A Child’s Home Library

Some of my lasting memories of childhood include some of the beautiful books I received as a young girl; some I still have and enjoy to this today. So, even before my children and later my grandchildren were born, I’ve collected children’s books for mine and their libraries, and present them as gifts on special occasions. I share my children’s picture book library collection with my 4 year old grandson and 1-1/2 year old granddaughter whenever they come to visit. They love books!

My daughter, Effie, saved her own books from childhood and began collecting vintage children’s stories during high school. After her daughter was born, Effie and her husband, Dirk, began reading to her right away. They continue to make trips to local second-hand shops and used bookstores such as Smith Family Books to find books ranging from the classic Dr. Seuss to newer developmental board books their child could handle and not damage.

They have also made it affordable to build a library by shopping online with half.com. They regularly buy books beyond their daughters developmental age that they read aloud while she’s snuggled in their laps and while she plays, to introduce her to the sounds and shapes of the broader world around her.

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” – Marilyn Jager Adams

Dirk & Sephira Reading

“Children are made readers on the lap of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald

My daughter and son-in-law collected nearly 100 children’s books before their daughter was 1-1/2 years old. My granddaughter loves reading books more than any other activity. If she toddles off, you can be sure to find her in her room, picking books off her library shelves to read. Her first hand sign was “book”, and “book” was her first word, both at 8 months of age. At this rate, their going to need considerable shelf space to organize her books as she continues to grow.

Effie has organized their daughter’s books by putting all the large-format books on the bottom, for easy reach and handling. The next shelf up has all of her board books, Dr. Seuss and paper back picture books. The top shelf holds fragile, vintage books, so they are just out of reach for now. The other grandma gifted our granddaughter with a rocking chair… one of her favorite places to read.

One of the special books I gifted my granddaughter, and hope she treasures always, is the lovely picture poetry book All in a Day by award-winning author Cynthia Rylant. She takes it off her book shelf and brings it to me to read, nearly every time I visit.

About All In A Day

This lovely book illuminates all the possibilities a day offers’ the opportunities and chances that won’t ever come again, and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant’s poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure’s stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this picture book not only timeless but appealing to all ages, from one to one hundred. Abrams Books

Today’s blog post was inspired by A Children’s Librarian a Home, an article I read this morning about organizing a library at home for children. Susan’s suggestions are especially helpful for parents with older school age children with an eclectic mix of books to sort, organize and shelve.

Here is an excerpt:

“I spent a lot of time this weekend in the library, but I don’t mean the public library where I work. I was organizing my home library.

We’ve moved a couple of times, and every time the bookshelves get set up, I struggle with how to arrange the books. My children’s book collection has grown quite large and by now encompasses at least 5 bookcases.

This time when I shelved everything, I gave a great deal of thought to how my kids would use the library.” Read the full article.

One thought on “A Child’s Home Library

  1. Wonderful !! Time with an adult reading, looking, imagining, snuggling, rocking quietly and happily. I wish for all kids such thoughtful and compassionate family connections.

    Thanks for this post Lee.

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