I’ve shared how I amassed a large children’s library on a budget, and even attempted to share our current favorite reads (not enough time to keep up with, I’m afraid), but I’ve not really compiled any suggestions for children’s books, apart from an odd book here and there.
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to read. I studied English in college and even got my MA in English. My studies in English helped me build an impressive library, stocked full of titles that were more fun than work to read for classes. I loved to analyze great works of literature and I also read “fluff” as well. I distinctly remember a semester where I had four Literature courses, but still had a hankering to read something for myself. For the first time in my life I found myself reading romance novels, not for great storylines or deep characters, but because a.) I didn’t own a TV, b.) I had a coworker who had Rubbermaid tubs FULL of romances, and c.) I needed to give my brain a break from required reading every now and then.
I still use reading as a “brain break” in addition to entertainment. When I’ve been writing a lot and my brain feels fried, I pick up a book and give my brain a break from creating words by reading the words of others. In fact, I read every night before bed, at the very least. I love using my nap time break to read in the quiet of the house — a little mid day break from work and being a mom.
I found myself working in bookstores after graduating, and even while pursuing my Master’s full time. There’s something comforting about the shelves and shelves of books, the quiet, muffled sounds of people shopping, and the smell of coffee brewing. I’ve moved often in my life, and my books have always been the first things I unpack, as they are what make new digs home for me.
Imagine my delight when I began working for a major publisher, selling children’s books to independent bookstores. I loved the strong lineup of authors we had each season, the wide range of books we published, and most of all, I loved that I was paid to read books and essentially talk to booksellers about them.
Working in children’s publishing gives you insight into reading statistics pertaining to children, statistics that were as important in my conversations with booksellers as they were for my memory bank. Ironically, I worked in children’s publishing before having children, so I had yet to test my picks on a kiddo.
Despite being childless, I amassed a library for my someday child, hoping against hope that that child would develop a love of reading similar to my own. While my son is only three years old, he already has a passion for books (and bookstores), preferring books over toys. When my son excitedly opens a book, I come alive inside, hoping that he will maintain his love of reading. The statistics say that it’s very likely that D. will lose interest in reading in later elementary school, but I’ve already built a library to help keep him interested, with popular series and multiple genres represented.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to consult some of my former clients and colleagues for a Care.com article listing books to inspire young readers. More importantly, this list is comprised solely of wordless picture books, so readers of all ages, levels and abilities will be able to enjoy the adventures and illustrations inside.
You can read my article on Care.com: 13 Wordless Picture Books to Inspire Your Child
If you’re wondering what I’ve been reading this past month, here are my favorites (I’ve been in a Sci-fi/Dystopian/Fantasy phase):