VIDEOS: Children and Teens Talking About What They Think Are the Greatest Books for Kids

by Tom B.

Comic Book Guy

You expect me to believe that CHILDREN have the ability to select their own "Best-Books-Ever"? Hardly...

After all this talk about grown-ups ranking the “best kids books ever!”, I decided that I wanted a different perspective on the issue and went looking for examples of actual kids talking about their favorite books of all time. I limited my search to video sources because I wanted to actually see and hear the kids discuss the books they were really in love with. (I assumed that most five- to ten-year-olds wouldn’t have blogs of their own, which… let’s be honest, totally dates me.)

I was definitely surprised at how few videos on the subject I found on YouTube. I thought there would be plenty, and there were many videos of grown-ups and teenagers discussing their favorite books – mostly adult titles and mostly filmed in dark, poorly lit rooms, as if they were afraid of being discovered by someone. But searching on “best books for kids” or “favorite children’s books” on YouTube just didn’t return that many quality results.

The best YT videos I found on the subject came from a site called Mom Kids Books – a site that touts “great books for kids recommended by moms.” I like how they did their videos, which was essentially just setting up a camera and letting the kids talk. I particularly dug this video by seventeen-year-old Tessa talking about her favorite book, The Phantom Tollbooth. (Yes, fine, I am crazy biased about this one. I admit.)

Here’s another great “my favorite book video” from Mariah talking about her favorite book, The Very Fairy Princess.

As my search went on, I actually had much better luck finding videos of kids talking about their favorite books on Vimeo. The Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado has a FANTASTIC Vimeo channel with a really compelling selection of videos. I especially loved their KidsVIEW on Books series, in which, again, real kids get on camera to discuss the real books they love. The best part about the KidsVIEW videos is that they offer a very honest portrayal of what young kids really like to read. Some of these kids love award-winning books by acclaimed children’s authors like Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Cornelia Funke, to name a few, and some of these kids just absolutely love books like Barbie: Scavenger Hunt or Star Wars Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary.

And I think that’s wonderful. While I might not appreciate media tie-in books as much as a six-year-old, you can’t really deny their enthusiasm for reading, even if they’re reading something like Scooby Doo and the Mummy’s Curse or The Prince of Persia movie storybook. I’m just happy to see these kids excited about a book that they love.

You can find the whole directory of the KidsVIEW videos here. And, for your viewing pleasure, here’s Lily talking about Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

KidsVIEW on Books: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane from PPLD TV on Vimeo.

And, on the other end of the spectrum, here’s James proclaiming his love for Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins.

KidsVIEW on Books: Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins from PPLD TV on Vimeo.

If you know of any other good sources of videos with kids recommending their favorite books, please pass them on.

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