Emelie Fredrikson / tagxedo.com
The best books for children list package ever? See the link below for a larger, easier to read (easier to appreciate its beauty) word cloud.

Best books for children: a word cloud merges best-of lists

Books for children are easy to find, but hard to choose. Googling books for children will bring back hundreds of hard-to-read vertical lists. See the best of in one glance with this word cloud design.

If you Google "books for children," you're going to be overwhelmed by links. Dozens of retailers, libraries, blogs, and media institutions publish their children's book recommendations annually, monthly, sometimes weekly or daily. You'll choose a site that seems reputable and hope for the best, but how can you be sure? What's more, the recommendations are typically formatted into lengthy vertical lists that can wear down your patience and your computer mouse's scroll wheel. 

While we at Modern Parenthood understand the value in filtering out the best children's books from the bad, we wanted to do away with the scrolling and introduce an aesthetic sensibility to boot. So we made a children's book word cloud (click here for a larger, more readable cloud).

For the uninitiated, word clouds are a way to visualize word choice. Text is entered into a word cloud generator and out comes the words which appeared most often in the text. The generator uses size to represent frequency, so words that are small in the cloud were used less in the text than and words that appear larger. 

These generators even let you input whole phrases, or in our case, titles of books. We combined titles from nine must-read children's book lists, including lists from Barnes and Noble, the Boston Public Library, ChildrensBooksGuide.com, etc., and put them into a word cloud generator. What came out, and what you see in small format at the top of the page (again, click here for large format) is a word cloud that displays the children's books most frequently mentioned by must-read children's book lists. If a book was mentioned on multiple lists, it will appear larger in the world cloud.

Within the word cloud are timeless treasures like "A Wrinkle in Time," "Where the Wild Things Are," and "The Little Prince," along with forgotten gems like "Maniac Magee," and "The Rainbow Fish."

We've also written about some of the books in the word cloud. Monitor books reporter Molly Driscoll interviewed the author of the "Magic Tree House" series last summer. Mary Norton's "The Borrowers" was made into an animated movie by the famous Japanese animators at Studio Ghibli. The movie, "The Secret World of Arrietty", was reviewed in the Monitor last winter. 

Do you like looking at book lists in a word cloud or do you prefer a more traditional format? Let us know on Twitter: @Modparenthood

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to  Best books for children: a word cloud merges best-of lists
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today