Psychologists and children specialists all agree; the sooner a child is exposed to reading, the sooner their desire to read and ability to comprehend develops; generally, they also develop intellectually sooner and at a higher level. In fact, some specialists insist that even reading out loud while pregnant enhances the soon-to-be-born infant’s natural inclination to learn. It’s never too soon to read to your child or to encourage them to read. With each year comes a batch of delightful children’s books designed to engage and teach the future leaders, dreamers and doers of the next generation. Here is a brief description of five of the best 2014 has to offer.
1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Hardcover Boxed Set
This delightful set includes the entire five book series of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Intriguing and captivating, the storyline is about a young boy who discovers he’s the son of a God. The series follows his development and his relationships with other young demi-gods. Greek mythology brought to a level that even pre-teens understand and enjoy, it’s ideal for either gender.
2. Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
This Dr. Seuss perennial favorite, designed for children aged four to eight but apropos for anybody graduating from grade school, high school, college, or any one phase of life to the next, inspires one to not be afraid of going to the next level. Success is “98 and three-fourths percent guaranteed,” and the good doctor emphasizes it with the quality of verse and illustration that only he can provide.
3. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Filled with action and colorful pictures on each page, this marvelous Richard Scarry classic defined the love of reading for many parents who grew up with Richard Scarry books. It continues to enthrall children from toddler age to pre-teens with its wonderfully imaginative, charming illustrations and fun text. A must-have addition for every household with children.
4. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
A cool cat keeps his cool no matter what he encounters along the way that changes his beloved shoes from white to red, blue and other unexpected colors. A lesson in patience and positivity, this delightful James Dean book inspires kids to take life as it comes and deal with it logically and optimistically. Designed for children from four to eight years of age, this charmer invites kids to accept changes and learn to grow with them.
5. Little Blue Truck Board Book
A delightful story of friendship and helping others, this warm, engaging story features a little blue truck who learns to benefit from giving as well as accepting help and friendship. Ideal for little people age two and up, it includes a myriad of country road truck and country animal sounds you can elaborate on to amuse and delight your child. Colorful folk-art illustrations make this folksy charmer from Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry a visual joy to read and share.