Sunday, December 21, 2008

Review: ReadKiddoRead

I know from our past talks that a lot of you are fellow bookworms. Bookworms who surround your kids with wonderful books and hope they grow up to share your passion for reading.

Author James Patterson is spearheading ReadKiddoRead, a new resource website designed to help parents like us find books our kids will enjoy. It's one of several of Patterson's efforts to promote the joy and excitement of reading--a cause I hadn't known he championed, but which I think is pretty cool.

As his son entered elementary school, Patterson noticed he didn't really enjoy reading. He had been read to his whole life and was learning to read just fine, but it wasn't a favorite activity. So Patterson and his wife went searching for books that they hoped would not only get their son reading, but help him fall in love with reading. The books featured at ReadKiddoRead are an expansion of that project, all selected for their potential to be so awesomely kid-friendly that they spark a lifelong love of books.

The site features a wide range of books for kids from birth through grade school. I appreciated the easy organization system, arranging the reviews both by reading ability and genre. The reviews are thorough and helpful and there are links to find the books at bookstores or your local library. For each one that gets a full review, there is a list of "If you love this book, then try..." suggestions, so it connects you with titles far beyond those featured.

As I was browsing the featured books, it occurred to me that ReadKiddoRead functions the way Amazon reviews would if we could only filter out everyone who doesn't know what they're talking about. (Seriously, am I the only one that gets led astray by Amazon ratings sometimes?) Here you will find not just which children's books are popular, but which are actually worth reading.

Most of the featured books are pretty recently published and I was initially disappointed not to see some of my favorite childhood reads. But many classics do pop up in the additional reading suggestions. And, really, a site that introduces me to books I didn't know about already is actually more useful than one which just lists my favorites.

I can tell that ReadKiddoRead is going to be a useful resource as my children move through the different reading stages--especially in finding books that generally appeal more to boys. I'm glad to help spread the word about it, because I hope it succeeds in its mission to introduce more children to the wonders of pleasure reading. Every kid who grows up to join our bookworm ranks is a thing to celebrate.

Sponsored by Mother Talk.

Post a Comment

Blogger template adapted from 'Morning Drink' by