5 tips to find books your kids will love title with kids reading books  & take the quiz reminder

Are you looking for books your child will love? You definitely want to tap into your child’s interests! I also think having a “just right book” helps kids love to read. Check out my 5 tips for choosing books your kids will love & some of my favorite books!

Start with your child’s interests when picking books your kids will love

Dark blue background with stars. Tip 1 for choosing books your kids will love: stick to your child's interests

Do you have a dinosaur-obsessed child (this stage can last from toddlerhood to beyond third grade!)? Let them read dinosaur books!

Does your little one love fairies? Find all the fairy tales!

Are they really into wizards? Let their little muggle self binge those books!

Our kids are much more resilient than we think. YOU may not want to read another dinosaur book, but they will absolutely let you know when they are ready to move on from this topic!

My daughter loves Christmas and snow, which sadly snow is not a regular occurrence in Virginia! So, we take out snow books year-round! If there is a place your child loves, like the beach, look for books with beach settings!

 Loosely stick to your child’s reading level

Dark blue background with stars. Tip 2 for choosing books your kids will love: Use your child's reading level to (loosely) guide your book selection

Reading levels are a hot topic in the reading research world. While I do not believe your child should only be reading level 12 books, I do think if a book is too hard for a child, this can easily frustrate them.

Our goal is to get our kids to love to read, correct? So let’s save Harry Potter and other more difficult books for when they are ready! 

OR, if your child really wants to read a book that’s above their level and they are struggling to understand the story, read it aloud to them or have them listen to it. When they are not putting all of their effort into decoding the words on the page, they can understand books at a much higher level!

If you’re not sure where your child’s reading level falls, you can ask their teacher! I also have a Book Leveling Cheat Sheet you could check out that explains this in a little more depth.

Book Reading Level Cheat Sheet image of the information included in the cheat sheet explaining letters and numbers for reading levels

Explore the book & try the 5 finger rule to find books your kids will love

Dark blue background with stars and a hand with five fingers. Tip 3 for choosing books your kids will love: explore the book & try the 5 finger rule

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Never judge a book by its cover”? I would change that to: “Never judge a book JUST by its cover.” (make an image)

As an adult, what do you gravitate towards when you’re picking books? The cover is the first thing we see! If you are not looking for a specific title or a specific author, we do tend to pick books based on their covers!

I would take it a step further and read the back book blurb or the book jacket. Decide if the plot sounds interesting or if your child can relate to the characters. Sometimes, especially for those Transitional Reader Taylors (not sure what type of reader you have? Take the quiz here!), they may open a book and just look at all of the words on the page and decide it’s too hard for them.

Again, go with your child’s lead on this. Transitional reader books tend to have more white space on the page and some picture support in these early chapter books.

5 Finger Rule:

I encourage kids to read the first couple of pages of a book before they decide if they want to read it. As they get to a word they either don’t know because they cannot sound it out or maybe they don’t know what it means, they raise one finger.

If they come to another word they don’t know, they raise another finger. If they get to 5 fingers before they are done reading a page or two, then the book is probably too hard for them.

Remember, if they really want to read a particular book and it’s too hard based on the 5 finger rule, you can read it aloud to them!

Ask friends, family, librarians, teachers, or me, your personal reading consultant for book titles!

Dark blue background with stars. Tip 4 for choosing books your kids will love: Ask friends, teachers, librarians, or your personal reading consultant (that's me!) for book suggestions

You don’t know how many times I’m asked, “Hey Kim, do you have any good books for an 8-year-old boy who loves {insert favorite thing here!”?

My answer is always, “Yes! Have you tried…?” From my time in the classroom to my time raising these 4 kids, I probably have a book suggestion for whatever you need 😉 Just ask!

Your local librarian is also an amazing resource. Ask for help and book suggestions. Even better, let your child ask the librarian for help!

One of my favorite ways to get new book ideas is to ask kids what they are currently reading. Have your child ask a friend or cousin what they are reading. Even better, do a book swap and swap out some favorite titles with friends!

You can always ask me, your personal reading consultant! If you want a specific list of books curtailed to your reader’s ability and interests, check out my Personal Reading Playbook.

Ultimately, it’s your child’s choice to find books they love

We all have dreams of books our kids will love. 

Maybe your muggles are letting you down and aren’t into  Harry Potter like you. 

Maybe you have no idea why they’re not into “some pig” and they don’t think Charlotte’s Web is “terrific.” 

Maybe you really don’t love the graphic novels they insist upon reading.

I know it’s hard, but let your child pick what they read. You can make suggestions and try to guide them to pick just right books. The best way to help your kids to fall in love with reading is to let them pick their books!

A few of MY favorite books your kids may love…

As a teacher & a mom of four, here are a few favorite books your kids may love. It is their choice, but you could always suggest some of these titles to get them reading! If you think your Fluent Reader Freddie is too old for picture books, think again!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

You can’t go wrong with a Peter Reynolds book! This story is great for those little ones who think they “can’t draw.” Vashti’s teacher helps her go from a blank page by telling Vashti to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.” This teacher’s encouragement of Vashti’s dot drawings leads to an entire dot showcase. It can help your little ones see that they CAN draw, and encourages them to take ownership of their pictures by signing their names on their artwork. You can’t go wrong with any of Peter Reynold’s books!

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

Even though this book has no pictures, your kids will love it! It is a fun book for you to read aloud and share with your kids. It is silly and entertaining. Your kids will laugh so much (and YOU may need to preview the book to practice!).

Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border

This story of finding friends will make you and your little one laugh! What’s a lonely piece of peanut-buttered bread to do? Find a friend, but he runs into all sorts of different issues with everyone he comes across (hamburgers, hot dogs, eggs, cupcakes) and he is feeling very lonely until the end of the story where he brings everyone together.

This is a great book to use to discuss including everyone on the playground or in school. It can be used with preschoolers through fifth graders to teach this valuable friendship lesson!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos is a hilarious story that will finally teach you why dragons breathe fire! Dragons love tacos: chicken tacos, beef tacos, and any kind of taco. Just make sure you don’t serve dragons spicy salsa! Dragons hate spicy salsa (we change hate to “don’t like!” in our house).

Find out what kind of parties dragons enjoy and talk to your little ones about their parties, dragons, tacos, and more with this funny story that they will absolutely love! You can also check out Dragons Love Tacos 2.

The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat

How many of your little ones have an imaginary friend?! Even if they do not have one, they probably have played pretend, and this story will tap into that creativity!

On an island far away, an imaginary friend is born waiting to be chosen by a real child. When he keeps getting overlooked, he goes on his own adventures to a city where he meets his match and gets his name, Beekle. This heartwarming story is filled with amazing artwork, the true meaning of friendship, and a courageous journey.

What book will your child fall in love with?

I love to give book suggestions and ideas for holidays. Remember to take what I say and use what works for your kids and your family. Exposing our kids to different books will help them decide what they like and what they don’t. If you’re looking for book suggestions specific to your child’s reader type, click here to take the quiz!

Kim Creigh, M.Ed