the info on the database!

Anonymous said...

Raggedy Ann and Andy Books are fun to read!

Anonymous said...

Little People by Fisher Price usually have many basics that kids learn but enjoy too!

Anonymous said...

We love Veggie Tales and we also like Bear Snores on, Bears New Friend series.

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