June 20, 2011

read me a story

I feel strongly about reading to children but I'm certainly not as dedicated to it as I should be. I read at least a few books to William every day and I'm trying to be better at things like choosing a variety of books and reading the title and author of the book before I begin.
I took a children's literature class in college and it was one of my favorite classes. I made several lists of the books that I wanted to have for my own children someday. Of course, my English major sister also gave me several recommendations/or books themselves (which make up a huge portion of this list). I shared a room with her and she's about 15 years old than me so I still enjoyed having a story read to me when she lived at home. She always did the best voices when she read books, I especially remember the troll voice in The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I knew that when I grew up and became a mother that I wanted to read books as well as my sister Alice.

These are a few of the favorite books I have on my shelves for young children. Some day I'll get around to posting about my favorite juvenile fiction books (don't kid yourself - this is #1 on the list).

*marks good books for babies (best as board books)
Sheep In a Jeep*
Sheep In a Shop*
Sheep Out to Eat*
Sheep on a Ship*
Sheep Trick or Treat* by Nancy Shaw
In My Tree, Nest, Pond, Den, Meadow, Forest, Jungle, Ocean* . . . books by Sara Gillingham (fun and beautiful)
I Love Trucks by Philemon Sturges
Peek-A Who* by Nina Laden (you can almost always guarantee a happy kid with this book in your diaper bag)
The Real Mother Goose illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright (like it says, the "real" one)
I Howl, I Growl* by Marcia Vaughan
Prayers for a Small Child illustrated by Eloise Wilkin (some of my favorite illustrations ever - I remember getting lost in the pictures as a child)
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett (a cute, interactive story that makes all children giggle)
I Love You Through and Through* by Rossetti Shustak
A Time to Keep and A Child's Garden of Verses by Tasha Tudor (her books are such a symbol of my childhood - just beautiful, English illustrations)
The Big, Red Barn* by Margaret Wise Brown (William's favorite book)
Flotsam by David Wiesner (no words but it gives me a chance to make up my own story to go along with the amazing illustrations)
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear* by Audrey and Don Wood
Goodnight Moon* by Margaret Wise Brown (a classic that everyone has to own)
But Not the Hippopatamus* by Sandra Boynton (and her others are great)
The Napping House by Audrey Wood (a cute, repetition story)
Shhhh! by Sally Grindley and Peter Utton (cute flap book to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk)
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (sweet and makes me choked up every time)

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman (a silly but sweet book about the obvious)
The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman (the revision of the story "Little Black Sambo")
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books by Betty MacDonald (some of the best books ever written for children and parents alike - I prefer the editions with the Hilary Knight illustrations)
A Box of Ogres by Tim Healey and Charles Fuge (out of print but such a fun story - printed in the UK but I think it's actually Australian so it's hard to find used if you're in the US)
The Laughing Dragon by Kenneth Mahood (such a cute story that I remember thinking was so funny as a kid - sadly out of print)
Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett
The Adventures of Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik (illustrated by Maurice Sendak)
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel (funny, short stories that I loved to read)
Frog and Toad Books


  1. Charlie loves The Big Red Barn, too. :)

  2. The Ms Piggle Wiggle books were my favorite... and my teenage daughter re-bought them for me a few years ago. You should also try (on the older reading list) The Stinky Cheese Man (and all the related books). They are pretty cute.

  3. Wait a minute.... 15 years older? What the heck? No way. That can't be right... can it? I think it's only 12 or something. :P

    We love "In the Night Kitchen" but Jay cleverly edited a couple of the illustrations.... a few are a bit indecent! (He added a pair of undies.) :)

  4. Tikki Tikki Tembo, was read to me in 1st grade, I remembered it all thru my schooling and in my 20's had a local bookstore order a copy for me. It is a great story.

  5. I use Tikki Tikki Tembo, the Seven Silly Eaters, and Little Babaji when my kids are much younger, maybe like 2 or 3. Just thought you'd like to know. :) Don't wait too long, because by 5 they are often ready for chapter books.


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