Monday, August 26, 2013

Children's Books

As I am finishing two books this week, Austenland and The Chaperone, I thought it would be fun to take the opportunity to talk about other kinds of books I have read and enjoyed. Today's list will be my favorite Children's Books.  These are books that I have enjoyed reading to my kids over the years - not young adult books (that's a later list), but the little kid stuff.  I have read to my kids since before they were born.  Reading to your children is one of the best things you can do to make them lifelong readers and develop reading skills.  It also fosters bonding and healthy relationships with your kids.  To top it all off, it's FUN!

If you've been wondering what sorts of books to read to your toddlers and young children, check out some of these titles!

In no particular top ten children's books:

1. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

WE LOVE THE BELLY BUTTON BOOK.  Sandra Boynton is one of my favorite children's authors.  She writes short board books that are hilarious and catchy.  Kids love them, even as babies.  The Belly Button Book has been read so many times in my house I have it memorized.  "This tiny hippopotamus has something small to say, and if we're very quiet now he'll say it right away, listen: BEE BO!"  And so on.  So much fun. 

2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 

A classic. Who doesn't love Where the Wild Things Are?  Who doesn't love Max?  Who among us has not been sent to our room for being brat and imagined leaving it all behind for the jungle?  My youngest, Matthew, particularly likes this one.  If you knew Matthew, this would not be a surprise.  

3. A Snoodle's Tale by Phil Vischer

This book by Phil Vischer is based upon the Veggie Tales video, also written by Vischer.  It is a beautiful story of how God really sees us.  I cry every time I read it to the kids.  Joshua loved it as a baby because it rhymes - it had a great calming rhythm to it.  And a beautiful, powerful message that is never to early to communicate to your kids.

4. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems

Mo Wilems has become one of my favorite children's authors.  We love all the Pigeon books.  The pigeon tends to remind me of some kids I know...anyway, these are hilarious and oh so fun to read out loud!

5. There is a Bird on Your Head! (An Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems

More Mo Wilems.  Elephant and Piggie are hilarious friends.  They have several books together.  Also very fun to read out loud.  You can put so much into it!

6. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell

"I love Clifford, the big red dog!"  Ok, that's  from the TV show.  But everyone loves Clifford the big red dog!  And he always has some great lesson to share.  And he's big!  And red!  And cuddly!

7. The Jesus Storybook

There are many good children's Bibles out there.  This is simply one of my favorites.  It teaches kids that the Bible is not a collection of stories, it is One Big Story, a beautiful tapestry of God's love.  It brings every single story back to Jesus.  And there's a CD that reads it out loud as well.  Highly recommend this one.  Makes a great baby gift!

8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

...he's going to ask for some milk to go with it.  And thus begins a tale of cause and effect like none other.  There is a whole series of books in this vein - If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If you Give a Moose a Muffin, etc.  Not a bum one in the lot.  Worth buying the whole set!

9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

This is one of the first books that my kids learned to read on their own due to how many times I read it to them.  It's great for learning  colors, animals, and reading.  There are several others in the series.

10.  Curious George by H.A.and Margret Rey

Oh Curious George, you sill monkey with your even sillier human.  I mean, who lets a monkey loose in New York and tells him not to get into trouble?  But then again, how fun is it to imagine a monkey running around the city, learning stuff and getting into trouble?

In the end, what's important is to READ TO YOUR KIDS.  Take any of these books or find some of your own - but reading to your children will bring great benefit to your family life and your kids' growth.  Think of the books you loved as a kid and read those them.  Share the joy of reading with your kids and start a lifelong love of learning and adventure.

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