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Books to Grow With

Guide to Using the Best Children's Fiction for Everyday Issues/Tough Challenges

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Children's Books Guide

Children's Books Guide: Books to Grow With

Lutra Press
Just as the subtitle states, Books to Grow With is A Guide to Using the Best Children's Fiction for Everyday Issues and Tough Challenges. The author, Cheryl Coon, has done a very good job of selecting children's books.

Features of the Book

Books to Grow With includes more than 500 recommended books covering more than 100 topics. It focuses on elementary school age and younger children and includes picture books and other chidren's fiction books that are under 100 pages long. Books to Grow With includes five indexes: Authors and Illustrators, Titles, Subjects, Multicultural Books, and Books Available in Spanish. The book is organized by topic categories, with each category divided into subcategories.

Topics Covered

The organization of Books to Grow With makes it easy to find books on narrowly defined topics, such as bedwetting and adjusting to a new baby. The recommended children's books are organized into ten major categories, with subcategories of specific topics in each. Below are the categories, with a few of the specific 100+ topics covered included in parentheses:
  • Early Childhood Transitions (crib to bed, potty training, pacifier, etc.)
  • New Experiences (babysitter, visit to dentist, etc.)
  • New Skills (swimming, riding a bicycle)
  • School-Age Kids (everything from starting school to reading problems)
  • Relationships with Other Children (bullies, prejudice, shyness, etc.)
  • Growing Up (feelings, fears)
  • Family Life (picky eater, siblings, adoption, foster home, etc.)
  • Changes and Challenges in Family Life (divorce, re-marriage, stepfamilies)
  • Feeling Safe in a Scary World (strangers, alcoholism, etc.)
  • Family Health: Illness and Disabilities
  • Talking About Death (pet, sibling, friend, parent, etc.)
The author carefully selected children's books that are readily available at booksellers and/or public libraries.

Why the Author Wrote Books to Grow With

Cheryl Coon became interested in writing this book for two reasons:
  • She knew how frustrating it could be to try to find the right children's book for a difficult situation.
  • She believes, "The right fiction book can help children overcome their fears and anxieties, handle their anger, and learn the tools of problem-solving. It can also reassure them that they aren't alone in the experiences they're having."

My Recommendation

I think parents, elementary school teachers, librarians, and others will find Books to Grow With to be a helpful reference book. My one regret is that cover art is not provided for the picture books since the illustrations are so important to to the story. (Lutra Press, 2004 ISBN: 0974802573)

What Children's Books Do You Recommend?

What are some of the children's books that you have found useful in helping your children deal with everyday issues and tough challenges? Share your recommendations by joining the discussion on the About Children's Books Forum.

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