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Using Children?s Literature to Entertain and Educate Your Kids
What are Children?s Books?
Not only are children?s books a great way to keep kids occupied, but they help them to learn as well. Good children?s books are proven to appeal to kids and keep them engaged and interested. In general, children?s books are books that were written specifically for children. However, there are several books that were originally written for adults and are today considered children?s books. Mark Twain?s Huckleberry Finn is one notable example.
Educational Value of Children?s Books
Children?s books are fantastic educational tools for kids. Studies have shown that children who read frequently have better writing and reading skills than those who do not, and kids who have children?s books at home tend to learn to read earlier. Children who were read to from a young age have been shown to have better reading skills, vocabulary and a better understanding of the material being read than their counterparts who were not read to. Many families make the bedtime story a ritual that both kids and parents look forward to daily. Even when the child is old enough to read, the parents continue to read more complex books to the child.
Following the exploits of characters in children?s books can help children learn to deal with situations they might encounter in their own lives. For example, seeing how a character in a book solves a disagreement with another character can give the child ideas for resolving conflicts with his own friends. Children?s books can help a child to learn in a way that is dynamic and exciting. How much more interesting to read a realistic tale about a child who lived through the Revolutionary War than to read a dry account of the war in a history book!
Categories of Children?s Books
Children?s books are usually divided into categories corresponding to the age and reading skills of the child. Board books are durable books meant for babies and toddlers aged 0-3. Pre-readers are picture books aimed at kids in the 3-5 age group. Early readers are for kids aged 6-8 who are learning to read. Chapter books are designed for children in the 9-12 age group who are ready to tackle more complex stories. Young adult books are aimed at teens.
Choosing Children?s Books
Choosing children?s books can be a challenging task. Although there are many spectacular books out there, it can be difficult to select books that your child will enjoy reading again and again. Here are a few tips for picking children?s books that your kids will love.
Ask a professional for help. Librarians and teachers know which books are well-written and popular and can steer you towards the best choices.
Think about the things that interest your child, such as sports or music, and try to find stories about those topics.
Go with the classics. Give your child books that have been entertaining generations of young readers.
Look for books featuring your child?s favorite television characters.

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