One of our favorite weekly activities is to visit our local library. Growing up I was surrounded with books, my parents made sure I always had plenty to read and I was an avid reader. Unfortunately public libraries were not available and that it something I missed. Taking my children to the Public Library feels like a treat every time.
I used to wander around and choose books that looked interesting or had beautiful covers. It was at times overwhelming to choose among all these books and my childhood references being in French didn't exactly help. I needed a system.
I have a list of books I want to read that I keep on Goodreads. I add titles every time someone recommends a book or I read a good review. I often use it while at the library or when I want to order books. I decided the children needed a similar list.
I came upon this book a year or two ago (a new edition will be published in June 2013) written by Jim Trelease. The first part explains the benefits of reading to children and the second part is a list of the best books. We have loved pretty much everything we read on this list and my copy is now covered with annotations and hearts next to our favorite books. If we love a book I will often order a copy for our library at home.
I have added to this list Caldecott winners, books recommended by the teachers and some favorite children authors. (I have put together a lost of the Caldecott winners (1970-2013, that you can download here).
We visit the library every other week on wednesdays. I will pick the books on my list and because the boys are older now they get to pick books too. I do have a veto power and there are books that I will not allow just because the boys have learned some bad language while reading them. I am not big fan of the Wimpy Kid diaries and Captain Underpants because of the language and Junie B. Jones because of her behavior/language.
We use a special basket that sits on the mantle where all the library books are stored. The ones from the school library and the local library so I'm not searching the entire house for one lost book.