Books-A-Million, Inc., has released ‘50 Books To Read Before You’re 5,’ a recommended reading list perfect for families eager to enjoy the world’s most beloved works of kid’s fiction. Books-A-Million’s efforts to encourage reading among younger children coincides with an announcement this week from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Academy released a new policy statement urging policy makers and pediatricians to become advocates for parents to read to their children daily, beginning as early as infancy.

The statement, which was released on Tuesday, stated that, “Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which in turn builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.” The statement went on to stress that, “Reading aloud with a child has been shown to be associated with better preschool language skills and increased interest in reading… [and] richness of the vocabulary to which they are exposed.”

Sandra Wilson, Kids’ and Teen Senior Book Buyer at Books-A-Million, agrees: “It’s so important to begin reading with your children at an early age so that they will continue to develop a love of reading throughout their lives. Parents can help their children expand their literacy skills through these classic stories. This suggested book list will provide a platform to enrich their minds.”

Below is a peek into some of the most highly recommended titles that are featured in the ‘50 Books To Read Before You’re 5’ program:

Recommendations for newborns and children up to 2 years of age:
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.
  • Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
  • Love You Forever - Robert Munsch
  • Pat the Bunny - Dorothy Kunhardt
  • The Little Engine That Could - Watty Piper

Recommendations for children 3-4 years of age:
  • Barnyard Dance!- Sandra Boynton
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr.
  • On the Night You Were Born - Nancy Tillman
  • The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
  • The Poky Little Puppy - Janette Sebring Lowrey
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt- Michael Rosen

Recommendations for children 5 years of age or older:
  • Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
  • Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Laura Numeroff
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama - Anna Dewdney
  • The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister
  • Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

“Our comprehensive collaboration of 50 literary pieces will benefit readers and provide enlightenment,” added Sandra Wilson. “This list is a collection of some of the most sought after classic and bestselling children’s books that have stood the test of time, providing a great place to start when shopping for children’s gifts.”

The positive recommendations are also a great resource for parents and relatives building a library collection for new families.

The complete list of Books-A-Million’s ‘50 Books To Read Before You’re 5’ list can be found at booksamillion.com/50books or at any of their 254 stores nationwide.

About Books-A-Million, Inc.

Books-A-Million, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading book retailers and sells on the Internet at www.booksamillion.com. The Company presently operates 254 stores in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The Company operates large superstores under the names Books-A-Million (BAM!), Books & Co. and 2nd & Charles and traditional bookstores operating under the names Bookland and Books-A-Million. Also included in the Company’s retail operations is the operation of Yogurt Mountain Holding, LLC, a retailer and franchisor of self-serve frozen yogurt stores with 41 locations. The Company also develops and manages commercial real estate investments through its subsidiary, Preferred Growth Properties. The common stock of Books-A-Million, Inc. is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol BAMM. For more information, visit the Company’s corporate website at www.booksamillioninc.com.

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Copyright Business Wire 2010