You’re Back! Yay!
In “part two” of my library post, I’m going to share how I categorized all of my books, the different genres I created, and a few book recommendations for each genre! Also, don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a fun blog share and a GIVEAWAY!
Gah! I’m just so happy that you are here and interested in this little project of mine…and maybe in building your own!?! I’m such a book nerd, always have been, and I just love watching my kids get excited about books too! They’ve seriously read more and cycled through more books in the few weeks we’ve had the library than in months prior combined. I only wish I would’ve started this project sooner! Well, better late than never I guess! I’m just so excited to watch this little library change and grow over the years, as the kids do. It’s one of my greatest wishes- to instill, in them, a love of reading.
GENRE BINS AND BOOK RECS
Ok, let’s get to the good stuff: genres and actual books! Your genre groups may be different, but I created my bins based on:
1. The books I had on hand and
2. My children’s interest level
Here are the genre baskets I ended up with along with some of my favorite books and series for each. (Just a heads up that most of these titles are chapter books/novels unless otherwise noted. Scroll to the bottom if you are only interested in picture books!) Also, these titles are NOT linked- because that would just take forever… AND also because I have full-faith in your Amazon search bar skills! 😉
*Book Levels: Most of these books were purchased by me for my third grade classroom. Please keep in mind, however, that I had students reading at all different levels…so these books can be appropriate as independent readers for kids reading at any level from 1st through probably 5th grade, OR as read-alouds for almost any elementary school age! It’s all going to depend on your kiddo, their reading skills, and their interests. And please remember when your hesitant reader chooses a book you are less than thrilled about….
- FANTASY- Emily Windsnap series, The Secrets of Droon series, The Jewel Kingdom series, Pixie Tricks series, Dragon Slayer’s Academy Series, Tashi, Rainbow Magic series, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter (duh!)
- MYSTERY- A to Z Mysteries Series, Calendar Mysteries, The Nancy Drew Notebooks, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew (for younger readers!), Cam Jansen series, Nate the Great series, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series, Third Grade Detectives series, Jigsaw Jones series, Geronimo Stilton series, The Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House Series
- PICTURE/HOLIDAY BOOKS- Picture books are my FAVORITE and I have so so so many to list. Instead, scroll to the bottom of this post for a separate link all about picture books. And for my favorite Holiday books, make sure you follow along as I post my favorites each month. You can find my Halloween Favorites HERE and my Thanksgiving Favorites HERE. (Christmas coming soon!!)
- PHOTO ALBUMS- What better way to give your dusty old family photo albums some action than putting them out on display? Encourage your kiddos to check out the albums just like they would any other book! I make mine at Shutterfly or Artifact Uprising
- NON-FICTION- (my stash is mostly picture books, like these:) Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Smart Kids series, The Eyewitness Books series. I also make sure I toss any non-fiction books for whatever holiday I have on display into this bin. I like the girls to be able to notice that there is a difference between fiction and non-fiction books even if they are both in the same general category (ie “Holiday”). I kept the picture book and non-fiction bins close to each other on the shelves for this reason!
- REALISTIC FICTION- (my stash is mostly picture books, like these:) Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Abe Lincoln: The boy who loved books by Kay Winters, If You Were There When…series
- BOOKS ABOUT GIRLS-Sounds super random but I had SO many general “fiction” books that had girls as the main character. I just had to give them their own bin. My next task is to start a bin with books about boys!Ivy & Bean series, Willimena Rules series, Utterly Me Clarice Bean, The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes series, Katie Kazoo Switcheroo series, Judy Moody series, Clementine, Portraits of Little Women: Beth’s Story, A Little House Chapter Book series (mini chapter books based on the beloved classic novels!), The American Girl books, Junie B. Jones (although her sassy mouth is not my favorite. I may not let Q read these…girlfriend doesn’t need ANY ideas.)
