Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Honey for a Child's Heart

So you're at the library and pacing back and forth  down the juvenile reading aisles and wondering, "What book should I read to my child next?"  We all have our problems with picking quality literature that are in line with our values and the values we are teaching our children.  Most of today's newly published books for kids are "junk literature".  There is no verbal substance to enrich their minds and it's chock full of undesirable "life lessons".  The characters seem to blatantly disrespect adults because they are stupid and only mess things up.  When does it end?  You have great intentions of pre-reading books before your kids read them but if you have more than one child and they are proficient readers...... well, you're not going to have that luxury.  If only there was a book to help guide us literature deficient parents through  the process.  But there is!

Honey for a Child's Heart is an indispensable guide to children's literature.  Homeschooling parent or not, you will cherish this resource for years.  Gladys Hunt truly cares for books and what children absorb through reading.  Her language about books is so vibrant as she talks about certain books and the value of great children's literature.  What goes into our children's minds is so important and crucial during their time at home with you. 
The book is divided into 2 parts.  Part one:  Using Books to Help Children Grow.  It's the "meat" of the book.  She discusses read-alouds:  why it's important to incorporate it into your family life and what kind of books you should be reading.   I especially love Chapter 7 "Honey from the Rock".  Ms. Hunt doesn't leave out the most important book we should share with our children, the Bible.  She has some useful advice in how to involve the whole family and sharing God's word. In other chapters she talk about reading aloud and independent reading for each age level.    She touches on series books for children and how and why children are so drawn to them.  She even discusses fantasy and realism.  You may or may not agree with her on the issue of Harry Potter books but you can't deny that she has some very good points on the issue.   There is artwork from classic children's books sprinkled throughout.
Part 2:  The book list and how to use it.  She has it neatly divided up into age groups and types of books (picture books, bedtime books, beginning readers and much more)  along with notations of awards the book may have won.

I have enjoyed reading this book and know it will be part of my personal library for years to come.  It is so helpful to just flip to the age group and the type of book that I'm looking for and just request it from my local library.  It takes most of the guesswork out for me.    I highly recommend this book for parents with school-aged children.  Ms. Hunt has also written a book for teens:  Honey for the Teen's Heart.