Finding Great Kids Books - Read, Talk, Share
Over at Share a Story-Shape a Future, the fab blog tour for literacy is on a roll! Day One was all things about creating environments that nurture raising readers. Today it's about how to select great reads. Each thought-provoking post deals with a different aspect of the theme written by a different blogger. And for all of us working out in the field of children's librarianship, these posts are worth keeping.
As I read through today's writings and picked up great tips, reinforcement and many reading gems, it got me thinking about our role as Children's librarians in leading kids and parents to books. All of us may not have access to ARCs but we do read reviews widely - both in print journals like SLJ, Booklist, BCCB, Horn Book, Kirkus and more; and via the many children's lit blogs. These sources give us a tremendous "heads-up" on what is new and how this or that title is a perfect fit for individuals and groups in our community.
And then, like Christmas morning, when those newly ordered books come in, we take them home to peruse, read and think of more kids to connect them to. We consider titles that will be perfect for our infant or baby or toddler storytimes; books that will sparkle interest during a class visit; books to share with our school library colleagues or teachers; books that will tempt that reluctant reader to try something new. And we'll talk about the books - with other staffers; in our book groups; to parents and kids; in programs; in the grocery store; over a cup of joe or tea with a friend.
And, most important, we'll share the love - our enthusiasm and knowledge gained through knowing the books and knowing how to find great book suggestions. Parents and kids want to know what to read or hear what we are excited about. By sharing our knowledge and connecting kids, we encourage reciprocal sharing. So when kids and parents ask us "Do you know a good book I can try?"; when teachers ask us "Can you suggest anything for my students?", it is easy for us to answer yes and put books in hand!