Building a Child’s Library: #nf10for10

Thanks to my friend, and new grandmother, Julie Balen for bringing this event to my attention.

Please check out the suggestions for her beautiful new baby granddaughter here.

Over the past two years, I have been purchasing a new book for my granddaughter every month.  I love how she is delighted with her books, and it’s great to hear her mom talk about which ones are her favourites.

Here are some of the non-fiction selections.  I haven’t had time to add all ten yet, but this is a good start.

  1. Pat the bunny is a book that our children received as babies, so of course we continued this classic with our granddaughter.  It is an interactive soft board book


2. HTML for Babies

“..the visual patterns and symbols that make up the essential building blocks of the web.”

I’m not sure there is any particular value for babies, but it makes a great joke gift, while reminding us of the importance of intergenerational digital literacies.  Our kids need to learn the language of computers to have opportunities in the changing digital economy.



Whenever I am travelling, I pick up a book for little Chloé.

Most have been story books, but 18 months ago in Newfoundland, I found this little gem that tells the interesting biology of the Atlantic Puffin.

3. Puffin’s Homecoming

Chloé is fascinated with birds, and this book feels like a story book as it tells the life cycle of the puffin in incredible detail.


4. In Banff Springs, in 2015, I picked up this gem for her, extra special this #canada150 birthday!



As Chloé gets older, she has developed very specific interests in topics and types of books she enjoys.

4. Dogs are hot right now, as are interactive board books.  This one was a big hit.


5. At age 18 months, this book with textured “finger trails” and pictures of her favourite animals led to hour of “reading” together.  It reminded me that it’s not always the traditional, or most critically acclaimed books that need to be there, but the books than meet the needs of the child on that day.



6.  For parents. Your child is an individual.

This book shows you why you need to be suspicious of anything that assumes your child should be standardized, to learn exactly the same things at exactly the same time as other children.  We may forget to question standardized testing, or any testing, grades, curriculum expectations.  The faulty science behind standardizing individuals helps us see the things we take for granted in the school system in a whole different light.

This book empowers parents to advocate for the uncovering and developing of the unique gifts every child possesses.



7. And here is a free one for parents, so that they can really think carefully about what education needs to look like for their children.



8. Something for every home library.  This is such a quick read, that tackles the entire history of how we got here.  If you missed any lessons in school, this fills in the blanks in plain language!