Reading to ones child is a vital aspect of parenting and can have a lifelong affect on how they perceive and interact with the world. Reading helps to stimulate a child’s imagination, as well as increase their vocabulary and their appetite for learning. Having raised 8 children, this author now humbly shares but a few of the many wonderful children’s books that he has had the privilege of sharing with his own children. And now, in no particular order, please consider the following suggestions.
1. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, by Tomie dePaola, is a story about a little boy whose grandmother and great grandmother live in his home with him. Ages 2 and up.
2. The Lemon Drop Jar, by Christine Widman, chronicles a young girls’ wintery visits with her Aunt Emma. A hot cup of tea with lemon drops prompts Aunt Emma’s account of how the lemon drop jar came to be a tradition in their family. Ages 4 and up.
3. The Old Dog, by Charlotte Zolotow. This story has few words, yet is able to relate the understanding of life, death, and living with all the power and detail of a volume on the subject. Ages 2 and up.
4. Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say, chronicles the immigration of the author’s grandfather from Japan to America in the early 1800s. The reader is shown highlights of that journey as they view grandfather’s old photos . Ages 4 and up.
5. Oh The Places You’ll Go!, by Dr. Seuss. This story is a source of inspiration and encouragement for young and old alike, celebrating the beauty of change, the benefits of taking risks, and helping to illustrate ways to deal with discouragement. Ages 2 and up.
6. I Promise I’ll Find You, by Heather Patricia Ward, is a heartwarming story illustrating to a child just exactly what it means to be loved by their parents. Ages 3 and up.
7. Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw. This book presents the subject of parental love by walking the reader through the phases of the subjects’ lives. In the end, the mother’s love comes full circle and the reader is shown how love can be handed down to future generations. Ages 2 and up.
8. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. When a boy loves a tree and that tree loves the boy, what could go wrong? Ah, but when that boy becomes a man and his heart becomes enamored by other cares, love is lost to selfishness. The reader is shown how true love can endure all situations and make any sacrifice. Ages 5 and up.
9. Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales. A collection of short stories by Beatrix Potter, these lively tales illustrate simple lessons in life and behavior. By personifying animals typically found in the english countryside and farmyards, Ms Potter shows the reader antics and interactions reminiscent of our own social structure. Ages 3 and up.
10. Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling, is a collection of short tales inspired by the author’s time spent in British India. In these entertaining and imaginative stories, one is taught the origins of things such as the elephant’s trunk and the rhinoceros’ skin. Unbeknownst to some, O best beloved, one might also learn a moral lesson or two as well. Ages 3 and up.