Favorite Children's Books
Books from childhood are special; the words, stories, and pictures become a part of who we are. Books can also be a great conversation starter for the BIG topics of life... subjects I'd much rather talk to my kids about at the end of the day when we can spend as much time as we need. These are my favorite picture books to read to my own children.
1. The Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Every word of this book is masterfully selected. By far, this is my favorite book to read to my children, as well as my husband's. Kids' books do not come better than this. If I could buy a copy for every child's home, I would.
2. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
I absolutely love the message conveyed through this story. As a type A perfectionist, this is the story I wish I could have heard when I was a child. Our goal should never be to never make mistakes. There is absolutely no fun in that. Living life in fear is not living at all. Especially for a first-born child who endeavors to please their parents, this is a great way to start a conversation that perfection is not an achievable goal.
3. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
What a fun, fantastic, bedtime story. The rhythm of this book is catchy and as fun to read and it is for children to hear. As an added bonus, you can watch Ludacris rap the lyrics on youtube.com. If you have read this book but have not watched this video, stop everything you are doing right now and go watch it. That video is everything I love about the internet.
4. The Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
A darling story about a girl who would like to talk to the moon. Red Knit Cap Girl is strongly connected to nature and the animals around her and asks each of her woodland friends how she might talk to the moon. I really enjoyed reading this to my girls. It's also a short read, which is merciful for nights that we all just need to get to bed!
5. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean
I love so many Pete the Cat books, but this one is my favorite. Pete shows young readers what it means to have a positive attitude in the face of adversity and to be grateful for what you have. It's a fun read with a great message.
6. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
This book is a little long for one sitting (20 minutes), but I love the eastern-inspired proverbs as told through Stillwater, a wise Panda bear. This book will have you reflecting long after you read it to your children. One day I was talking to a work colleague about a problem she was having and found myself retelling one of Stillwater's stories to her. Lots of life truths are tucked into this story, but don't feel like you need to read it all to your child in one sitting. This can be broken into a few sittings if you're not used to reading aloud for more than 5-10 minutes.
7. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
There is no better book for inspiring young kids to experiment. Success is not the goal of an experiment, learning something is the goal. Such a great message. An added positive with this story is that the young heroine identifies with a historic feminist icon -- Rosie Revere. A great message plus several opportunities to slip some history to your kids.
8. Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
When tweedle beetles battle in a puddle cuddle fuddle with a poodle eating noodles... trust me when I say you should prepare to be challenged with the tongue-twisters in this book. My kids love watching me read to see how far I can go before I stumble.
9. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can you? by Dr. Seuss
This was one of my kids' favorite books when they were about two years old. It was important to me to begin reading to them early as part of their nightly routine, and this was always a hit. Just don't be lame and read the story with a deadpan voice. This story is all about the sound effects!
10. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
This was a favorite from my childhood and I still have my worn-out copy. I remember laughing so hard watching Big Anthony suffer the consequences of breaking the rules of the town witch, Strega Nona. This is a magical, comical, and folksy story that is hard to forget.