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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

The Good, the Bad, and the Unreadable

March 28, 2007

There are lots, maybe too many, books published annually. The Denver Post recently suggested that last year 16,000 new children's books were published.

How can adults – teachers and parents – distinguish what's good and what's not with such an overwhelming number of books to choose from?

You may want to start with the "canon of children's literature" suggested by Anita Silvey. . And take a look at recommendations from the American Library Association.

One of the things I miss most in a lot of new books for younger children is a good story, one in which the message doesn't overpower the pleasure. Maybe that's why I responded so warmly to Library Lion (Candlewick). Preschool and primary grade children will certainly catch the gentle humor as they respond to the equally gentle conflict in this handsomely illustrated story with an old-fashioned feel.

And I always recommend talking to your local librarian -- often a library lion -- who knows lots of children's books that may be just right for the young readers in your life.

Comments

I'm so glad to hear that Conversations with a Poet is helping children, teachers, and parents. As a poet and former teacher, I know how hard it is to be an expert on every required subject. I'm thrilled to have the chance to pass on tips, secrets, samples, short cuts, and insights regarding poetry. Poetry can be such a thrilling subject once it becomes understandable. There are poets in every classroom waiting to be discovered. You'll be amazed when you discover who they are. Maybe you're one of them!

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