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Honey for a Child's Heart Paperback – Deluxe Edition, April 29, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Family favorite now revised and updated, including an annotated list of books for ages 0-12 Everything parents need to know to find the best books for their children Since its publication in 1969, this has been an essential guide for parents wanting to find the best books for their children. Now in its fourth edition, Honey for a Child's Heart discusses everything from the ways reading affects both children's view of the world and their imagination to how to choose good books. Illustrated with drawings from dozens of favorites, it includes an indexed and updated list of the best new books on the market and the classics that you want your children to enjoy. Author Gladys Hunt's tastes are broad, her advice is rooted in experience, and her suggestions will enrich the cultural and spiritual life of any home.

About the Author

Gladys Hunt was a well-known author and speaker. Her books include Honey for a Woman’s Heart, Honey for a Teen’s Heart, and Honey for a Child’s Heart (revised edition). She also wrote numerous Bible study guides for the Fisherman and Lifeguide series. She lived with her husband, Keith, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 4 New edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310242460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310242468
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, the author writes about what makes a book a good book and why reading to oneself and why reading aloud is important and then provides a long bibliography of recommended books. What makes this book special and different from other books (i.e. "Read Aloud Handbook") is that this book is completely family focused. It is written for an intended audience of parents and stresses using reading as an important activity that bonds families together.
Hunt feels that good books feed the soul, teach values, and build character. When one connects with a character emotionally, lessons will naturally be learned from reading the story and getting to know and love the characters. Only good books fit the bill for nourishing the soul, only good books provide "honey". Hunt quotes Eric Fromm, who wrote that he feels that children need "milk" and "honey" to thrive: the milk is the parent providing for the child's physical needs, and the "honey" is the "sweetness of life, that special quality that gives the sparkle within a person". Hunt and Fromm agree that only a minority of children are receiving "honey" from their parents, a parent must first love honey and have it to give, and that not every parent has it to give. Hunt feels that "good books are rich in honey".
There are 124 pages of discussion about good books and the value of selecting good books. Good books make children wonder, laugh, and that contains spiritual, emotional, and intellectual dimensions. There is not much dedicated to selecting books for toddlers and preschoolers although there are plenty of books for that age range in the book list. Unlike other books, this is purely opinion and the author does not spend time discussing results from studies about reading aloud.
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Format: Paperback
The subtitle of this book says it all: "The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life". Gladys Hunt will promote the imaginative use of books in your family in two ways, corresponding to the two halves of this book. In the first half of this book, Hunt shares her insights and ideas about the value of reading, the usefulness of different genres, her notions about what makes a good book, and useful guidelines on how to select good books. Unfortunately, Hunt does not always express her thoughts and ideas in a completely coherent manner, but it would be a serious mistake to avoid this book for that reason. What she does have to say is earnest, sincere, passionate, and incredibly valuable. In the course of her sometimes unstructured ramblings, Hunt passes on many valuable insights about reading, such as the value of fantasy and poetry, and the positive contribution books can make in a child's life in contrast to the negative influence of the media. What I really treasured, however, were the multitude of practical hints about making books come alive in the home. Hunt offers terrific suggestions about reading stories out loud together as a family, and even shares worthwhile ideas to make family Bible reading more profitable. The first half of this book alone makes this book worth purchasing, because if you apply some of these ideas they are sure to make books come alive in your home.
But what really makes this book a treasure is the second half, which is an extensive annotated bibliography of books worth reading, arranged by their suitability for various ages. One might be tempted to quibble about a few favorite titles which have not been included, but you can't overlook the fact that this is a very comprehensive list that includes most children's classics and many more.
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Format: Paperback
I love books and could just kick myself for not having gotten this sooner. I found her chapters on the philosophy of reading, types of literature, etc. VERY thought-provoking and inspiring (as well as confirming of some things I already thought!). She brought some balance to issues many parents face, especially if you are homeschooling or have bright/advanced children. For instance, I tend to read my girl things I like, but that meant I was not bringing her home books on her emotional level to broader her experience in those things. Hunt tells a story of a girl she knew whose parents did this and the result was the girl was disconnected from kids her own age; she needed to learn the simple lessons and values in those kids books even if she could sit still and listen to longer books or read harder books beyond her years. So my daughter and I have been having fun going back through the library and finding the books listed... We've found some new favorites too! You definitely don't want to miss this book!
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Format: Paperback
You may have tangible wealth untold,
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold;
Richer than I you can never be
I had parents who read to me.
S. Gilliand

How many parents enter the library or bookstore and stand there overwhelmed, staring helplessly at row upon row of titles unknown? So many books, so little time to choose what's best. Add to that the pressure that advertisers place on families: kids want to read what's new and fun, and prominently displayed in book club catalogues.

The temptation to let your kids choose what they want to read can be irresistible. It's the same with meals: how many kids beg for steamed broccoli over chocolate chip cookies? If we let our kids read only what they choose, they may never discover the wealth of outstanding books that are beyond their present tastes.

That's why Gladys Hunt's book, HONEY FOR A CHILD'S HEART, is a classic that should be underlined and dog-eared on every parent's bookshelf. The present edition has been revised four times since its first printing in 1969. Now the author can boldly say, "The book has been in print long enough to have its influence affect the second generation of children." The feedback she has received from happy readers over the years is proof her ideas and book lists make a difference.

The book is divided into two parts. You'll want to read part one slowly, savoring her ideas on how books influence the hearts of young readers. The author writes, "Children and books go together in a special way. I can't imagine any pleasure greater than bringing to the uncluttered, supple mind of a child the delight of knowing the many rich things God has given us to enjoy. Parents have this wonderful privilege, and books are their keenest tools.
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