Are reference books inappropriate for children?
We know there are tons of books which kids should not read - we call them inappropriate. But besides stories or novels, there are other kinds of literature - reference books, technical passports, textbooks, manuals, rule codes etc. Sometimes they may be misunderstandable by children. I know they may be illustrated for making clear what they say, but still: is misunderstandable considered inappropriate?
1 expert and 1 parent have answered
No, reference books are absolutely essential for children.
Children benefit from books that are of interest to them no matter the content, so if a child would like a book on electrical engineering schematics then they will benefit in some way from that text.
And while they may not be able to understand the text initially, they will be able to grow with the text as their understanding of the world develops.
This does not mean that a child should be given access to tools (saws, hammers, etc.) they are unable to use correctly, but an important way for children to grow in their understanding is to read things that are a bit difficult for them and they can use dictionaries, technology websites, parents, etc. to get additional information.
For example, many children benefit from dinosaur encyclopedias when they are young. They many not be able to read all of the text, but they can look at the images and learn new words.
These types of books can be an amazing resource for children.
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I think reference books are great for kids to have around, especially dictionaries. Although I do think that for young kids, it's best to get dictionaries and encyclopedias that are illustrated and aimed at children or they're just too dry and offputting.