Children's Books and Reviews Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Articles’

Finding the Best Children’s Books: Reviews, Lists, and Blogs

Today I wrap up my series on how to choose children’s books by pointing to a number of book lists and other resources that can help adults find some of the best children’s books. Relying on the opinions of those who put such lists and resources together is of course not a fool-proof way to […]

Share

Disney Princess Books: Commercialism in Children’s Literature

In this penultimate article in my series on how to choose children’s books, I will address the issue of commercialism in children’s literature. Specifically, I will offer some advice on avoiding overly commercial children’s literature, and why parents ought to do so. I will use Disney Princess books—and the Disney Princess Collection in particular—as a […]

Share

Choosing Children’s Books with Educational Themes

Perhaps the most obvious way a children’s book can have developmental value for a child is by its ability to educate about a certain topic.  As the child reads the book, she learns something via the content of the book.  In this post I will discuss the place of educational themes in rendering a children’s […]

Share

Stories of Virtue and Vice: Stories and Character Development

Stories can have a powerful influence on the formation of character and values in children.  As such, the potential for character formation via stories is an important criterion for adults to consider when selecting books for children.  In this article, I will describe how stories of virtue and vice can shape character in children, and […]

Share

Criteria for Choosing Books for Children: Mischief

Mischief is a very common feature of children’s books.  But is reading about mischief good for kids?  In this article I will discuss the developmental value (or disvalue) of mischief in children’s books, as one of several criteria for choosing books for children.  I will try to distinguish benign mischief from pernicious mischief, and to […]

Share

Character Development in Children: Books with Exemplary Characters

Today I continue my (lately dormant) series of articles on how to choose children’s books.  In the last article in this series, “The Complexity of Children’s Stories and Social Development”, I discussed the “developmental value” of complex stories for children.  Specifically, I argued that children’s books with complex plots and characters can promote important aspects […]

Share

Plato on Developmental Value in Children’s Stories

I couldn’t resist posting this quote I came across recently in Plato’s Republic about stories, children, values, etc.: “Socrates: You know, don’t you, that the beginning of any process is most important, especially for anything young and tender?  It’s at that time that it is most malleable and takes on any pattern one wishes to […]

Share

The Complexity of Children’s Stories and Social Development

What makes for good children’s books?  In this series on how to choose children’s books, I have suggested that choice-worthy children’s books have both subjective appeal, and developmental value.  In other words, good kids’ books are appealing to a child, and help her grow. One characteristic that can affect the developmental value of a kids’ […]

Share

Children’s Books that Support Language Development

There is sometimes a difference between good children’s books, and books that children like.  But what is that difference?  I think it is summed up in the term “developmental value”: good children’s books are books that both appeal to kids, and help them to develop. In the previous article in this series—“Criteria for Book Selection: […]

Share

Criteria for Book Selection: Developmental Value in Children’s Literature

This article is the seventh in a series on selection criteria for children’s books.  If you would like to read from the beginning, click on “How to Choose Children’s Books.”  In this article, I will explain the concept of “developmental value,” and its importance as a selection criterion for children’s books.  I will also give […]

Share

How to Choose Funny Children’s Books

This post is part 6 in a series on how to choose children’s books. “How to Choose Children’s Books” is the first in the series if you would like to read from the beginning. Last time, in “Selection Criteria for Children’s Books: Good Stories,” I discussed stories in children’s books, and how to choose stories […]

Share

Selection Criteria for Children’s Books: Good Stories

This is the fifth in a series of posts on how to choose children’s books.  “How to Choose Children’s Books” is the first in the series if you would like to read from the beginning.  Last time, in “Illustrations in Children’s Books,” I discussed how to choose books with illustrations that are attractive to kids […]

Share

Divination and Prophecy in the Harry Potter Novels (Part 3)

This is the third and final article in a series about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.  To read from the beginning, click here for the first article, “The Harry Potter Controversy”.  In this third installment of the series, I try to answer some objections that might arise in relation to the place of divination in […]

Share

Allegory in Harry Potter (Part 2)

This article is the second in a series about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.  To read from the beginning, click here for the first article, “The Harry Potter Controversy”.  In this second installment of the series, I make the positive case for Christian allegory in Harry Potter. Allegory in Harry Potter In making a case […]

Share

Harry Potter: Controversy (Part 1)

I have a confession to make: I’m a Harry Potter fanatic.  Prior to last summer I had been enjoying each of the Harry Potter movies as they were released, but I had yet not read any of J.K. Rowling’s children’s books. However, last summer, right before my family and I went on an extended road […]

Share