Books make great gifts for kids, but it's important to find reading material that fits a child's interests, maturity, and reading level. Before you set off to the bookstore or library, here are some guidelines.
Until kids are about 2 years old, think tactile and short. Thick board books with bright colors, bold yet simple pictures, and few words are ideal. These books may include interactive elements, such as parts that move, items that invite touching, and mirrors.
Books with different textures, fold-out books, or vinyl or cloth books also are appropriate for babies and toddlers. Books that can be propped up or wiped clean are excellent choices. Look for books about bedtime, baths, or mealtime or about saying hello or goodbye, especially if they're illustrated with photos of children. And if peek-a-boo is your little one's favorite game, books with flaps are a perfect choice.
Many older toddlers (2- and 3-year-olds) start to understand how reading works and will love repetitive or rhyming books that let them finish sentences or "read" to themselves. From colors to numbers to how to get dressed, older toddlers love books that reinforce what they are learning every day. And if you have a budding ballerina or animal enthusiast on your hands, look for books about these (or other) passions.
Carol A. Quick, EdD. Finding the Right Read. (2013); [cited 2013 May]; [1 screen]. Available from: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/right-reads.html?WT.ac=p-ra#.