Where can I get customised recommendations for children's books?

Posted on April 21, 2013 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments


Finding the right books for a child can sometimes be a challenge. And not just because we're trying to find books suitable for him or her at their age. But also because we want to make sure that the book would be something that he or she enjoys. Maybe there's a particular theme or type of books they're fascinated with (Disney princesses anyone?) or there's a specific kind of storyline or plot that really engages them. Whichever the case, with the selection of books available in bookstores, libraries and online, it can be mind-boggling for a parent.

Fear not! As with all things today, technology often has a solution for us. Goodreads, is a social reading site that has just the answer you'll need. The site's core purpose is to help book lovers recommend and share their favourite reads with others like themselves. Not only are you bound to find a review for any book you're interested in, you'll also be able to receive customised recommendations for books that you might enjoy based on your ratings of other books you have read. 


Now, you must be wondering to yourself, how does that help me? I don't want recommendations for the paranormal romance novels that I'm into at the moment (although we're sure you'll be happy to know that you could find recommendations for the paranormal romance novels you're into at the moment on the site as well). I'm looking for recommendations for my 5-year-old Sarah or my 3-year-old Aaron. 


The answer is simple. Instead of setting up an account for yourself, create an account for each of your children. Then select a specific genre, in this case "Children's" for them. The first thing you'll be prompted to do, is to start by rating the books that Sarah or Aaron have already read. The key is of course, to rate the books that they like. The more ratings you provide, the easier it would be for goodreads to provide you with a list of recommendations that might fit their tastes. 




And to help goodreads refine their recommendations further, you can choose to remove recommended books from the list by simply clicking "Not Interested". The overall logic is simple, the more information you can provide to goodreads based on the books that Sarah or Aaron have already read, the better goodreads will become in predicting what other books they might also enjoy


To top it all off, since goodreads is a social reading site to begin with, you can get your friends and family to join in the fun as well! Once you're connected to them on goodreads, you'll also be able to find the books that they (or their children) have rated or recommended. So what are you waiting for? Go knock yourselves out!

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Where can I find credible children's book reviews?

Posted on December 29, 2012 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments

Many of us (including us at My Imagination Kingdom!) are so used to doing a book search on Amazon and reading the reviews by buyers there that when we chance upon a really new book which has yet to be reviewed, we're at a loss. 


Today, we're going to talk a little about Kirkus Book Reviews, an extremely well-regarded review specialist that has been churning out book reviews, twice a month, for over 70 years. 


Kirkus Reviews was launched in 1933, by Virginia Kirkus, once the head of the children's-book department of Harper & Bros. What is special about Kirkus Reviews, is that it focuses on pre-publication reviews. That means, they review the book even before it goes into publication, sometimes up to two to three months before. And you must wonder, why in the world would they want to do that? Well, Kirkus Reviews used to do that because it was a bi-monthly publication targeted at booksellers primarily and librarians to a certain extent. 

While the publication ceased to exist in 2009, the digital version of it is still very much alive and kicking. 24 times a year, on the 1st and 15th of every month, the website continues to publish close to 200 articles every month. A wide range of fiction books (and some nonfiction) are covered and within this, includes reviews on both children's and young adult books. 

What we really like about the children's and young adult book review section, is that the reviews are categorised by age! Just like how we have built this website as well. This makes it a lot easier and quicker to find the age-appropriate books suitable for your child. While the section highlights some of the critics' picks, you can also do a search for any book you're interested in using the search tool at the top right hand corner. 



The other great reason to use Kirkus Reviews is the fact that for many of us who may not be industry experts or experienced publishers in the children's book field, Kirkus Reviews is a great way to discover new authors and their titles. While stocking up on every title of Eric Carle and Julia Donaldson is all right, sometimes it's also great to fall in love with an entirely different style of writing or illustration. 


So what are you waiting for? Go click away at Kirkus Reviews! 


This is not a paid-for article. Everything written here was researched, typed and edited by My Imagination Kingdom solely. 

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