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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!