CEO Diana Gerald: Top 5 tips for choosing a book for your child

Published on: 02 March 2016 Author: Diana Gerald

This month, our theme at BookTrust is all about choice.

Diana Gerald

I don't know about you, but sometimes, I find the sheer volume of fantastic children's books intimidating. I love that there are so many brilliant reads out there, but how do I choose the right book - the book the child is going to love?

  • Don't put too much pressure on myself to find the perfect book. In fact, children's authors and illustrators are so talented that I know most things I pick up are going to be great. The young child I know best is an enthusiastic and open minded reader! She's definitely got her favourites, but she loves new stories too.
  • Ask a bookseller or librarian. They're passionate about reading and up to date with all the best stuff. I can't count the times I've gone into a book shop or library and asked vaguely for a book about whales or astronauts - I'm that person. But librarians and booksellers are great and they really don't mind giving you ideas - in fact, they love it!
  • Talk to other parents. Other families with children older than yours will have great tips for the books yours are just about to grow into; they'll know exactly what books their 7 year old devoured (and it might not be the ones you expect!). Alternatively, you can swap recommendations in the playground, or, if one of the mums or dads has set up a Facebook group for parents in your child's class, you could always do a quick post asking for recommendations and see what comes back.

Mum and child

  • Book swaps are brilliant! Sometimes our local school has a book swap afternoon where all the parents can bring in the books our kids don't read anymore, the school secretary lays them out on tables in the hall and you can come and take a few new ones that look interesting. What I like about that are that any book that gets swapped has usually been well loved by someone! If another child has enjoyed it, it's likely that yours will too.
  • Lastly, of course, I HAVE to recommend the excellent BookTrust Bookfinder! When I began as CEO at BookTrust it was one of the first things I tried out on our website; I searched for recommendations for picture books to find the right present. It's regularly updated with the best new children's books, covers all age groups and a wide range of genres and is a joy to use.