“What makes the best children’s book? “The best children’s books have the same combination of factors that make any good book: it is original, well-written, and has the intended audience in mind.” Of course, unlike adult books, children’s books must have illustrations. The best children’s books are those offering a learning experience or message. If they also inspire a love of reading and art, and challenges the child to grow by including new words, it is even better.
A series of essays
[Narrative, Example, Definition, Argumentative, Definition Classification, Process, Comparison/Contrast, and Description] are required in high school and then again in college. My comments on this student’s paper will help your writing. –Miss McCulla
The quality of the pictures is crucial. The pictures will stick in the child’s mind more than the words and provide the scenes he envisions based on the storyline. Colorful, active illustrations bring life and movement to the story. Pictures can evoke feelings.
Let’s look at some factors that adults should look for when buying a book for a child.
1. Don’t be swayed by hype. The best books for children are not always found on the big flashy displays in the bookstores.
2. The best children’s books have a good story. Good questions to ask yourself first:
Is it fun to read?
Is the plot well-constructed with a good beginning, middle, and end?
Are the characters engaging and realistic?
Does the plot line deal with emotional issues without being too sappy?
Does it dare to be daring and make you think?
Does it avoid preachiness? That’s not fun. The moral should be subtle.
3. Look for quality illustrations and an original concept and presentation.
4. Make sure the story is age appropriate. Some topics will go over the heads of toddlers. However, be careful of your own bias or discomfort when deciding what topics are appropriate. Do some research and start with the classics or books that have been recognized or have received awards.
All together, the best children’s books should have characters that are inspiring and show leadership, that can overcome hardships and have the courage to live and act according to healthy principles.
Kids want to read books that are fun, make them laugh, or arouse their curiosity.
You want them reading books with role models, heroes to imitate and with messages of hope and love.
Here are some classics that are some of my favorites for you to consider:
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper and George and Doris Hauman
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Corduroy by Don Freeman
I Love you Forever by Robert Munsh and Sheila McGraw
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years. She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career. She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages and edits a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publishing houses.
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