I’ve encountered the need for targeted lists of children’s books in every stage of my career, from preparing curriculum units as a teacher, to writing curriculum for a literacy nonprofit, and even for fulfilling my kids’ burning desires to learn about various topics or provide thoughtful baby and birthday gifts to family and friends. There are so many fantastic children’s books out there –but it turns out, compiling the perfect collection, whether it’s three books or three hundred –is significantly more time-consuming that you might think.
Some of the factors I consider when I’m compiling a book list include:
- Quality of writing
- Appeal of illustrations
- Match to list purpose
- Genre variety, or quality of genre-specific characteristics for a genre-specific list
- Representation of gender, cultural, familial and lifestyle diversity
- Reading level based on quantitative and qualitative measures, as applicable
- Real children’s reactions!
Curating book collections becomes significantly easier with experience. Being familiar with existing available titles and authors, industry trends, and reliable resources all streamline the process. Cultivating and maintaining relationships with a variety of publishers makes it possible to better stay on top of new releases and obtain review copies.
An excellent book list provides an unparalleled foundation for a curriculum unit or program. It’s definitely worth the time and investment. Please enjoy some of my recent book list posts below, and contact me about how I might support your organization to assemble book collections and related resources to fit your needs.