Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our Favorite Children's Books

I don't know why, but for some reason I have been thinking about children's books. Who knows why I think anything, right?, now that I've let you into the inner workings of my brain.

Anyway . . . I must be getting nostalgic these days. Graduation is coming. New stages of life are forming. It's as it should be, but I can't help thinking back.

We did a lot of reading when my girls were little. A lot. Surprised? I didn't think so.

So today I thought I'd let you in on some of our favorite children's books. These are books that the girls would ask me to read again and again. Books I could probably recite in my sleep.

Some are probably books you've heard of and have probably read to your own kids, but I am willing to bet that there are a couple on this list that you have never heard of. Nevertheless, they are books that have become Wild-fam favorites.

I'll start with one of our favorites that I am almost 100% certain you've never heard of. I would probably rank it on the top of our most-read list when the girls were little. It's called Ba Ba Sheep Wouldn't Go to Sleep, and it's a sweet story about a little boy sheep who thought he'd just stay up all night long and what happens to little boys (and girls) who don't get enough rest.

Not that I ever had a child who didn't want to go to bed at night. Oh no. I wouldn't know anything about that at all.

Bad news about Ba Ba, though. It's hard to find. Our public library has it, and yours might too, but on Amazon you can only find used copies. Must be out of print. Which is a shame. It's such a good book!

Moving on. . . . When one of my girls was in first grade she came home and told me that her teacher had read them such a good book that day that she might have just cried a little bit in school. Well, when a book makes a little girl cry in school, I must know what it is. I'm ashamed to say that at that time, many years ago, I had never heard of this classic, but the book that made my daughter weep was Love You Forever.

If you've never read this book, you should. It'll make you weep, too.

Speaking of "love books," here's another classic that my girls absolutely loved (get it?!). Guess How Much I Love You. Oh, Little Nutbrown Hare, how I love you, too.

I bought this book for Kate when she was young because I liked the idea of the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a strong female character. Kate and the Beanstalk is a very funny twist on the original. Love it. Love Kate.

Love Mary Pope Osborne. (She came up with the Kate idea.)

One of my very favorite children's books of all time comes from Max Lucado. You Are Special is just so . . . well . . . special. It tells the tender story of Punchinello, a wooden Wemmick who has, unfortunately, listened to what others have said about him just a little too often. He is defeated, dejected, depressed. But the Carpenter offers some words of wisdom that change Punchinello's life.

Awesome book. I might just have to pull it out as we traverse those ugly junior high years again. And, you know, even parents can learn a little something from this book.

Finally, here's a book that I'm pretty sure none of you have ever hear of. Ever. And if you have, definitely let me know because I would love to be proven wrong about this. It's Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big.

This is a wild, fun story that actually does teach kids a lesson about lying. And the great thing about this one is that boys will love it as much as girls, so if you have a boy who doesn't necessarily like to read, this might be a good choice.

One reason we loved this book so much is because my college roommate, Jennifer, brought it for the girls when she came to visit one time. It just reminds us of Jen, and it makes us laugh (so does Jen). A lot. In fact, I read this book to a classroom of elementary school kids once, and they all laughed and loved it too.

So there you go. A few good books to check out as we head into those long, lazy days of summer . . . if, of course, you have little kids.

But then again, these are so great that even if you don't have little kids you might just want to read them anyway.

So tell me, what are some of your favorites? What do your kids beg you to read over and over again? What books did you like when you were a kid?



  1. Well, I've already admitted that Caroline is "into" Dick & Jane books. And, I love that.

    But, one of our favorites is "Time for Bed" by Mem Fox. Great cadence, and beautiful illustrations!!

  2. Thanks! I'll have to take a look at some of these. I'm already reading to little M. Enjoying a lot of Sandra Boynton (she's new), but also the classics like Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. I do have You Are Special. I bought it for my future child about three years ago when I first saw it. The others I have never seen. Did reading to your girls help them love reading as much as you do?


  3. Yes, H, I am totally convinced that reading to kids when they're young does help foster a love for books later in life. It's worked for me! One of mine doesn't LOVE to read, but she still picks up books for pleasure every now and then. The other two are voracious. I love it!

  4. Katherine loved to be read to (and still does). I can still recite Is Your Mama a Llama? and One Fish Two Fish and Love You Forever. Did you know that there is a wonderful website by the author of LYF? http://robertmunsch.com/
    I had high hopes that by me being an avid reader, that Katherine too would share my joy of books, but so far she hasn't picked that up....yet.

  5. We read some of those same books Shelly, but not the ones you figured we hadn't. I also love the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." and the others similar to it. And my personal favorite was The Little Engine that Could. Oh, how I miss reading to my children. Those were good times.

  6. This is fantastic! I haven't heard of a lot of these- but I have to admit, I Love You Forever makes me cry too, every time I read it. Even though it's a little bit creepy... ;)

  7. We love Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings!

    William T. George has some good books that my little ones are loving these days. They have the most beautiful illustrations.

    I think Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse and House for Hermit Crab are just fascinating...Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner are probably my all time favorites!

    Margaret Wise Brown's BIg Red Barn has been one of my favorites to read to my babies for some reason. I just love that one. I'll check out Kate and the Beanstalk. Looks cute!