Building a library in your home is important for your child’s literacy development. The research in literacy development indicates that the number books in a household directly impacts a child’s vocabulary development and even greatly impacts a child’s success in school in the later years. Early and frequent reading is an important part of childhood. So, what does it mean to have a “library” in your home? Fortunately, this does not mean shelves and shelves of books lining every wall. When I write about a child’s library I am talking about a curated set of many books that are high quality, interesting to your child, and accessible to your child.
Lavin is an infant so his collection of books consists mostly of board books. When selecting board books, we look for a storyline, nice pictures, and visual contrast. We do not keep any books that we think are silly or don’t make sense. We recently let go of a book we thought was pointless, throughout the whole book every page read, “moo” with different punctuation. It didn’t make sense and felt annoying to read. So, neither of us would have chosen to read that book to him again and again. We passed it onto the little free library at my school where it will end up in the hands of a kid who thinks it is witty and fun. It wasn’t for us but I am sure it was for someone else. When selecting a library for our children what we keep and what we let go are equally important. The most important part of a library for children is that it is read through again and again. If a book is unenjoyable to you or your child you will not read it repeatedly, so let it go. Repeated reading of quality literacy is how our children hold on to the patterns of our language. Keep only the books you find beautiful or meaningful.
Some of my favorite board books are linked below. You will notice there are different types. We love books that have textures, Lavin gets excited when he touches the page of our DK Books. We also choose some fiction and nonfiction books, even at this age. Crinkle books are perfect for tossing into the car, they won’t poke his eyes out and he loves the sound of them. At 6 months Lavin turns pages and giggles when we read. Reading is so fun and engaging and is always the perfect activity for our littles. The books linked below have clear simple language and quality pictures. They would be a good base for any child’s library.