Maeve Visser Knoth: Books for a four-year-old

Guest Book - Please let me know who you are or ask a question (Click here)!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Books for a four-year-old

Hi Maeve,

I need some recommendations for books for my daughter!!!! I think she's ready for chapter books...she just turned 4, is quite smart, but very sensitive to anything slightly scary, bad guys, and things that make her uncomfortable. (She turns Clifford off if it's a story about Clifford doing something that gets him in trouble...)

If you can recommend anything off the top of your head, I'd really appreciate it!

Hope all is well with you,


Hi Anne,

I wouldn't really start yet on what I call "chapter books" since those are short novels. I would instead look for some transitional kinds of books to get her used to listening longer and having fewer pictures. No need to rush especially since she is sensitive. The thing about longer books is that they address more complex ideas and situations as well...

Try some of the Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant. You will find them in "easy readers". Also in that area are the books about Little Bear by Minarik and some of my daughter's favorites are the stories about Amanda and Oliver Pig which are written by Van Leeuwen. Let me know how these go and I'll have more ideas.

Please don't neglect picture books as you move on to longer stories. There are so many kinds of picture books that you should be sharing them together long after she is reading on her own. I read picture books to classes of fifth and sixth graders all the time and they love them. When you are in the picture book section, look for stories by Shirley Hughes and Amy Schwartz. Both of these writers tell great child-centered stories. The picture books of Harry Allard and James Marshall are wonderful for 4-year-olds because although the stories are short, they have a wry wit that appeals to older preschoolers. Bernard Waber and Robert McClosky's picture books have sustained, sometimes complex stories and rich language to appeal to a child who is ready for something of substance. Margaret Mahy's picture books are often absurd, very funny adventure stories. Try The Great White Man-Eating Shark and The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate.

Have fun,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home