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Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children Paperback – August 1, 1998
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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From School Library Journal
Written by a children's bookstore owner and a storyteller, this volume offers readers a pep talk and a guide to sharing literature. Lewis and Mayes know their books and their enthusiasm is infectious. More than 2000 entries include paragraph summaries and evaluations of nonfiction and fiction titles for children from birth to adolescence. Arranged by interest and reading levels, the listings are identified by several themes (e.g., folklore, courage, self-respect, fathers and sons). Sidebars spotlight authors and offer observations about libraries, book selection, and similar topics. The selections feature a fine mix of recent offerings and classics. An extensive appendix lists all titles for each category and useful cross-references help to make literary connections; because no page numbers are given, users must also refer to the index. Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud Handbook (Viking, 1995) and Mary Leonhardt's Keeping Kids Reading (Crown, 1997) devote more space to how the titles should be used, while the focus of Valerie & Walter's guide is the annotations. Buy copies for the circulating collection and one for your professional shelf.
Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
True to the subtitle, the tone is enthusiastic, committed, and informal in this introduction to children's books for parents, teachers, and other interested adults. Valerie owns a children's bookstore; Walter is a storyteller. Together they talk about more than 2,000 books, arranged by age-level from birth to 14. In addition, there are lots of sidebars, quotes, "spotlights" on authors, and commonsense advice about how to get kids to read without preaching about it. The YA section is thin, but the children's selections are excellent, celebratory without being cute, a handy reference even for those who know the books. Shelve this with Betsy Hearne's Choosing Books for Children (1990) and Eden Ross Lipson's New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children (1991). Hazel Rochman
Top customer reviews
The books listed range from the old familiars to the most recent, such as Harry Potter. This is a reference book written with parents and professionals in mind. Wouldn't it be nice to know that your local school or library used Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children regularly? Why not recommend it?
I don't like the way books are sorted - by both a reading level and a listening/interest level simultaneously. So to find books for a 5th grader, I have to go through several different groupings, within which is fiction, science/fantasy, etc.. all intermingled. Very disjointed and unsatisfying.
In addition, listings don't have basic information such as the year of publication, number of pages, awards received, etc..
The comments themselves were of interest, but no more so than the other books' contents.
Maybe it's improved since this edition - I hope so!