Best Books for Your Kids At Every Age

Best Books for Your Kids At Every Age

2 May 2022 • Words by Karla Pretorius 3 mins

Okay, it would be nearly impossible to note down a list of best books for kids at every age. I don’t know your child’s interest, age, reading ability, and attention span period. These are vital for determining which books your child will find worthy of their sustained attention and interest. According to Massaro (2017), reading to children includes an improved understanding of linguistics and cognitive complexities not typically found in speech. With today’s array of books to choose from, it might be tricky to know how many books are too many or which ones will help your child the most.

I understand that most writers would say, “there is no such thing as too many books.”

I’d like to argue that there is and that it is our responsibility as adults and parents to help our children navigate the number of toys, books, and resources they have and engage in. I usually suggest having a “reading corner” in your home, where you ask your child or children to help you choose what they want to add to this corner. Perhaps they can have a few visual rules – like “no noise” and “pack away books after reading” to recreate what we remembered from libraries. They can then choose several books they want to add to their bookshelf, and perhaps they can change these out with new books every couple of weeks or on a monthly rotating schedule.

Currently, I am reading three books simultaneously, and I must admit that I am confused – not as focused on each book as I ideally should be and most probably not getting out of the writing as much as the writer intended. When I listened to Sam Harris speaking with Adam Gazzaley on the “price of distraction,” it was clear that we live in a world where multitasking is seen as a requirement. Yet, we are not as sufficient as we might believe we are.

How can we help choose the best books for our kids?

Reading should be interest-based. We can ask our children about their interests and observe what they speak of, look at, and seek out. We should include them in choosing which books they want to read, but we need to be wary that they might gravitate toward the prettiest pictures. As parents, we can provide our kids with the best options of books to choose from. We can gather these according to the interests we observe in our children. We can also instill a plan to read through one book at a time before we move towards another. Perhaps we can include a fun “reading comprehension” at the end of each book to ensure our child is reading with intent and understanding.

Books that might be interesting to your child, based on their age:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

For younger children, this popular book takes the reader on an adventure through the eyes of the caterpillar. It is visually appealing and keeps children interested throughout the journey.

The book with no pictures, by BJ Novak

This is an exciting book for children aged 6- 8 years (approximately). The book includes no images, but the rule is that the person reading it has to read every word. This can be fun as it includes ridiculous words and sentences.

For older readers, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling is almost always a hit.

It not only takes children on a magical adventure but teaches them real-life scenarios of bullies at school and how to react in difficult situations. It also benefits from watching a beautiful movie as a reward for reading the book first.

The list of books that I recommend can continue until it feels like you are reading a book yourself. When choosing a book, the most important thing is to involve your child and ensure they are interested in the topic. If your child likes trains, there are numerous books on the workings and adventures of trains. If you start from their interests, you can expand on them through the wonderful world of reading.

Enjoy this journey with your child! 

Massaro DW. Reading Aloud to Children: Benefits and Implications for Acquiring Literacy Before Schooling Begins. Am J Psychol. 2017 Spring;130(1):63-72. doi: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.130.1.0063. PMID: 29508957.

Karla Pretorius

A registered counselor with a MA in Psychology. Co-founder: AIMS Global & Leadership at: Augmental