Let's be clear. Although I WAS a girl, I'm RAISING a boy, so we have a lot of boy books in here. But if you're a girl mom, I'll bet you can still find some wonderful books, and I'll be including my favorite books from when I was 10 to 12. (At 9, I was wild about Arthur Conan Doyle.)
I don't know about you but sometimes when we go to the library we can't find a thing. Other times, often with the help of one of those walk-on-water librarian types, we stumble home with about 15 cosmic books and mom actually buys some of them on Amazon because she loves them so much! Book fetish? You bethcha!
This section lists official Alternatives to Amazon. However, the sites are sprinkled throughout the site, rather than being listed right here. For example, in the trains special interest section, there's an online train bookstore. Is that cool or what? If you know of any online bookstores which offer wonderful kid's books, email me at email@example.com and I'll list them.
It's hard to figure out what books to purchase for your kid, especially now that they run about sixteen dollars apiece. Whew. True to our egalitarian philosophy (especially when it comes to acquisition), I started out by buying a lot of used books, but it turns out that if you buy bulk boxes of used books through ebay, um, well, you get some non-optimal books, to be relatively polite. So I cleaned out my son's bookshelves, and now I try to buy him books that he really likes. We also go to the library a lot. I would suggest buying the old classics on ebay or in used bookstores though. Stuff like older Richard Scarrey books. I always loved old books when I was a kid..
Have you heard of the Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University? It is extremely cool! It's got abstracts of over 5000 children's picture books and search capabilities for over 950 keywords, including topics, concepts, and skills which describe each book. Kid's study has nice reviews. You'll have to type in the name of a book, but the reviews have been written by teachers and people who really know their stuff. Also, it has categories, but no Home page. Who are these people? How did they get to this site? Beats me. All I see are books. Hmmn. OK, I guess that maybe these are Amazon reviews? So this is just a nameless Amazon marketing tentacle? Here's another called Kid's Knowledge. Ahhhhh. And here's the third one called Baby to 3.
Favorite books for children: no age specified
I periodically read recommendations for books on mail lists and always copy pieces of them for later on. Here is a compendium that I haven't really gone through to sort by age.
Storybook Recommendations for Kids
These are kind of waldorf-y, fantasy-type books (or at least "The Paper Princess" is.) Beautiful. From my email archives.
"We enjoyed all of the books in the Dorrie series by Patricia Coombs -- they are story books about a little girl and her mom, who both happen to be(good) witches, and their cook and cat. The little girl always wears socksthat don't match, and the introduction to each book very lyrically describes
this fact, and others.
Other favorites that remain on our shelf, and which we have enjoyed for years: How to Make Apple Pie and See the World The Paper Princess, by Elisa Kleven (*wonderful* Albany artist!!)
"A little girl sat in the sunshine, drawing a princess. The princess's dress was like a forest. Her socks were like starry skies. Her shoes were watermelons. Her face was so friendly and brave that the little girl loved her."
The Dream Pillow The Artist Who Loved Chickens (he loved to *paint* them, an odd, lovely story) and then, segue into anything by Sid Fleishman (I especially liked "By the Great Horn Spoon" which is a fanciful tale about the gold rush). The Sid Fleishman books are chapter books, but are great read-aloud books for kids who would prefer their chapter stories that way...and are fun for kids to read themselves once they acquire that level of skill.
My child is teaching himself spanish.
Here's a list of spanish books from Barnes and Noble. spanish books