Tips for Choosing Books

For Storytime



  • Large, bright images pictures as babies vision isn't great yet

  • Books that you can sing

  • Books that rhyme

  • Concept books; ABC's, 1,2,3's

  • Books with animal noise



  • High contrast images

  • Very simple stories

  • One to two sentences per page

  • Interactive stories; movement, animal noises, etc.

  • Books you can sing and move to

  • Books with repeated phrases



  • ​Humorous books without sarcasm, especially about underwear

  • Books with simple plots

  • Books with predictive plots

  • Fiction and non-fiction books



  • Know your audience, especially in your specific community/library, and engage with them.​

  • Know yourself - push yourself to learn more, and acknowledge that you might not be the expert in the room. *Engage with those who can help give context, help recognize a tune in a song, etc.

  • For songs and rhymes in multiple languages, check this resource:

  • When choosing books:

    • ​Use books like Chris Raschka’s Yo! Yes? or Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack, or wordless books to talk about the universality of sounds and language. 

    • When reading, make time to ask others, "how do you say ___ in your language?" and, "What sound do they make?"

  • Check resources for World Language Storytimes like this:

For Parents



  • Books with real baby faces

  • Sturdy books that babies can chew on

  • Lift-the-flap and other interactive elements, like textures

  • First word books

  • Nursery Rhymes

  • Concept books; ABC's, 1,2,3's



  • Books about your child's favorite interests

  • Books with large fun pictures

  • Favorite characters

  • Books you loved as a kid

  • Concept books; ABC's 1,2,3's

  • Wordless Books

  • Books you and your child enjoy (you will have to read them a million times)



  • Books that relate to your child's life

  • Wordless books

  • Longer books with more in depth stories

  • Search and Find books

  • Favorite characters

  • Non-fiction



  • One way is to use two or more languages from the start. For example, one parent or caregiver uses one language while the other parent or caregiver uses another language.

  • Another is to use only one language at home. Your child can learn the second language when they start school.

  • Give your child many opportunities to hear and practice using both/all languages in everyday situations.