Reading is important in my home. I believe that reading strengthens the mind and helps children to use their imagination. Each night before bed, I read to my kids. Not only is it a signal to them that it is time to settle down to go to sleep, but it gives them something to dream about as well. We each have our favorites, and here is the ten favorites in my house.
1. The Very Hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle
This book is for ages zero to two. It is the classic story of how a caterpillar makes its journey into a beautiful butterfly. Each day that the caterpillar is alive, he eats and eats his way through more and more food until he builds a warm snuggly cocoon that he will use to make his transformation. The illustrations are boldly colored so that children can engage in the story and keep their eyes on the pages. Each page also has holes in the food pictures that show where the hungry caterpillar chewed through the ice cream, leaves or watermelon.
2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laurie Numeroff
This is the classic story of how a series of events can progress. This is the first book in the “If you Give” series. It is recommended for children ages three to five, however, my infant likes it and it is one of my favorite books. This story is about a little mouse whom is given a cookie, and then he wants more and more as you sees things that he likes. For instance- “if you give a mouse a cookie, then he’s going to want a glass of milk.” The illustrations by Felicia Bond are cute and engaging and can show how serious things can get when one things progress to another.
3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- by Bill Martin Jr.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is recommended for children ages three to five. It teaches alliteration as well as the alphabet in a fun way. This is my niece’s favorite book. This book has a bunch of fun words, bright colors and is a laid back story of what can happen when too many letters climb the coconut tree, they all fall down and go chicka chicka boom boom!
4. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
This is the cute story of a baby bird whose mother is out looking for food when he hatches. He hops all over town looking for his mother asking the bulldozer, the dog and even a duck if they are his mother. It’s a cute story recommended for children ages five to seven. The subject matter is considered “difficult” as an animal could become attached to any other that would care for it, like pets do.
5. Dr. Suess’ ABC Book- by Dr. Suess
This book is a fantastic classic no matter how hold you are, although it is recommended for kids age three to five. With all of the silly pictures, made up words and ABC fun, it is an instant hit with any child big or small. Kids love the silly words, and hopefully you’re won’t ask as many “what’s that?” type of questions when you read it as mine do!
6. How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You- by Jane Yolen
This book is recommended for kids ages zero to three. It is a cute story that is beautifully illustrated by Mark Teague. This story gives various scenarios of a baby dinosaur acting badly, but when it comes to mommy, he loves her and can’t wait to tell her. This is just one story in a series of many. My son loves these books, however, since I’m the mommy- this one is my favorite.
7. Where the Wild Things Are – by Maurice Sendak
This is an older story written in the 70s about an imaginative little boy named Max who gets set to bed without dinner for misbehaving. He imagines sailing away to a far away place where the wild things are and he is king of them all. When he starts getting bored being wild, he sails back home to find his dinner waiting for him in his room, still warm. This book was the winner of the 1970 Caldecott Medal. It is recommended for children ages six- eight, but we still love it!
8. Harry Potter Series- by J.K. Rawling
This is one of my personal favorite book series, and although my kids a still a little too young, I will read it to them once they get older. This series is recommended for children ages eight and over. It is full of magic, danger and fun made up words. It follows Harry and the mysterious goings on in his life as he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where everyone knows more about him than he does.
9. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This is a classic story of a little boy that is questioning whether Santa is real based on not getting what he asked for the previous year. When the Polar Express comes by to pick him up and take him to the North Pole, he rethinks his position on Santa. This book is great for anyone that likes Christmas like I do, or trains like my son does. It is recommended for children ages six to eight.
10. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs- by Judi Barrett
This book recommended for kids age six to eight is the cute story of a little boy that wants to be a scientist. He creates a machine that turns the rain into food and makes it rain delicious delicacies on his tiny town of Chewandswallow everyday until one day, the machine goes haywire and creates a big mess! This is a cute story that my kids love.