Every night before I tuck my four children in, each of them chooses one book from one of our three over-stuffed shelves. Then we all squish together on the couch and read. It’s our favorite family activity.
My children range in age from two to almost eight so we have a wonderful span of books from picture boards all the way to young adult chapter books. Our favorites are those right in the middle that are not only fun to read but also warm our hearts. Here are the ‘top ten’ from our bookshelves:
HUG by Jez Alborough: Baby monkey Bobo searches for his Mama in the jungle where Mamas and babies are hugging. [Preschool]
GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown: Sweet little ‘goodnight’ book where a little mouse has to say goodnight to everything before falling asleep. [One to four]
CHICKA CHICKA ABC by Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson and Lois Ehlert: All the small letters of the alphabet try squishing up a coconut tree. Great way to teach ABC’s through rhyme and fun word play. [One to five]
WHERE’S THE DRAGON? by Jason Hook: A great book for younger children to have read to them as well as for the older children (under 7) to read on their own. Also a great ‘Touch and Feel’ book.
THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK by Jon Stone: This is one of the all-time favorites in our house because Grover is so lovable and it’s fun to be silly! Great for kids between two and seven.
THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein. What a beautiful book to teach about friendship, love and being grateful for what we have. Best for children four to ten.
IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE by Laura Numeroff: This is one of the many in the series. Delightfully silly and fun to see how one thing can lead to another. Great for children who can follow longer books or starting to read on their own – three to eight.
OLIVIA by Ian Falconer: Again, there are several books featuring Olivia and all of them are wonderful. Kids like Olivia because she has a fantastic imagination, she’s funny and (according to my kids) her Mama is just like theirs. Best for children over four.
THE CHEERIOS ANIMAL PLAY BOOK by Lee Wade: This book is best for younger children-under three-when you’re just starting them out with reading. It has children putting Cheerios on certain spots in the scenes. Even our oldest loves reading this with the younger ones because she gets to eat ‘O’s at the same time!
ANY BOOKS FROM ROBERT MUNSCH: We have almost every book he’s written. Younger kids love the pictures while the older readers laugh at the subject matter and the way Munsch expertly puts words together in a fun way.
These are just some of our favorites. As a writer and author myself, I can only say there’s no such thing as ‘too many books’ and a lifelong love for reading starts in childhood. Always read with your children and never to them and that love will blossom.