5 Elements of a Bad Book for Toddlers

toddlerbooks 5 Elements of a Bad Book for ToddlersYou want to know what makes a bad book for toddlers? Yeah? Well, from crappy endings to shoody illustrations, here are the 5 elements of a bad book for toddlers.

1. Extremely long and complex sentences. I’m actually weary of any sentences in my toddler’s books that have more than two commas. Why? Well, because commas make for more complex sentences that are harder to follow by young ears. Rather than long and complex sentences, go for books containing mostly simple sentences, books that speak in a way that is easier for your child to understand.

2. Unfamilar themes. A good book for toddlers usually draws upon familar themes, or themes and settings and animals and people who they may have come into contact with in their real lives. For instance, a story about going to the park would work better for most toddlers than a story about a trip to basement apartment on the edge of the city.

3. Overly detailed illustrations. With toddlers, I like to think that with mostly everything, less is more. This philosophy holds up when it comes to book illustrations as well. The best kinds of illustrations feature bright colors, simple designs, and bold prints. Illustrations at this stage are important because toddlers are still relying mostly on them, and a lesser extent, on what you read to them, to make sense of the story.

4. Too sophisticated resolutions and endings. If the ending of your toddler’s book feels like a Martin Scorcese film, then it’s a bad ending. Good endings for toddlers are simple. They don’t require too many words to explain or make sense of. Oh, and they are happy endings.

 5. Too many pages. Unless they’re being used to lull your child into a deep sleep, toddler books should be short, and should contain one main idea that is built upon in the course of the book. Anything more and your toddler is likely to lose interest. Fast.

What are some of your favorite books to read to your toddler?

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Jessica lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband and two girls. Once upon a time, pre-motherhood, she did many things as a “serious-looking” woman who managed to successfully balance a reality TV addiction with a career and academic pursuits. She's now a serious-acting woman whose primary job is raising her children. She writes, reads, fantasizes about minivans, and takes midday naps. She enjoys (among many other things) dancing to 80s music, photography, laughing out loud (at, usually, inappropriate moments), and writing about writing, being a writer, and becoming fearless on her blog Jessica F. Hinton

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6. A dust jacket. I don’t care if it’s a hardback, those dust jackets are trouble.

I have to laugh at this! My husband bought a book at the Fantasy of Flight in Florida called, ‘All of Life is a School’ of something along those lines. My daughter and husband LOVE airplanes and he thought this was a cute book for her. I think that this book describes every point in your blog about poor books for toddlers! The story is long, there are words and sentences that are too long and boring for me! The pictures are busy, the story too complex for little ones. My daughter can’t even just look at the pictures the… Read more »