Children’s Book Recommendations

Little Blue Truck Review


Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry Little Blue Truck is a major source of inspiration to me in the world of children’s literature.  It’s the tale of Little Blue Truck (Blue for short) who treats all of his barnyard animal friends with kindness.  When Dump Truck blows by them all and subsequently gets…

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  • Children’s Book Recommendation Overview

    There are a lot of great children’s book lists out there. However, the Present Senses’ Children’s Book Recommendations are based on a combination of several factors that make them what we’ll call “present” books. For the time being, we are focusing on picture books.

    1.) The overall message in the book has the character(s) engaging in the present moment in some fashion. This can be something as simple as the characters soaking in the experience of the ocean, or along the lines of a character having an epiphany about how to deal with a difficult situation. The present moment message might be very subtle or blatantly obvious.

    2.) The book is very enjoyable for both children and adults. I say this because if parents are not engaged in reading the book, it is unlikely the child will be, and hence neither are really in the moment of the experience of reading together. While reading any book with your child is of course wonderful, I’m recommending books that pass the “over and over and over” test (i.e., I can still muster some excitement in my voice to read a book my child wants to hear a hundred times). There are lots of books out there that children enjoy for various reasons and as adults we read them for that reason alone. But, my focus is on books that have a message that speaks to both the child and the adult. Get everyone really engaged. A book doesn’t have to be super long and void of pictures to do that.

    3.) When a book has a “present” message for the readers, it lends itself to adults engaging their children with thought provoking questions. To help with this process, I’ll be posing questions in my recommendations that you might want to ask your children while reading the book. Kids rarely (okay, never) like to be preached to, so having children talk about the message they received from the book is often a safe way to communicate about something similar that might be on their minds.

    A note on age recommendations: I don't include them because younger kids can get into books with lots of words and older kids can enjoy books without many. If attention span’s a challenge, consider paraphrasing, or simply stop reading and start up where you left off another time. There’s nothing that says you have to read a book from cover to cover in one sitting. Or, perhaps you could just look at the pictures together. Two children reading the same book together can definitely enjoy it at different levels.

    Here’s to some “present reading”! Enjoy! And, please feel free to contact us if you know of any books that you think we should consider recommending!