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Children's Literature

Find information about the CSULB University Library's children's collection as well as information about children's literature in general.

Choosing Books to Share

Make story time a fun time to create life-long lovers of books.

Choosing a book:

  • For smaller groups or individual children, choose books with interactive parts, pop-ups, questions, or lift the flap. 
  • For larger groups choose larger books.  Oversized books are great for large classrooms of children.

Get children to participate by: 

  • finding pictures or words in the book. 
  • predicting what will happen next.
  • using props such as puppets or felt boards. 
  • using repetitive text so listeners can participate by reciting along.

*Always read the whole book before sharing with kids*

 
child and caregiverSelecting Books for Preschoolers
  • Types of books/stories:
    • Boardbook/Pop-Up or Movable book
    • Interactive Story
    • Informational book (nonfiction)
    • Classic Story or Tale (e.g. Cinderella)
    • Silly words and sounds, music or songs, or Poetry (Mother Goose)
    • About Familiar Characters, (e.g. TV stars, book series)
  • Other considerations:
    • Positive
    • Brief Text
    • Interesting Subject matter
    • Accurate information
    • Multiethnic/cultural/feminist/antibias We Need Diverse Books!
    • Award winner
    • Quality illustrations

Cuddle Book

Positive Message

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Silly Words, Songs

Press Here

Pop-Up/Interactive

The Korean Cinderella

Classic Tales

Cinderella

Classic Tales

Will Moses' Mother Goose

Mother Goose

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Poetry Silly Words and Sounds

Happy!

Songs

Actual Size

Interesting Subject Matter

Freight Train

Brief Text

Last Stop on Market Street

Multicultural
Last Stop Book Trailer Video

Olivia

Non-Sexist

What age?

There are many factors that determine the appropriate age to read a book, and it can be hard if you haven't read the book, or don't know the child. ​(Labeling books by age is a problem, since a child with lower reading skills having to select "little kid" books to find something they CAN read successfully can turn them off reading.)

Two major considerations:

  • Reading DIFFICULTY
  • CONTENT understanding

Recommendations from teachers or librarians who know the child and the books, are an excellent way to find appropriate books.

Publishers usually assign an age range to the books.  These are some of the designations you will see:

  • Newborn to age 3 (Board Books)
  • Ages 3–8 (Picture Books)
  • Ages 5–9 (Early or Leveled Readers)
  • Ages 6–9 or 7–10 (First Chapter Books)
  • Ages 8–12 (Middle-Grade Books)
  • Ages 12 and up or 14 and up (Young Adult (YA) Books)

These publisher designations can not determine both content AND difficulty, only a suggested age range to sell the book.

Web Search Tools

Scholastic's Reading Counts HMH Book Finder designates both an Interest Level and a Reading Level:

Lexile Find a Book database can determine the difficulty level, but not the content level:

Scholastic Book Wizard allows you to search by reading level systems:

Other Information:

Bringing Literacy Skills "Out of the Book"

"Before reading the story:

§ Talk with your child about the cover.  Ask “What do you see on the cover?” and “What do you think might happen in this story?”

§ Slide your finger under the words of the title, author, and illustrator as you read and explain those words.

While reading the story:

§ Follow the words you read with your finger

§ Pause and talk about the pictures and the words.

§  Ask questions about the pictures.  Ask “How many babies are there?” and “How does the crocodile feel?”

§  Ask your child “Where are the words on this page?” Point to a word and name the letters that make up that word.  Clap the syllables in the word.

§  Ask your child “On this page, do you see any letters that are in your name?

§  Point out any rhyming words – make up new rhyming words

§  Explain the meanings of new words

§ Make connections to something familiar to your child.  Ask “Have you been to a zoo?  What did you see at the zoo?

After reading the story:

§ Ask your child, “Who are the characters in the story?” Write a list.

§ Ask your child, “What might happen next?