It’s not a well known fact, but my degree is in Creative Writing and children’s books have always had a soft spot in my heart. With two kids mostly reading on their own these days, it’s been fun to revisit our favorites- only different because the adults are the ones being read to now. Here’s a list of our all time favorite children’s books. These are the ones that have torn pages and cracked spines. These are the ones that have been read six times in one night, sometimes through fevers and 3am nightmares. They are the ones I often gift to the new babies in our lives. I hope you see some familiar faces and maybe a new one or two that you can add to your home library.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beatty
Our house is a huge fan of all of Andrea Beatty’s books, but this one is my favorite because the lesson contained in the pages of this book is that the only kind of failure is giving up on your dreams. I get choked up every time I read it aloud to the kids. I mean, we all can stand to be reminded of that lesson once in a while. Rosie Revere is written in a sweet rhyme form that makes it especially fun to read aloud and the whimsical illustrations by David Roberts make the story come to life.
Oliver Jeffers’ imagination is the best. His illustrations are simple & sweet & quirky. Like Andrea Beatty, Oliver Jeffers is most times a winner with our boys. Stuck got a lot of wear and tear around 3-4 years old. It’s a silly story and fun to read. The kids loved memorizing the list of items that get stuck in a tree and would laugh, deep belly laughs, at the ridiculousness of the story. I still find our 7- year old reading it to himself before bed and giggling as he turns the pages. It’s a keeper, for sure.
Oliver Jeffers strikes again with this silly and adorable book about a boy named Henry. Instead of reading books to get smarter, Henry eats them until he gets a stomach ache. Then, Henry tries a different approach- reading. This one is sure to bring on the giggles. And make sure you flip the book over when you get to the end. Your kids will love the surprise.
Red is about being authentically you. It’s a tale about a crayon with an identity crisis but only because there are lots of other people pointing to Red’s label and telling Red, that Red is Red. The problem is, he draws in blue: blue strawberries, blue cherries, blue ants. It’s a story about being true to yourself, and it’s told in a way that kids (and adults) can really get it.
There’s just something about this book. The creative writing nerd in me would love to go off into detail about the line spacing and cadence of the diction, but I’ll spare you. This book is fun to read, fun to look at and is… ahem… quick for those nights when your eyes just cannot stay open a moment longer.
We love Dr. Suess and this one is our favorite. He’s the king of children’s books. Enough said.
This book relies completely on the imagination of the reader because it has no words. It’s perfect for your little ones who are not yet reading or even your bigger ones when you need a break from chapter books. We used this one recently when our oldest was transitioning to more substantial chapter books (more words, less pictures) and needed a mental break. It’s a good reminder of the power of a book to take your imagination to uncharted territories.
Rainstorm is another wordless favorite but more of a story in pictures than Pool. Rainstorm follows a boy, bored and disappointed because of a rainstorm, through an adventure that includes a mysterious key, secret doorways and hidden island. This book is great for pre-readers because the illustrations make it easy to follow the storyline. It also teaches them to pay attention to pictures for clues and make predictions about what is going to happen before turning the next page. Rainstorm is one that has been opened so many times, the binding is falling apart- a sure sign of a well loved book.
Let me know what your favorite children’s book are. Did you see any familiar faces? Which children’s books in your houses have been read so many times, they are coming apart at the seams?
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