My kids love books, and for that I am very thankful. Both of my girls developed an early love of books. My oldest is 3 1/2 and my youngest is 1 1/2. Before they were even a year old, they’d sit down with a book and browse through the pages. I love reading to them and they love being read to. We have more books than I care to count, but we definitely have our favorites. Here are our top favorite books, in no particular order. If you haven’t read these, they come highly recommended from my little family of four.
1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - Many of you probably know this book from your own childhood. It’s a classic. I loved it as a child, and I love it just the same today. It’s a fantastic book about pure, unconditional love, and generosity throughout the course of life. There is a tree and a little boy. The tree and the little boy are the best of friends in the boys youth, but as he grows older he stays away longer. Every time he visits as he is older, he is looking for something material to make him happy. The tree tries to help by giving him anything she can. She gives him her apples, her branches and eventually her trunk. At the end, she is left an old stump. The boy comes to visit as an old man, and the tree is so apologetic and upset, because she has nothing left to give. At this point. All the old man needed was a place to sit and rest. So he sits on her stump and she is happy. To me, this is symbolic of how a parent loves a child. It’s unconditional and all we ever want is for our children to be happy. This books is beautiful and simple. I love how simple the black and white pages are, but somehow this book has a great ability to capture the attention of children. If you haven’t read this book, or haven’t revisited it since your own childhood, I would definitely recommend it.
2. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch - I love this book for so many reasons, it is hard to know where to begin. It’s about a dragon, a princess and a prince. The prince and princess were in love and supposed to be married, but a dragon comes along and burns up the castle and captures the prince. The princess, left with no choice but to wear a paper bag because the dragon burned up her dresses, goes on a quest to rescue the prince. She uses wit to out smart the dragon by playing in to his ego to tire him out, so that she may rescue the prince. When she finally rescues the prince, he is appalled by her paper bag dress and unkempt appearance and tells her to come back when she is dressed like a real princess. The book then ends with the princess saying “Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are bum.” They didn’t get married after all. — It’s really a fantastic book and I think it sends a great message across.
3. Good Families Don’t by Robert Munsch - Okay, it is safe to say I like Robert Munsch. He has a way of writing that makes it enjoyable for parents and children alike. Good Families Don’t is one of my favorite books to read to the kids. It makes us all laugh. It’s about a fart (yes, you read that right) that takes over a little girls room, jumps on her dad, and then her mom and even the police. The little girl doesn’t know what to do, and is about to run away when she decides to counteract the fart with a rose from her mom’s garden. She comes inside to find the fart eating a can of beans and walks up and puts the rose in the fart’s nose, which the fart finds appalling and leaves. There aren’t really any awesome lessons in this book, except maybe that everyone farts, but it’s freaking hilariously written. Every time we read it, we all get a good laugh. It’s definitely worth a read!
4. Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney - My girls and I pretty much like all of the Llama Llama books, but I particularly like this one because it has such a great message about sharing. Sharing can be hard for little kids and toddlers, especially when they are put in a position to share a favorite toy. Little Llama finds his new friend Nelly Gnu playing with his favorite doll. When he sees this, he tries to rip it from her hands and ends up ripping off Fuzzy Llama’s arm instead. He rushes to his mama to see if she can fix Fuzzy Llama, which she does, but instead of handing the doll back she puts him on the stairs until the kids are sure they can share. The Llama Llama books are all fun, creative, rhyming books that have a good message for young children. If you have toddler’s I highly recommend any of the Llama Llama books. Llama Llama Red Pajama is another one of our favorites.
5. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - This book is so creative!!! It’s written and illustrated in crayon, which is so befitting. It’s about a little boy who opens his crayon box to color, but instead of crayons he finds letters from each of the colors. Blue is burnt out from having to take on all of the oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds. Purple is tired of having his gorgeous color wasted outside of the lines. Beige is sick of being second best to brown. Orange and yellow are looking to settle a dispute of who is the true color of the sun. Pink feels like the little boy should use her more often, because there isn’t anything wrong with a pink dinosaur or monster. Etc. In the end Duncan, the little boy, ends up getting really creative with his coloring and making a beautiful picture with a tan bear, a pink dinosaur, an orange whale, green water, etc. This is a really fun book that encourages imagination and creativity. We absolutely love this book.
As I finished this post, I realized the my brother in law bought the girls three of these books. A big shout out to Uncle Stefan for being a great gift giver. We love them!
What are your families favorite books to read? We are always looking for new reads and would love to hear from you.