I am a huge book lover, I always have been, but after having Marshall I have become obsessed with children’s books and building an abundantly diverse library for my kids. Over the years, friends and family have asked me for recommendations on good additions to their own libraries. For that reason I have decided to have a weekly post on favorite books from our collection.
Having a background in political science in college- and working as a preschool teacher in a diverse neighborhood in Kansas City- I have learned a few things and made a few rules for our at-home library.
1) No TV or movie characters. In my experience, the majority of children get distracted by the recognition of the character and try applying storylines from the TV show/ movie, therefore they don’t pay attention to the book’s story. This creates bad habits as reading retention is important and will serve them well later in their school years. The other problem with the majority of TV and movie characters brings me to my next rule…
2) (at least) half of all books should feature people of color, LGBT community, or those of different religions. Listen, there is a big Ol’ world out there and it is never too early to start teaching our children that. This philosophy has served Marshall well in school and I believe in life in general. Having a book case that reflects the world we live in is so important and the diverse stories keep children engaged and an open dialogue going.
3) for the love of all things holy: no music, lights, buttons, or other thinger-ma-jiggers. Most parents can already attest that all these loud toys can get to be a little much (my husband has an ongoing spite list of people who give us loud toys, so he can pay them back when their children have birthdays) but it also goes back to my first point. In my experience, children are more focused on the lights and sounds than what the book actually contains. The world is loud and distracting enough already, I promise children can sit through an actual book and not only listen to- and understand- the story but thoroughly enjoy it as well.
That’s pretty much it for the simple guidelines we follow for our books. Now, of course we are thrilled with any book that anyone gifts us with, so please don’t feel put off if you have gifted us a book with gadgets and gizmos or film characters. Though…if the book was loud enough, there is a strong possibility Brad has hidden it up high somewhere.
I hope you enjoy our recommended books and feel inspired to venture out and find favorites of your own! Do drop me a line on the contact page, or give me a comment, if you have a book you want me to check out.