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Six Tips on Picking the Perfect Picture Book

Six Tips on Picking the Perfect Picture Book

A picture book is one of the best gifts a young child can receive. Books can be bought, new or used, at bookstores, either online or at brick and mortar stores, borrowed from the library or passed down from friends whose children have outgrown them. Many libraries also have a section where donated books or books purged from the library system are sold very inexpensively. But the question is, which books among the thousands of titles available, should parents choose for their young children? Is every picture book worthy of a place on a child’s bookshelf? What are the characteristics of a great picture book?

Reading Book with Mom
Here are six crucial characteristics of a great picture book.

Eye-catching illustrations

The pictures should invite the reader into the book and help tell the story.

Poetic prose

The words don’t have to rhyme, but should have a poetic quality to them and be enjoyable for both the reader and the listener.

Optimistic outlook

The book can be on a serious subject, but should always put things in a positive light.

Adult appeal

Even though it is a book for a child, an adult should be able to enjoy reading it and listening to it

Captivating or compelling characters

A story will usually be interesting if the characters are, whether they are people or trains or animals.

Clear and consistent story line

By the end of the story, questions should be answered, goals should be reached and problems should be solved.


Vivian Kirkfield

I'm a mom ­of three, ­educator, ­parenting ­speaker an­d author o­f Show Me ­How! Build­ Your Chil­d's Self-E­steem Thro­ugh Readin­g, Craftin­g and Cook­ing. I lo­ve sharing­ my passio­n for util­izing pict­ure books ­and positi­ve parenta­l particip­ation to b­uild self-­esteem, de­velop pre-­literacy s­kills and ­strengthen­ the paren­t-child co­nnection. ­ I enjoy h­iking and ­fly-fishin­g in the C­olorado Ro­ckies when­ I'm not r­eading, cr­afting and­ cooking w­ith kids. ­ My next w­riting pro­ject is a ­picture bo­ok/board b­ook for to­ddlers and­ I just re­turned fro­m taking t­he Show-Me­-How Story­-time with­ Miss Vivi­an program­ "on ­the road&q­uot; to Ch­icago.
Connect with me on:
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7 comments

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  • I love that you included “adult appeal”. My daughter is at the age where she wants to read books over and over again, so having a book that is amusing (or at least tolerable!) for adults as well is important.

  • We’d love you to know about (and help spread the word about) our preschool bedtime picture book…an interactive treat that jumped onto Oprah’s 2012 Kids List: vine.co/v/hnvmxxearWh 🙂

  • As a lover of books and an advocate of reading for anyone and everyone I am a firm believer that picture books are important. They help spark a child’s imagination and curiosity. It really depends on the child which book, storyline you should pick-you know your child’s interests the best or will figure it out quickly!

  • I’d also use the shortlists for renowned book awards as a source of inspiration. You may not always agree with the final winners, but these books have been poured over by the experts, so they are always worth delving into. “Is every picture book worthy of a place on a child’s bookshelf?” – unfortunately not, one of the key reasons why mybookcorner was developed. 😉

About Author

Vivian Kirkfield

I'm a mom ­of three, ­educator, ­parenting ­speaker an­d author o­f Show Me ­How! Build­ Your Chil­d's Self-E­steem Thro­ugh Readin­g, Craftin­g and Cook­ing. I lo­ve sharing­ my passio­n for util­izing pict­ure books ­and positi­ve parenta­l particip­ation to b­uild self-­esteem, de­velop pre-­literacy s­kills and ­strengthen­ the paren­t-child co­nnection. ­ I enjoy h­iking and ­fly-fishin­g in the C­olorado Ro­ckies when­ I'm not r­eading, cr­afting and­ cooking w­ith kids. ­ My next w­riting pro­ject is a ­picture bo­ok/board b­ook for to­ddlers and­ I just re­turned fro­m taking t­he Show-Me­-How Story­-time with­ Miss Vivi­an program­ "on ­the road&q­uot; to Ch­icago.
Connect with me on:
Twitter | Google +