I remember shopping for books when my nieces were little, navigating the children’s book section of the bookstore was like navigating a war zone without a map. I had no idea what to buy, other than books I remembered from my own childhood and the books featured prominently within the section (publishers are genius about that kind of marketing, by the way). Even when I managed merchandising for a bookstore, I hated the chaos and confusion of the children’s section, so I handed off the merch responsibilities to our resident children’s book specialist.
Then, I found myself working for one of the top (if not THE top) children’s publishers in the world, and was thrown into the world of children’s books headfirst. Educating myself on a HUGE backlist catalog was definitely a challenge, but it came in time. Eventually, I found myself serving as the go-to person for children’s book recommendations — I had come a long way!
I’ve been out of the children’s publishing world for three years now, but still have a pretty good grasp on what’s hot in the children’s book publishing world with a little help from my son. I was thrilled to get this topic from Care.com, and I knew just the people to consult for the best children’s books picks — my former colleagues and clients!
Knowing that the children’s book world can be daunting for many, I had children’s book industry experts give me their best picks — fun stories that will breathe new life into your reading routine (we all need a break from reading the same books 500 times over) and continue to instill a love of reading in your kiddo. With selections ranging from birth to grade school, there’s something here for everyone!