Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Recommended Reading: For the wee ones

So far, our son is as much a bookaholic as both his parents are (he didn't have a chance, really). I thought I'd share some of our favourites.

One of our favourite favourites - both mine and my son's - is Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers. The illustrations are delightful, as is the rhyming verse. And I can't help it - I'm automatically partial to any child's book that lists breastfeeding and babywearing alongside bottle feeding and strollers.

Our very first favourite - the first book that my son "learned" (knew what actions were coming up next) - was Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson. We both still enjoy this sweet little interactive book.

Another old favourite of ours is George and the Dragon by Chris Wormell. This is one of those books that is just plain fun to read.

Our most recent favourite discoveries are I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Shustak and How Do I Love You by Marion Bauer. Both books are adorably illustrated by Caroline Church. My son requests both of these over and over.

We're just getting really interested in the I Spy books here, so that's been something fun and interactive to do lately.

Although I'm not a huge Sandra Boynton fan, we do love Snuggle Puppy. Such a sweet book.

We're not always fussy, though. We do love almost anything by Dr. Seuss!

We're big fans of Richard Scarry here as well, but by far our favourite ones are Cars and Trucks and Things that Go and What Do People Do All Day. These books will keep my son entertained for nearly an hour at a time, so full of entertaining illustrations. Incidently, these were my husband's childhood favourites as well!

Speaking of classics, who doesn't love We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen? Or Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr (and illustrated by the infamous Eric Carle)? Or Love You Forever by Robert Munsch?

Ah, who are we kidding. We love anything by Robert Munsch!

If you weren't fortunate enough to grow up with Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak, please, do yourself a favour and buy this book of monthly poems! In March the wind blows down the door and spills my soup upon the floor. It laps it up and roars for more. Blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice.

Another of my husband's childhood favourites is Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton. This is a very cute book.

Then there's Jan Brett - surely I don't need to say more? We particularly enjoy The Mitten, along with our newest Jan Brett favourite, Noah's Ark (thank you Trace for pointing out this particular gem!).

Another new discovery is Karen Kingsbury's Let Me Hold You Longer, a sweet book about remembering our children's lasts as they grow. My husband, however, thinks the book is just plain depressing. I prefer to describe it as "bittersweet" - as growing up always is.

Naturally, not a single home library would be complete without at least one set of Mother Goose nursery rhymes - our Mother Goose book of choice is illustrated by Scott Gustafson. I could not possibly rave over these beautiful enchanting illustrations enough. Our next purchase will be his Classic Fairy Tales.

Max Lucado's Wemmick books are among our favourites as well, particularly You Are Mine. Although these books are too long for my son to sit through yet, he loves the illustrations and requests them often anyway. For now I just paraphrase the important messages in each.

Speaking of important messages, we do have a couple other favourite Christian children's books - I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges, I'd be Your Hero by Kathryn O'Brien, and God Loves You by Kathleen Long Bostrom. The last one is part of the Little Blessings series, illustrated by Elena Kucharik, artist of the Care Bears. I love her illustrations, but more than that, I love finding a series of Christian children's books that aren't either really bad, really "off" theologically, or watered down to the point where the message itself is lost. I have a very hard time finding good Christian children's books, so this series is definitely one I appreciate.

On the topic of good content (thought not from a Christian viewpoint here), I do appreciate the level of information in Dinosaur ABC by Roger Priddy - not enough to make it boring, but enough for it to be a book that grows with kids. Right now my son loves the pictures of dinosaurs (and hearing me try to pronounce the names - good thing it comes with pronunciation keys!), but as he grows there is more detailed information there for him to dig into. Likewise with Priddy's Monster Machines book - great for toddlers who like pictures of trucks, great for little kids who want to know more details about them.

One of the nicest set of gift books we've received is Why I love my Mummy and Why I Love my Daddy by Daniel Howarth. Another wonderful illustrator and very sweet books.

Well! I'm sure I have more favourites, but that's more than enough for now. I'm always very excited to find a new children's book that is really good, and I look forward to having our options grow along with him!

What are some of your favourites?


  1. Daniel is beginning to love books! He gets ours off the book shelf. I have him a few and he totes them around or brings them to me!

  2. You guys have a lot of favorites. I am a personal fan of Dr. Seuss and their were a few books growing up I enjoyed. I'll have to check some of these out when I have kids ;)

  3. I need to write a post about our favorites too!! I could seriously talk about children's books FOREVER though!! LOL!!

    We LOVE the I Spy books too.. oh and of course Richard Scarry!!!!
    I also have a copy of Let me Hold you Longer.. I love it (even though it often makes me cry!).. it always reminds me to appreciate each moment....

    Dr. Seuss still rocks!! I'm so glad that LUke loves them as much as I did when I was a child...

    Heck I'm so glad that Luke loves BOOKS as much as I do!!

    ALthough right now his favorite books are non fiction ones with dinosaurs and animals.... !!

  4. I know he has a few favorites over at MIL's house, but for us at bedtime, his current favorite is The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle (affectionately known as "pie-doo."). He actually reads it to me, now, and then claps at the end of each page!

    "Meow meow dat! Behdeh data nap?" (In case my son speaks a different dialect of toddler than yours, I'll translate. "'Meow, meow,' cried the cat. 'Want to take a nap?'")

  5. I read something recently that said that kids this age like repetitive lines, so I think he likes Spider because nearly every other page is, "The spider didn't answer. She was very busy spinning her web." This is also a texture book, with the spider webs raised a bit like glue lines, that he insists he, and I, and the cat, all "fee-uhl!"

  6. A must of children's books that are funny for the parents as well are, "If you give a mouse a cookie." Sorry, forgot the author, but have several of these books - hardback from a garage sale for only .50 each!

    These are my personal favorites that I've read to my nieces and nephews before I was married and had my own babies!

    Love the Richard Scarry (also grew up with one of the books) and the videos!! For learning "The Best ABC" and "The Best Counting" videos are great!!

  7. I'm going to look up all those you've listed. I'm getting together a collection of books for Grayson. I started on it before he was born. One of my favorites as a kid was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". I bought that and another Eric Carle book for Grayson. I recently came across a book called "Tickle Monster" by Josie Bissett. It looks so cute. I know at Jacob's age he'd probably love it. I plan on buying it eventually. I love children's books. :)

  8. Awesome list! Lots of old favorites there, as well as some I hadn't heard of--thanks for posting this. :)

  9. Horton Hatches the Egg is at the top of our list!


  10. Hannah just started REALLY enjoying Jan Brett's "The Mitten." She also loves Phyllis Root's "One Duck Stuck" (regular paperback edition though - the board book unfortunately totally changes the great sing-song nature of the story).

    "Prayer for a Child" by Rachel Field is a beautiful little book as well.