Sources: Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers

Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers. By Alan R. Bailey. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 160 p. Paper $57 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1219-5).

This is a comprehensive and concise resource for librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone interested in the best books for preschool-age children. In the preface, author Alan R. Bailey informs the reader of the book’s purpose, which is to help caregivers find the right books to read to children, and points out that reading together is one of the most important things parents can do to prepare children for kindergarten. The preface also includes a list of the criteria Bailey used to evaluate whether to recommend a title. This is helpful both because it provides insight into the author’s process and also because it aids readers in evaluating books on their own.

The list itself is impressive in its scope. Recommended books are helpfully divided into categories, such as colors, counting, nursery rhymes, board books, and more, which makes for easy searching. The succinct annotations for each book help the reader determine quickly whether a title might be a good match for their child. Many classics are included, along with sure-to-be future classics and lesser-known titles worth discovering.

Readers will enjoy finding familiar titles on the list but may also notice their personal to-read list growing with each page in this book, which makes many hidden gems of children’s literature discoverable. In addition to the more than three hundred recommended titles, the book also includes a section listing additional resources for building a collection. All in all, this is a worthy addition to reference collections.—Lauren Bridges, Children’s Librarian, Mandel Public Library, West Palm Beach, Florida

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