Saturday, August 7, 2010

What My Child Is Reading/Guest Post

I don’t know about you, but for me when Selena got old enough for more then picture books. I was sort of at a loss, I guess when my kids were younger we had almost a full library of books given to us by cousins and other relatives, that I never really gave much thought about books for the next phase of Selena’s reading, until I discovered she wanted more. I have loved reading everyone’s book recommendations and have compiled many lists for Selena and I to explore. This would not be an easy task if it wasn’t for Natalie over at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns starting this wonderful meme we all of come to know as What My Child Is Reading.

I asked Natalie if she would write a guest post and share with all of us just how she finds such great books for Anna. I am sure you will all be enlightened to how she finds books. Thank you Natalie for a great post!

As you have probably noticed, we love books here. Our home library is constantly growing, but still majority of the books come from the library. San Jose library system is pretty good, and all the libraries in California are connected by Link+ system. It’s awesome to have free access to so many books, and we love our local library with its story times and other programs for kids.

I didn’t grow up here, so I didn’t have any emotional attachment to any English-language children’s books except maybe Winnie the Pooh. In the beginning I picked books more or less at random, but now I have a pretty good system in my madness. Here it is:

Your recommendations. I love visiting all participants of What My Child Is Reading every week and discovering new books. Usually I put at least 2-4 books on my “request list” from WMCIR entries. I also love looking at StArt books and all creative projects – sometimes I pick books from those entries as well.

Amazon research. When I decide on my geography or history topic for the next week, I usually go to Amazon and look for children’s books about destination. Then I narrow it down by age category 4-8 years. It doesn’t always work, since some of books are definitely targeted towards upper elementary students and higher, but usually I am able to find at least a couple books on each topic that look interesting and available through Link+

Finding “similar” books. Again, Amazon is my friend here. I often look for other books by authors that we liked or look at their “other people also bought…” list. That’s how I found some of the gems that we enjoyed lately, for example, Lines That Wiggle.

Book Lists. There are so many to choose from, but right now I use two if I still have space on my request lists:

  • Math read-alouds for math-related books
  • Houghton-Mifflin Reading for Kingergarten for age-appropriate independent reading books. After some experimentation I found that Anna can easily read all the books recommended in “read-aloud” and “shared reading” sections, and the books are not scary/don’t promote bad behavior. I also like that a lot of recommended books feature multi-cultural characters.

Random Finds. We both love browsing library bookshelves picking books that look interesting. Some of our finds belong in this category, and we sometimes end up reading a lot of other books by the same author.

How do you find your books? Do you have the lists that you consult or favorite blogs that you visit for recommendations? Please share your system.

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  1. I use the Amazon search engine a lot - A LOT, usually with another window open to our library site, so I can toggle back, and forth, and put holds on the books I find from Amazon.

  2. Interesting. I use the the library search for my state finds, it can do a similar search to your Amazon one. I'd never thought of using Amazon for that. I'd probably be too tempted to buy stuff.....