I am often asked which of my books are appropriate for a certain age group, a particular childhood problem, or gender. Frankly, I don’t think there are any absolute answers to those questions. Many of our books that are classified by publishers as being appropriate for three- to five-year-olds are appreciated by children right up to the sixth grade. Often a book that seems “boy appropriate” turns out to be a girl’s favorite. And even though a child may not have a problem that is identified in a story, she may embrace the book for its humor, art, or message.
Having said that, I’ll try to give you a few suggestions for choosing an Audrey Wood book:
The best rule of thumb, however, is just to choose a book that appeals to you. If you like it, then you’ll have fun sharing it with your children and their reading experience will be enhanced.
Books that work well as gifts for showers and first read-aloud books to babies: The Napping House, Piggies, and Quick as a Cricket. (Tip: Make a book basket. Arrange books around a stuffed toy, cover the basket in colored plastic wrap, add a bow.) (The above books are also favorites of elementary school age children and are often used as examples by teachers to teach creative writing skills.)
If your child is older or is looking for a more wordy book, or one with sophisticated concepts, try Bright and Early Thursday Evening, Moonflute, Birdsong, Heckedy Peg, or The Rainbow Bridge.
(Again, there are no rules here. We have met children as young as two years old who loved these books!)
Parents often ask me if I’ve got a book that will help their child get ready for pre-school. I suggest books that encourage adventure, self reliance, and independence. Try Oh My Baby Bear or Little Penguin’s Tale.
Do you suspect you might be embarrassing your children? Quick! Read Weird Parents!
If you are looking for stories that feature strong female characters, check out Nona’s Red Racer, Rude Giants, Silly Sally, Moonflute, and Heckedy Peg. (These books are favorites of boys, too. It seems boys also appreciate strong female heroines.)
Books boys can’t resist: The Flying Dragon Room, King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, Nona’s Red Racer, and Elbert’s Bad Word.
Books that highlight families: The Bunyans, Heckedy Peg, and The Rainbow Bridge.
For bird lovers: Little Penguin’s Tale and Birdsong.
Do you know someone who collects pigs? Read Piggies
If you are a creative reader, here are two books that are open to interpretive games, multiple voices, and digressions aplenty: The Tickle-Octopus and Piggies.