The subtitle of this book says it all: "The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life". Gladys Hunt will promote the imaginative use of books in your family in two ways, corresponding to the two halves of this book. In the first half of this book, Hunt shares her insights and ideas about the value of reading, the usefulness of different genres, her notions about what makes a good book, and useful guidelines on how to select good books. Unfortunately, Hunt does not always express her thoughts and ideas in a completely coherent manner, but it would be a serious mistake to avoid this book for that reason. What she does have to say is earnest, sincere, passionate, and incredibly valuable. In the course of her sometimes unstructured ramblings, Hunt passes on many valuable insights about reading, such as the value of fantasy and poetry, and the positive contribution books can make in a child's life in contrast to the negative influence of the media. What I really treasured, however, were the multitude of practical hints about making books come alive in the home. Hunt offers terrific suggestions about reading stories out loud together as a family, and even shares worthwhile ideas to make family Bible reading more profitable. The first half of this book alone makes this book worth purchasing, because if you apply some of these ideas they are sure to make books come alive in your home. But what really makes this book a treasure is the second half, which is an extensive annotated bibliography of books worth reading, arranged by their suitability for various ages (from books for the very young, to books for teens and adults). One might be tempted to quibble about a few favourite titles which have not been included, but you can't overlook the fact that this is a very comprehensive list that includes most children's classics and many more. Parents who truly enjoy literature are often faced with the challenge of finding good literature. Hunt makes this challenge a piece of cake, because here is a ready-to-use list of titles worth reading, an almost never-ending supply of books to keep your family busy nearly life-long. She has done the hard work for us - mined through the endless number of books on library shelves, and passed on to us what is truly the honey that is worth reading. As a Christian, Hunt is also very discerning and has a taste for what is truly good. Yet her Christian filtering is not so narrow minded that it only includes Christian authors and excludes all secular classics or great works of literature. She has an appreciation for all literature that is quality literature, and so anyone who enjoys good literature will find her annotated bibliography most valuable. In short, if you enjoy reading good books and want your children to do the same, then you cannot do without this book! The fact that this book is now in its third edition proves that many before me have found this book most useful. If you do not yet have a passion for good children's books, reading this book is sure to change that. And if you already have such a fiery passion, this book will only fuel that passion all the more. Come to think of it, I have to run: "Come on kids, we're going the library!"
I highly recommend this book to all parents who are serious about unlocking the joy of reading for their children. From the explanation of why reading and reading aloud together are necessary and worthwhile to the book lists for various ages and stages, this book is simply fabulous.
Fantastic to have a book which highlights other great books to help our children enjoy reading, whilst at the same time nurturing positive values for them. Very helpful having it split into different ages and different types of. Books eg bedtime, comedy, animals... Thank you!
Gladys Hunt is a phenomenal author, well-read and sensitive to young people's interests. She has much experience with her own children, with children in schools and young adults and college students. She is an avid reader and book critique. This book I devoured in a few days time. I have read it through and am rereading it as I choose books for our daughter, my nephews, nieces and Godchildren. This is an excellent source. I have recommended it to many friends and will continue to do so! Many thanks!