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Creating a Home Reference Library - For a Five Year Old

Caspar at the local library

There is no doubt that the best reference library you will find is your local public library. Caspar could spend all day at our library and he often borrows more books than he can carry.

It's sometimes difficult to decide which books to buy and which to borrow. When it comes to reference books I carefully select which ones we bring into our home. For Caspar at five years I look for reference books that;

  • have large, clear, beautiful, high quality images. Images must be captivating and inspiring. 
  • have slightly larger than usual (adult reference book) text. 
  • are indeed factual - please don't leave New Zealand off the map!
  • have the right balance between images and text. I don't want a picture book or a chapter book. 
  • have interesting, insightful and useful facts. Dot point or summaries are excellent. 
  • are intelligent and don't speak down to children.
  • have longevity, will still be of interest in a couple of years time. 


What are our must-haves? There are some books that I believe are essential. 

  • Picture Dictionary
  • World Atlas
  • Field Guides
  • Children's Encyclopedias
  • Books as per the child's interests

Canberra ACT Field Guides

What does our reference library look like? 

 If you have a reference library I'd love to hear your suggestions. 


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