Build a Home Library

Helen Foster JamesBy Helen Foster James, NAPPA Book Judge

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island . . .
and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

– Walt Disney

Books, books, books! I’m surrounded by them and it’s a happy sight to see favorite books stacked by my desk, along with other stacks of waiting-to-be-read books. They are truly a treasure and we’re responsible for ensuring that the children in our lives have access to their riches.

In this financial climate, stretching the dollar and finding inexpensive entertainment are popular and necessary actions. The biggest bargain (and treasure) around? Your local public library – where books, DVDs, CDs, excellent programs and more await every family member.

Finding LincolnMaking routine visits to your local library not only saves money, but shows your child how important reading and books are in your family’s life. Browse the shelves of books with your child and find a beloved book from your childhood. And don’t forget the nonfiction shelves! You might find three more books that your dinosaur-loving child hasn’t devoured. Visit the cookbook shelf and find the just-right cookbook to share with your junior chef. 

Of course, you’ll want to make sure your child has his or her own personal home library, and NAPPA choices make fine additions. Each has been carefully selected from among hundreds of entries and our resulting winners span a wide variety of reading interests.

At gift-giving time, remember the personal libraries of the other children in your life. Gifts are a great way to add to their personal libraries and they show how much you value reading. 

Good EggIt’s never too early to start developing a baby’s library. Baby books make outstanding shower gifts and NAPPA has many fine options listed in both its Gold and Honors categories this year and in past years. Books are sturdy and their content deepens as your child’s understanding of the world grows. Books last longer than an adorable outfit or a popular toy, so add a baby book to your shower gift bag (along with that cute outfit)! 

Surround the children in your life with a treasure of books to expand their imaginations, perspectives and knowledge of the world around them.

For inspiration for your home library, check out Helen Foster James' picks for 2009 NAPPA Winning children's books.