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We Can Make Time to Read to Children Because We Care

By Karen Spencer April 03, 2023 Lifestyle

In this short series of articles for Sixty and Me, we looked at the issue of children moving away from books and also explored 20 ways to get them started – or to help them continue – their reading journey. Whether you have grandchildren or not, these tips still apply.

We have learned that the love of reading is diminishing. Shall we take on the challenge of breathing life back into our next generation’s views about reading?

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr. Suess

We can because we care!

How to Choose a Book

Here are a number of good tips for selecting a good book for your grandchild:

  • Ask your grandchild what book he/she wants to read.
  • Choose a book that a child can relate to.
  • Find out what the child’s friends are reading.
  • Find out the books that are trending.
  • Strong illustrations are important for the younger child.
  • Choose a book that is fun to read aloud for the younger child.
  • A book that teaches the child important things

Age Appropriate Books

And the #1 Rule when looking for a book for your child is to find one that is age appropriate.

Here is a list of some of Susan’s Clark’s (children’s school librarian) suggested books for all age groups.

Picture Books to Read to Your Grandchild

It’s Mine by Leo Lionni

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Hello Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Alice the Fairy by David Shannon

Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Book Series

Once your grandchild starts reading on their own, you can introduce them to a book series.

Beginning Readers

Elephant and Piggie by Mo Wilems

Fly Guy by Teddy Arnold

Clifford by Norman Bridwell

Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Pete the Cat by James Dean

Curious George by H.A. Rey

If You Give A … by Laura Numeroff

Miss Nelson by Harry Allard

No David by David Shannon

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Beginning Chapter Books (1st-2nd grade)

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Nate The Great by Marjorie Sharmat

Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Cam Jansen by David Adler

Mighty Robot by Ricky Ricotta

Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin

Chapter Books (3rd-4th grade)

Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows

A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy

Judy Moody by Meagan McDonald

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

The Littles by John Peterson

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Dragon Masters by Tracey West

Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson

Encyclopedia Brown by Donold Sobol

Secrets of Droon by Barbara Schultz

Advanced Chapter Books (5th grade on)

Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Penderwicks by Jeannie Birdsall

Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Warriors by Erin Hunter

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Use Various Resources

If you are not familiar with titles of current children’s books use the resources available to help you.

  • Ask a librarian.
  • Ask a bookstore employee.
  • Check out children’s book websites.
  • Ask the child.

And here’s a website for finding other great books for children:

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What book did you recently purchase for a grandchild? Have you read any books together? Do you ask questions when reading a book with children? What do you like most about this type of relationship?

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Bedtime For Francis for our four year old because his sisters’ copies finally fell apart. I searched book stores the world over for a set of Faerie Tales for our ten year old identical twin granddaughters that my great-grandfather read to me and a new set of Beatrix Potter’s books. Then some flash books about Enola Holmes that are a huge hit with the girls. When I lived in Austin, Texas long ago, I volunteered with a program that presented books to new parents to read to their newborn even before they left the hospital. Reading is such an important part of our lives and the benefits and fun should be known by everyone!

The Author

Karen is a retired college professor, a Certified Health Coach, a Brain Health Coach, a writer, a speaker and a teacher. Her mission is to educate, inspire and influence women 55 and older to step up, dream big and become healthier, happier, and more fulfilled.

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