Monday, November 07, 2011

Selecting Quality Literature for Children

Several posts back, I reviewed the children's book, "The Creation," by Janice Green. In my review, I spoke about the need for more quality children's books.

In case you missed the comment section, here's one reader's reaction:

"My best introduction to children's books was at the university when I took a class on children's literature. It gave me an overview of what was out there and which authors won awards. But that was 30 years ago. I wonder what that book list would look like today. As a Christian teacher and a parent I would be on the lookout for content in books, new and old. I guard younger children from topics which have values that I don't agree with. I read books myself first. Then with older children I would read and discuss books that presented different values. But the challenge is to find a good quantity of books that promote good values and are good literature."

She gives some wise, practical advice and makes several good points. If less books are available for children, parents and teachers will need to become more diligent in supervising what their children do read. How do you do that?

Read the book first.

Value content above visual impact.

Be discerning about the values the book is teaching.

Shield younger children from questionable values; be willing to discuss those values with older children.

Don't shield older children from books with different values but strive to provide a balance of books with the values you want your children to have.

How do you help your children become discerning of good literature?

My reader continues:"When I was home schooling I learned that reading and copying good writers would help develop the students own reading and writing skills. So, an exercise we did was to have them copy a sentence or two each day from a classic author. This was also good to do with the Bible."

Cream will always rise to the top. That is true of music and books. The best will last so look for books for your kids that have stood the test of time.

Finally, my reader concludes with a commitment that is a worthy challenge for all of us. Pray for those who write children's books. Pray that they will remember who they are writing for, that they will present God's truths and God's ways with excellence and appeal. Pray that the Lord smooth their path to publication so that quality, truth and faith-based books can once again dominate the market.

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