Parenting little ones doesn’t have to feel like you’ve been dumped in a foreign country with no idea how to speak the language. The Intentional Bookshelf explains just how to do that without all of the fuss. You will never think about buying children’s books in the same way again.
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I became a mom at a much younger age than I would have imagined. At a mere 20 years old my first daughter came blazing into the world changing my life forever. As a mom, I have faced some of the most perplexing moments in my life. It’s a challenge, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before and no one tells you the reality of this new big role. However, I always wanted to be an intentional mother.
From a very young age, my little Nat loved books. We were slow collecting books with our first daughter until she showed us how much she enjoyed them. As time went on we have welcomed many more into our collection. Little did I know that books could be such a great resource for life’s little moments. Then our second daughter blazed her own trail into our hearts and lives forever. Both of our girls are little book lovers and you will often find one of them dragging a book out for us to read to them.
Then I met Sam from Addison Reads. She was writing this wonderful book called The Intentional Bookshelf: Parent with Literature and Build Your Unique Child’s Perfect Little Library.
Photo courtesy of Samantha Munoz
The Shift in My Thought Process
Little did I know my entire way of thinking about children’s books would change over the course of the few hours it took to read her book. I honestly had never thought about children’s books in the way she had taught me. We had taken time occasionally to visit our local library or bookstore and browse the shelves. We bought books for our girls on numerous occasions from new to used to heavily discounted at closeout sales. Our collection has grown to over 100 books but never had I thought to use those books as a companion to my parenting.
The Intentional Bookshelf gives you actionable tips to build the unique library for your family based on your values and beliefs. Sam laid it out so thoroughly that you could start with a new baby or with your young children. She encourages you to start before they are born, but if you have children already then don’t fret! Get them involved with the continuation of building those shelves out with the books they will benefit from the most.
- Determine the purpose of the library
- Set a budget
- Add books continually
- Evaluate as you add more
She even gives you thoughtful ways to organize the collection that you are building. She goes into great detail about the types of books and their place in the collection.
The Books We Love & Why
For me, as a mom, I love that the books we have chosen are ones that inspire imagination. Some of our favorite books that inspire imagination include:
- How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
- The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
We’ve even chosen books that teach our girls life lessons. This has been the biggest change in our family reading time since I’ve read Sam’s book. Some of our favorites in this category include:
- How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends by Jane Yolen
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
- Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
Lastly, I love books that spark curiosity and thinking. I love getting questions from the little minds I’m attempting to groom. Some of our favorites include:
- A Wolf’s Tale by Eva Montanari
- The Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
RELATED: Christmas Books for Kids
One of the points Sam makes in her book is to continually add to the shelves if and when possible. As busy working parents sometimes it’s hard to dedicate time to go look for books in stores.
So my little girls and I routinely shop from our Scholastic catalog that comes home from school each month. We set a budget of $10-$15, and that will get us several nice books each month. We also ask for books as gifts as well as pick them up from clearance racks when we find them.
We’ve found many new interests from going to book fairs with both of our girls. Our oldest adores Pete the Cat books, and our youngest loves dinosaur books. As they get older their interests will change, but for now, I’m enjoying the moment and reading with them as much as possible.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Sam’s book The Intentional Bookshelf: Parent with Literature and Build Your Unique Child’s Perfect Little Library today! And if you want to take her way of thinking a step further join her book club. This is the perfect book for any parent on your list. If they are new or seasoned, they will love it. No parent should ever feel alone on this journey and what a better way than bringing in a parenting companion to help along the way.
Affirmations for Motherhood
Breathe life into your journey through motherhood with these affirmations.