The Anatomy of a Great Book

Can I share something with you?

When my son was in pre-school, he had his go-to-books. The ones with the worn pages or missing cover. The ones he slept with. The one he chose every night, though I just bought him a new set of books from the school’s book fair. If you have children or deal with them often, you’ve experienced this multiple times. 

What makes these books so special? 

During a November live in 2022 on my Facebook page, my friend Andy Evans, teacher and PaperPie (formerly Usborne Books) consultant, shared a plethora of information on providing children with interactive reading experiences. Andy noted four things to connect with a child. These four things are not only great advice for interacting with children, but also a solid formula for choosing children’s books.  

  1. Eye contact — Is your child able to relate the main character of the book? Are the illustrations professional and eye-catching?  
  2. Touch — Does your child care about the character and the problem (s)he faces in the story? 
  3. Present — Does your child care what happens next? Does the story use the five senses to pull your child into the story? Is it written in an age-appropriate way with important and teachable lessons 
  4. Playful — Are the characters funny? Is the story humorous? Do the illustrations complement the story?  

I hope you will use this formula each time you are looking for that special book. And during your search, please don’t forget my collection of diverse books for children ages 3 to 9 that make important life lessons and habits easy and memorable. 

Until next time,

Tracé Wilkins Francis, Children's Author
Founder of Annie Jean Publishing, Inc.
Diversifying and creating teachable moments in kidlit one book at a time




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