Lookybook is a new website that lets readers look at each and every page of a picture book “from cover to cover, at your own pace.”
Kind of like reading an actual book!
Lookybook argues, “We know that nothing will replace the magic of reading a book with your child at bedtime, but we aim to replace the overwhelming and frustrating process of finding the right books for parents and their kids.”
The New York Times book blog reports, “There’s a bit of a half-baked social-networking angle to it — users can comment on books and build bookshelves of favorites. But mostly it’s a try-before-you-buy tool. And maybe the coolest thing (for bloggers) is that you can embed any book on your own site as easily as a YouTube video.”
I agree that choosing books can feel overwhelming, but I also believe choice is part of the fun. If it’s more frustrating than it is fun, it’s time to revisit the process. How do you seach for books?
School and public librarians are happy to make reading recommendations. Also, we subscribe to The Horn Book Magazine, a wonderful publication filled with children’s book reviews. Bring a back issue or two on your next trip to the beach! Visit websites like Planet Esme, and read Great Books About Things Kids Love: More Than 750 Recommended Books for Children 3 to 14 by Kathy Odean. Finally, always always always connect with other readers. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a great book.
Moviegoers use this process all the time. We watch previews, read reviews, visit websites, view trailers, catch television ads, and listen to recommendations from our friends.
Apply the same logic to your book search, and I think you’ll find it’s more fun than frustrating.
See you at the library!