Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Great Biggo List of Book Lists

(Aw, look! It's my children reading Shakespeare! Really! Okay. Not really.)

I simply had to include the words "Great Biggo List" in the title of this post, because it's a favorite turn of phrase of my dear friend Stefani (see what I mean?), and last year she gave me one of my favorite books ever (oooh! Currently bargain-priced!) for Christmas. In fact, I think a re-read is definitely in order.

But anyway. Most of us are in gifting mode these days, and what better way to dazzle a child's imagination than to present him or her with a delicious new book? Here's a roundup of some great places on the Web to find high quality suggestions.

For hot-off-the-press reads, NPR's Michele Norris presents Top 5 Books for Backseat Readers. I totally have my eye on that memoir by Allen Say, as I think he's one of the best children's author/illustrators ever. In the world, even.

Melissa Wiley has ideas for you, and believe me, this gal knows her stuff. In the comments, she and her readers may even toss you a personalized suggestion! How's that for service?

I've mentioned MotherReader's amazing book-giving list before, and now she's updated it. 150 ways to give a book? Yes, please.

The Chinaberry catalog/website always has a well-curated lineup.

I often consult Sonlight, a company catering to homeschoolers, for reliably great, wholesome, age-appropriate, literature for curl-up-together or independent reading.

Here's a list of 1000 Classic Children's Books, starting with picture books. A while back, I printed out a copy just to see how we were doing. :-) I'd say a child who's read all or most of those books couldn't fail to get a mighty fine education.

GoodReads is a wonderful resource. I use it for keeping track of my personal reading, my children's reading, our shared reading, our audiobooks, etc. In that way, it becomes a built-in homeschool recordkeeping system ... and it's easier than ever now I have the iPhone app. I just scan the barcode of a book we've finished and add it to my shelves. Ta-da! Plus, I can see what my friends are reading (Hey Raji! Hey others!) and get recommendations from GoodReads based on what's already on our shelves. Golden.

Okay, so I promised you "Great Biggo," but any more links and I probably run a serious risk of overwhelming you, if you're anything like me.

What about you? Are you planning to give books this year? Where do you like to gather suggestions and make your purchases?


  1. Love it! I almost always give books as gifts, but I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed at the number of books we have on our shelves (and not on the shelves...which might be most of my problem). I'm running out of space and drowning in books!! So I've been trying to use the library more often. The 1000 Good Books list is great. I printed it off, but I need to find it (in one of the multitudes of paper stacks around here) and mark the ones we've read and find ones we haven't. I feel like I'm running out of books for Levi, and surely that can't be! Maybe I should ask Melissa for suggestions. :)

  2. "Where do you like to gather suggestions and make your purchases?"
    haha, right here for the former, and Amazon for the latter :-) I also love GoodReads - I basically copy knowledgeable peoples' (umm, that would be you) lists into my own To-Read shelves. And then I look very intelligent to my own friends and family who look at me and my extensive lists in awe, as if I know what I am doing and am some kind of Kid Lit expert :-)

  3. PS: I want to tell everyone about a blog I follow: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ Cynthia is a writer who lives in Austin and is known as a veritable expert in Kid Lit.

  4. I can't wait to go look these up. Thanks for the great list! Here's a blog I came across a few days ago that has helped me find some good books: http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/ I like that she reviews out of prints books as well as more popular ones.