As you know probably know by now, here on Playing by the book sometimes it happens that we read a book we’ve already got (usually from the library) and then we’re inspired to get up to some sort of play based on the book. But it can also happen the other way around – we play and then want a book that continues, in some sense, what we’ve been up to.
It can be hard to find a book that’s just right when this happens – finding non-fiction books is easier as they are classified by subject wherever you go, but finding a good story book or poem on a particular topic is much harder. Fiction and poetry in bookshops and libraries are arranged by age group, not subject, and thus serendipitous browsing is often what’s required if I want to find a good book to read with my girls on a given theme.
Of course, in a bookshop, and especially in a library I can ask a member of staff for their advice, but sometimes this isn’t possible – the kids’ librarian may not be around, or I may not have the time to wait. So what do I do to improve my odds of finding a great fiction book on a particular subject? I’ve written a guide to my favourite search methods – How to find great books for kids by subject / theme – and to complement the guide, here on Playing by the book we’re about to start a project that I hope will become another useful resource for us all.
Fantastic Fiction for Kids is a new project starting next week which I’m very excited about! Each Wednesday I shall be posting a short selection of fiction books (picture books, board books, chapter books, poetry books, wordless books – anything that isn’t non-fiction) on a particular topic for children, chosen by readers of Playing by the book and guest posters from other blogs I love, accompanied as usual by suggestions for related music and activities to get up with your kids.
When I recently asked for book suggestions from you I was thrilled with the response and it made me realise what a resource we have in each other as a community of kidlit-loving people. I also thought it would be great fun to collaborate a little, and thus Fantastic Fiction for Kids was born.