Quick Things You Need To Know:
- These are the kinds of plot devices, rhythms, and the lengths of story that kids can comfortably sit through – particularly when dealing with deeper social-emotional topics.
- Most of these make kids actively laugh, some of them make kids whimper, the really great ones do both.
5 is before the age of reason, it will be difficult for kids to grasp conflicting emotions at once.
Stories with changes in time, space, and visual cues will help kids process how one person can feel seemingly opposing thoughts.
At 4yo, the child started experimenting with identity (gender, race, hobbies and skills). They will be curious about how they ‘fit’ into book and whether they feel seen. You can take advantage of this by connecting the reader with the protagonist, or other characters, through visual cues and common experiences.
5 is a literal thinker, so to reduce cognitive load, keep descriptions simple and experiences concrete.
Unlike a year ago when they turned 4, 5 understands the difference between ‘naughty’ and acceptable behavior (even if they can’t execute it in real life) and is proud to show that they know better than characters who make bad decisions. They find glee in spotting others’ problematic behavior and mistakes.
5 is often a magpie. They collect mundane objects that hold significance and these become totems for emotions they can’t put words to yet. These objects are often hidden in one or more private-ish spaces (under a pillow, in an underwear drawer, on a special shelf in the kitchen.) These objects become sacred, and physical thinkers will ponder their thoughts while handling the objects (mostly taking them out, carrying them around, and putting them back.)
5yo gets derailed easily – they resent it when a maker sets up a chekov’s gun without firing it.
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Quick & Messy Book List:
- Not Quite Narwhal
- Tough Chicks
- The Book With No Pictures
- Sam’s Pet Temper
- Me & My Fear
- Stand Tall
- Molly Lou Melon
(Anything with nudity or forbidden language)
- It’s perfectly normal (images only, too wordy),
- Sex is a funny word
Injustice & Tragedy
- The Journey
- Maddi’s Fridge
- I Am Jackie Robinson
- Lila And The Crow
- Something Happened in my Town
- Cry Heart but Never Break
- Where Oliver Fits
- Jacob’s Eye Patch
Comfort & familiarity
- Anything with familiar characters
- Robert Munsch’s books
- The Iggy Peck series