31 Days, Children's Books, Parenting

On Letting Children Choose Their Books

I read myself hoarse today. I found myself saying, “Okay, I have to stop reading now. Mommies have other things to do, too.” I do not usually say things like that when reading.

Yesterday we went to the library and I let my two-year-old and four-year-old children pick pretty much all of the books. I usually pick about half to three-quarters of the books we take home. Yesterday, I picked two out of seventeen. I didn’t realize how delighted Ella and Isaac would be to come home and read all of the books they picked out themselves. Every time I had that panicked mom-thought, “It’s too quiet in here…,” they weren’t getting into mischief, they were actually looking at books! Crazy.

So here’s what they picked out:

  1. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous ChristmasFancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas, by Jane O’Connor
  2. Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet
  3. Fancy Nancy and The Late, Late Night (It’s a good thing I really enjoy Fancy Nancy -she’s endearing in her own right and a bit like my own little girl)
  4. A Tree for Emmy by Mary Ann Rodman
  5. Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town (one Richard Scarry book alone could make a reader hoarse)
  6. Chomp! by Heather Brown
  7. Five Trucks by Brian Floca
  8. Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
  9. The Trucker by Barbara Samuels
  10. Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson
  11. Chomp!The Crunching, Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain
  12. The Great Truck Rescue by Jon Sciezka
  13. My Book of Trucks  by Heidi Leigh Johansen (Have I mentioned that Isaac likes trucks a lot?)
  14. The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
  15. No Cookies? (My kids loooove this Cookie Monster Book.)

Chocolate FeverAnd I picked out Imogene’s Antlers  and Pippi Longstocking. I’m hoping Ella will like Pippi. She just finished Chocolate Fever with Daddy and is hankering for another chapter book.

Over all, the library trip with little parental interference turned out quite well. I certainly wouldn’t have picked out Princess Super Kitty, but it turned out not to be so bad. I usually go to the library with at least a few kids’ books on a list to find, but after seeing how invested my children are in picking out and reading books of their own choosing, I think I’ll give them a little more free reign. I do think the outcome was a result of guiding them in their choices early on, and I still plan to do plenty of guiding. Still, I love seeing their tastes displayed in the books they pick. As long as they don’t pick too many Dora books. 😉

How do you approach library outings with your children?

This is Day 23 of the 31 Days of Picture Book Series. To see the rest of the series, click on over here.


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One thought on “On Letting Children Choose Their Books”

  1. Tricia says:

    I think it’s great to let children pick library books. And the best part is that any annoying books have to go back to the library! You’re right about the Scarry books. Fin to look at, but exhausting to read!

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