Randi Goldfarb

Children’s picture books offer a fantastic opportunity to help children learn about the world around them. With zillions to choose from, we believe it is important to critically read all books prior to sharing them with your child or classroom, even though these books are expressly written for young audiences. Children’s picture books can be quite impactful for a child, both positively and negatively, especially when read over and over again. Ironically, so many children’s picture books-even the most popular, famous, and with many awards given-often send underlying messages or express themes that can have a not-so-positive impact on a child’s behavior!
When the content in a children’s picture book does not match your value system or approach and you choose to read it with your child or class, it is worthwhile to share your views with them. This teaches children that just because a book says something, it does not mean it is the correct approach for everyone. Additionally, this process helps young children develop their own critical thinking and experience the value of making their own assessments. These are essential skills to learn as readers and for life!

✓ are fun, engaging, and validating to a child’s varied experiences
✓ provide opportunities for social and emotional learning
✓ help children discover healthier alternatives to managing typical childhood challenges and behaviors
✓ facilitate relationship building skills
✓ are great springboards for rich discussion
✓ promote greater learning opportunities between the scores of impressionable and developing young children and the grown-ups in their lives
Please note that this list does not include age recommendations for each book, because the content is evaluated for social and emotional learning, and not specific reading levels. These books can be appropriate for a slightly larger range in age for this purpose.