The Barnes & Noble Guide to Children’s Books



Shopping for children’s books in a store and online doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience—even if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for. This illustrated guide willhelp you choose books that are appropriate for children of all ages, whether for your own family’s library or as gifts for others. And you can be sure that every book that’s recommended has been carefully vetted.

Organized by age, reading levels, and formats, the easy-to-browse chapters are filled with thoughtful reviews of the "best of the best" books within the following categories:

  • Newborn to two years
  • Picture books
  • Beginning readers
  • Chapter book series
  • Middle grade readers
  • Innovative formats
  • Fairy tales, folktales and anthologies
  • Poetry
  • Growing up experiences and new transitions/milestones
  • Nonfiction and reference

(Summary and book cover courtesy of


This is a great reference guide for my mom being a new grandma.  We had a blast reading through and remembering which books we read together.  To keep the book interesting, there are some wonderful essays and commentary from famous authors interspersed in the collection.

I’d highly recommend this as a guide to anyone looking to buy books to children.  It provides a wonderful range of stories that will help kids shape what they do and do not like while still ensuring the books are fun enough to keep the reader engaged.  The books are listed by age so keep in mind that may mean you have to adjust if your reader is slightly ahead or behind their reading level!

Now if only my nephew was a little older so I could start reading some of these with him…

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone looking to find fantastic age-appropriate books for kids at different ages.

Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time



In the year 1860, biologist and explorer Arthur Denison and his son, Will, set out on a sea voyage of discovery and adventure. When a powerful typhoon wrecks the ship in uncharted waters, Arthur and Will are the sole survivors. Washed ashore on a strange island called Dinotopia, they are amazed to find a breathtaking world where cities are built on waterfalls, people have found new ways to fly, and humans and dinosaurs live together in harmony. With new discoveries at every turn, Arthur and Will embark upon their own separate journeys to unearth the mysteries of Dinotopia. (Summary and book cover courtesy of


I don’t normally review children’s book, but I was recently reminded of this story that I read with my dad growing up.  This is a “MUST READ” for all kids and particularly fans of dinosaurs as far as I’m concerned.  The art in this book is reason alone to pick it up (or any in the series).  The pictures were mesmerizing growing up and I remember often just staring through it.  The story is also wonderful and a great compliment. 

What makes this book particularly good, however, is that the story goes beyond an (acknowledged) somewhat unrealistic premise.  The story is full of the culture of “Dinotopia” as well as customs, language and architecture.  All in all, I believe this is a book that both children and adults will enjoy.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it?  All kids and fans of dinosaurs (of all ages!).