Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Children's Book Day: 2014

As the daughter of a librarian, I was raised on books. Education and reading were always very important in my house growing up.  My dad made sure that we had all different kinds of books: fiction, non-fiction, reference, picture books, books with no words, and so on. And when my dad would read to us, he always read in character with silly voices and sound effects.

It's no wonder, then, that I love to read. In fact, my brother and I both work in libraries!  I spend my days surrounded by my favorite kinds of books: children's books; and today is a day to celebrate those books.
great books to read to kids

Created in 1967, International Children's Book Day is a day to recognize literature intended for the littlest among us.  This makes it the perfect time to promote some of our family favorites and hopefully find some new favorites from you. *Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click to follow on and choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Your price will not be affected.*

One of the best authors to read aloud is Dr. Seuss. I can't imagine my childhood without these classics!  The pictures were so fun to explore and the made-up words and lyrical language made them a sure hit!  I still get tongue-tied trying to read Fox in Socks , and my kids love making the animal noises of Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? I also have very fond remembrances of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and you absolutely can't go wrong with classic The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham.

For a more recent author to try out, you can't go wrong with Mo Willems!  He writes the "Pigeon" series of books that have my kids giggling wildly with each reading. Maybe not a good idea for bedtime, but definitely worthy reads.  You can get It's a Busload of Pigeon Books! which includes my kids' favorite Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  He also writes adorable stories about Elephant and Piggie and their adventures.  The two friends are opposites in many ways, but they manage to get along and learn to celebrate each other's differences. We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) is a good place to start.

You may know Robert Munsch from the book Love You Forever, but he has a whole collection of other books that I find hysterically funny with a good lesson in them as well. Long before Frozen  and Brave told the story of a Princess who didn't need a mam, Robert Munsch was delighting us with The Paper Bag Princess a princess who has to rescue herself from the dragon! She even inspired a Halloween costume one year!
He has several anthologies (Munschworks: The First Munsch Collection) that are totally worth buying because all of his books have been big hits with my kids.

If you kids are older, there are some great chapter books they might enjoy reading on their own. Magic Tree House series is a great one for kids who like history. While the stories are fiction, many of them are set in historical times. There are even non-fiction companion books to go along with many of the volumes.

The Boxcar Children Books are another good series to let you kids explore. These books have been around for some time but Frances still enjoys them.

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Box Set (Books 1-5) are great if your kids enjoy mysteries. As a youth, I remember trying to figure out the case before the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew did.

Currently we are finishing the last of the The Chronicles of Narnia together.  I have been reading them to the kids each night before they go to sleep. I have been so impressed with the predictions the kids makes and the character connections and nuances they bring up. Even Benjamin gets into it, shouting, "I bet it's Aslan!" excitedly each time a lion is mentioned.

Next we are moving on to The Wizard of Oz  series. This was one of my favorite series as a child. Sadly, most of the set I remember reading has been misplaced, but hopefully time I get down to my parents' house I can take a look around and see if I can find them. Unless one of my brothers stole them!!

So after that long list of great children's books, I am anxious to hear about your favorites. What are the books you remember best from your childhood? Or what books to your kids request again and again now?

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