Not sure which book to choose next for your young bookworm? The Kids’ Reading Guide has you covered. In its 20th year, the publication curated by the Australian Booksellers Association features over 100 of the best children’s books for babies and toddlers through to young adult as well as having sections for non-fiction and on-trend categories.
Robyn Huppert, marketing and communications manager for the Australian Booksellers Association, explains that all the books in the guide are handpicked and reviewed by booksellers from across Australia. The guide is a fantastic resource that helps parents, educators, librarians, booksellers and children select from the year’s best children’s books.
‘Each June, booksellers come together and meet with publishers presenting hundreds and hundreds of books for consideration in the guide. For a book to make it into the guide it must have been read by multiple reviewers from the bookseller panel. This ensures that a fair discussion can be undertaken and each review of a book in the guide is written by someone who has read the book, cover to cover, so you can be sure of no surprises,’ she says.
The guide ranges from board books for infants through to young adult. Robyn says the panel often notice trends in books presented that year and categories will be devoted to these, such as the special ‘poetry’ and ‘you can change the world’ categories highlighted in the 2019/2020 edition.
All the booksellers involved in the selection process are extremely passionate about children having access to books and developing a life-long love of books. With research showing that reading to children daily has a direct impact on their schooling outcomes, regardless of their family background and home environment, it’s helpful to have access to a curated guide of books for all ages.
A lovely little addition to the guide is the inclusion of reviews from children themselves. Wolfgang, aged 3, reviewed the book Oi Puppies! by Kes Gray and Jim Field:
‘I love puppies and cats. I like all the rhymes and my favourites are “Tickles on some pickles” and “Tiddles on the fiddle”. Mum says I giggle a lot when she reads those parts. The puppies are very naughty but I think they are funny.’
Parents can help foster a love of books and reading by signing up for challenges such as the 1000 Books Before School initiative or the Premiers’ Reading Challenge (check your state for local initiatives). Family challenges such as reading one book per person per month or having family read aloud sessions are wonderful ways to have fun and make reading and books part of everyday life.
Using the Kids’ Reading Guide you can trust that you are going to find books either in your favourite local bookstore or library that will help young imaginations take flight.
Natalie Moutafis is an ISV staff member, parent and author of our Tiny Humans blog.
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