- BOOKS ABOUT ANIMALS- Pony Pals series, The Saddle Club Series, A Dog Called Kitty, Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Critter Club series, Snot, Big Apple Barn, Animal Ark series
- LEVEL 2 READ-ALOUDS: (Note:These are the chapter books that we read aloud at night together before bed. I created this system of leveling chapter books to create an easy system and language for the kids when we are choosing books to read together at night. I consider Level 1 read-alouds to be picture books and small “I Can Read” type books.) Level 2 are the shorter, more simple chapter books; ie books that may take a us a few nights to get through. The Adventures of Sophie Mouse series, Invisible Stanley, Lady Lollipop, The Littles series, Horrible Harry series, The Chocolate Touch, Toys Go Out, Mercy Watson series, The Hundred Dresses, Elmer and the Dragon, Sarah Plain and Tall, The Beast in Ms. Rooney’s Room, The Chalk Box Kid, Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings
- LEVEL 3 READ-ALOUDS:These chapter books that I refer to as Level 3 will be the books that are a bit thicker and might take us a week or more to get through. The Penderwicks, Little House on the Prairie series, Poppy, Mr. Tucket, The Magician’s Elephant, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Charlotte’s Webb, When You Reach Me, The Wizard of Oz, James and the Giant Peach, The Velveteen Rabbit, Tree House, The Dollhouse People series, No Flying in the House
- DAHL, BLUME, CLEARY:I had an abundance of books from these three authors so I combined the books and gave them their own bin. Freckle Juice, Super Fudge, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Ramona the Pest, James and the Giant Peach, Boy, Muggie Maggie, George’s Marvelous Medicine…all the greats!
- BIOGRAPHIES: The Who Was _________ series, Dear America series, Time for Kids: Biographies are a few of my favs!
- INDEPENDENT NOVELS:These are mostly older classics that the kids may want and/or need to read later in life for school…or hey, maybe pleasure! 😉 A Wrinkle in Time, Bridge to Terabithia, The Indian in the Cupboard, Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Bunnicula, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Maniac Magee, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Holes, Little Women, The Twenty One Balloons, The Hobbit
- POETRY: Some Days Other Days, Runny Babbit, A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy, A Pet for Me Poems, I’m Still Here in the Bathtub, This is Just to Say, *Also consider binding & including poems your own children have written!
- SCHOOL/WRITING:First Day Jitters, The First 100 Days, The Kissing Hand, Amelia’s Notebook, Miss Nelson is Missing, A Writer’s Notebook, Diary of a Worm, Officer Buckle and Gloria, A Fine Fine School
- *MOM’S FAVS: I thought it was important to have my own bin, both to actually store my old books and to show my kids that I also love to read…even though they are the reason I hardly have time to anymore! 😉
- *BOOK DROP BIN: I didn’t want the girls throwing the books into any bin when they were finished with them, but I wanted to encourage them to explore and not be afraid to “mess up” the library, so I added a Book Drop Bin. When they are finished with a book (or a pile of books more likely), I ask them to please put them into the bin so that I can make sure they get put away properly. Q is kind of an exception since she’s pretty good at remembering where they go! Cub is still a work in progress! And me? I’m pretty much just living out all my Librarian dreams over here. 😉
CONTAINERS AND BINS
Posting this here again so you don’t need to go back to the “Part One” post. All bins and baskets I used for the library are from The Container Store. I’ve linked them again for you, below!
PICTURE BOOKS & A Blog Collab
Picture books just happen to be my favorite books right now. Maybe it’s because of the gorgeous illustrations or maybe it’s because these are the books my kids are most into at the moment. But, since I’ve “talked” for waaaay too long here, I’m going to direct you over to my sweet friend Lauren’s blog, Lauren and Littles.
Lauren and I actually taught together for several years before we became mommies. Lauren has her Master’s Degree in Education and specializes in reading…so basically she knows what she’s talking about!
Lauren is covering some of her favorite picture books in several different genres and talking a little bit about how to build a library for children ages birth to seven. How fun! So, hurry up and head on over to her page, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Click HERE for Lauren’s Post.
And don’t forget to enter our contest over on Instagram! Lauren and I are giving away a “Little Home Library” Starter Kit including a cute Canvas Tote Bag from Out of Print, a $50 shop credit to Pearl & Jane (for some super cute book-nook garland!) AND a $50 gift card to Amazon to help you get started (or continue building) your very own home or school (yay, teachers!) library.
Best of Luck!!!