books: holiday gifts that keep on giving.

It’s that time of year again when parents are looking a special gift. As clichéd as it sounds, books truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

Reading with your child is a present to both parent and child. Whether your children need you to read to them, with them, or simply curl up near them with your own book, reading brings families together. However, the world of books can be overwhelming, so here are a few tips for how to find the perfect book.

For babies and toddlers, look for durability, such as board, cloth, or plastic books. Simple rhymes and colorful pictures can intrigue and entertain your toddler. Tactile books (Touch-and-Feel) are also popular among young readers.

For pre-school and school-aged children, there are a number of different resources available to help simplify your search. Schools can be a great asset, as many keep a list of books recommended by teachers. Lists of award winning books for each year can be found through the school or online as well. Your local librarian or bookstore clerk are also great sources for finding the perfect book.

When looking for books, let your child’s interests guide you. Whether it is cars, fairy tales, or dinosaurs, a book exists for every curiosity. Don’t discount your childhood favorites either, as most of the classic books you loved are still available and can create an added bond between you and your child.

Here are three websites with good book suggestions for all age groups. Happy holidays and happy reading!

Common Sense Media Holiday Gift Guide 2012 for kids ages 2-6 years

Reading Rockets 2012 Buying Guide for Kids ages 0-4 years

Amazon.com: Holiday Gifts in Books for Kids and Teens

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Written by Marilyn Levin

Founder and director of READ New Orleans, a program for parents and children aged 6 months to 5 years that focuses on fostering a lifelong love of language and books.

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