One Writer’s Journey

June 14, 2017

What Kids Want

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:20 am
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This past Saturday (June 10, 2017), I had the opportunity to hear about what kids like to read from a group of librarians.  If you ever get an opportunity like this, take it!   This group was especially valuable because both Jill Burkemper and Donna Mork Reed are writers.  Burkemper is a grade school librarian and Reed is with the St. Louis County Library system. That made for a great mix.  Here are five interesting things I learned.


Kids love animal books.  Love them.  It doesn’t matter if it is a book about animals, ie nonfiction, or a book with animal characters.  This wasn’t just picture books either but also books for older readers.  Kids who have troubles connecting with books seem to be able to connect with animal characters.

There are always fun books that just aren’t good for story time.  You might consider this if your books tend to play well in the libraries.  Especially problematic are books where characters get eaten such as I Yam a Donkey and A Hungry Lion.  I have to admit that these never ever struck me as problematic because my son LOVED things like this.

That said, there are great selections for story time.  Librarians look for things where young listeners can guess what happens next or where they get to make animal noises.  Who doesn’t love to howl like a wolf?  Twist endings are always crowd favorite and so are lessons.  That said, lessons have to be worked into the story.  No preaching allowed!

The librarians wish they could find more books on non-primary holidays  like President’s Day.  Also life events.  I though

t that was interesting since editors always tell you that they get way too many books about the first day of school, first loose tooth, etc., but librarians need and love these books.


For a fun sampling of e-books, those of us who have St. Louis Country library cards can access Tumble Books.  Just log into the library site, scroll down the listing at the right and click on eMedia.  Then scroll down the page and click Tumble Books.  You can then select books by age or type such as nonfiction.  A book can be read to the reader or you can select read along.  Interesting to see the various resources available.

I am definitely reprioritizing some of writing projects based on what these ladies had to say.  I mean it – if you get the chance to hear from librarians, take advantage of their knowledge.  You won’t regret it.



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