HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-32 Coffee Table Books that Encourage Family Reading

2 Coffee Table Books that Encourage Family Reading

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 7, 2009

Two of the simplest ways to encourage children to read—the fundamental skill behind all learning—is to let your children see you reading and to keep books around the house where they are visible. Coffee table books are perfect for both scenarios.

What makes a good coffee table book?

If it’s going to be out on show they need to look good. Usually a hard cover with great great illustrations, or a color scheme that fits with your furnishings—it needs to look decorative. However, once you get past the aesthetics, it needs to be able to hold the attention of the reader and have the power to become a topic of conversation.

Typically, most coffee table books will only hold the attention of adults—and often not even past the first couple of pages. That is why I like the following two books. They’re both attractive, entertaining, and have true family appeal. Perfect for the coffee table in the playroom … and they also make good gifts!

Tollins: Explosive Tales For Children

by Conn Iggulden (Author), Lizzy Duncan (Illustrator)

Reading level: All Ages

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st ed/1st printing edition (October 6, 2009)

Source: Publisher

What to expect: Fantasy

Picked for its bold red color and sparkling silver border and simple but intriguing cover illustration. Not to mention the gold sticker reminding us that this book is from the creators of The Dangerous Book for Boys—that’s sure to peak interest even in the most reluctant of readers.

Publisher’s synopsis: These are the first three stories of the Tollins. Yes, they do have wings, but no, they aren’t fairies. Tollins are a lot less fragile than fairies. In fact, the word fragile can’t really be used about them at all. They are about as fragile as a house of brick.

In “How to Blow Up Tollins” a fireworks factory comes to the village of Chorleywood and the Tollins find themselves being used as industrial supplies. Being blasted into the night sky or spun round on a Catherine wheel is nowhere near a much fun as it sounds. It’s up to one young Tollin to save his people from becoming an ingredient.

In “Sparkler and the Purple Death” our hero look execution in the face. Luckily, the executioner’s mask in backwards.

Finally, in “Windbags and Dark Tollins” Tollin society faces a threat from the Dorset countryside, which, again, is much more frightening and nail-bitingly dramatic than it actually sounds.

Add this book to your collection: Tollins: Explosive Tales For Children

You may also enjoy: The Dangerous Book for Boys (this would also look great on the coffee table).

The Story Of Weston Woods (Imagination And Innovation)

by John Cech

Reading level: Ages 12+

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 1, 2009)

Source: Publisher

What to expect: Weston Woods Studios, Motion picture producers and directors, American children’s literature, History and criticism of animated films.

The title is inspiring, but what is fabulous about this nice looking hardcover book is that its cover features some of the most beloved storybook characters. It will be irresistible for many, both old and young. Readers will be inspired to pick up this interesting book and delve into the world of storybook-turn-animated-movie. When the youngest readers see older readers and adults flipping through this book, they will surely be motivated to read the matching books most likely found in their home collection.

Publisher’s synopsis: In this lush nonfiction volume–rich with archival photographs, animation cells, historical references, and first-person accounts–readers get a personal, behind-the-scenes look at the man and creative empire who presents the work of leading picture book creators to young people and librarians via the medium of film.

Trailblazers in the children’s entertainment industry, Mort Schindel and Weston Woods have, for decades, introduced kids to Maurice Sendak, Rosemary Wells, Mo Willems, and many other notables.

Mort Schindel and Weston Woods rival Walt Disney and the Disney studios as forerunners in the creative development and delivery of content for children. Trade has been granted the opportunity to produce this intriguing book to celebrate an important legacy during Mort Schindel’s 90th birthday year.

Add this book to your collection: The Story Of Weston Woods (Imagination And Innovation)

You may also want to stock up on the following classic books (listed by publication date) which appear in The Story of Weston Woods:

Leave us a comment: What books do you have on your coffee table?

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.

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