Picture Books for Adventure-Loving Kids and an Old Lesson

Recently I wrote this post for the online parents’ magazine Parent.co:

Turn off the TV: Picture Books for Adventure-Loving Kids

This was a fun little project born out of a challenge many parents and teachers face: how to find the right books to hook children into reading (or, in my case, make reading as appealing as screen time.) The library was a perfect source to sample many books for this endeavor without breaking the bank.

While working on this piece, I was also reading the parent resource book Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworks in a Digital Age–From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between by Jason Boog. (Check out my book review.)


One book he writes about his daughter loving is Cosmo and the Robot by Brian Pinkney. I requested this title on interlibrary loan thinking it may fit my article but it didn’t arrive until after I’d submitted my work. Upon first glance at the cover and illustrations, I was sure my kids would find it tired and unappealing. I left it in our basket of library books and didn’t bother calling their attention to it. My five-year-old picked it up on his own and asked me to read it, and it turned out that he and my three-year-old both loved it. Cosmo, a young boy living on Mars with his family, must use his “Solar System Utility Belt with Ten Supersonic Attachments” to save his sister from his malfunctioning robot. Well really, the book had them at “utility belt.” Several weeks later the title is still in our ongoing rotation and has sparked some great imaginative play.

So, keep up the search for the books that will entice your kids to read, and remember: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover!

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