I’ve been a children’s book fan for a long time. I can picture my elementary school librarian reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. One of my favorites from Grandma’s book collection included The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes. I love listening to Kathleen Kelly (AKA Meg Ryan) in You’ve Got Mail as she describes classic books in her Shop Around the Corner. Story time, reading out loud, and being read to are vivid parts of my childhood. As you shop this holiday season, consider giving a child “a more robust literary diet.” (That’s a quote from Caldecott Medal winner, Barbara Cooney.)
With bazillions of amazing books to choose from, there’s sure to be one or two (or more) that will help your child love reading. I’ve picked out a few that I’ve purchased for the little people in my life over the years. These are also fun for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to read with children.
- Jack’s House – Here’s a clever spin on the old story of the house that Jack built. Great for boys who like trucks and dogs. You’ll find colorful illustrations, great vocabulary and an unexpected ending.
- Toot & Puddle – This adorable duo have much to share including their adventures at home and abroad as well as their own website. Check out other books in this Holly Hobbie series too.
- Snowmen at Night – For children who love snow and even those who’ve never seen it. This book explores the life of snowmen when we are sleeping. Special note: These books are available as board books.
- The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale – This winter tale is perfect for Michigan children. Just how many animals can fit into a little boy’s lost mitten?
- Bear Snores On – Books in Karma Wilson’s bear series will delight little ones with forest friend illustrations and repeating phrases. Also available as a board book.
- Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! – More great illustrations from eighteen wheelers to ice cream trucks. Plus pages that turn in different directions. Patricia Hubbell has a series of transportation books.
- Miss Nelson is Missing – This story has been delighting children since the eighties. Enjoy this fun read of a teacher, her sub, and her students.
I’ve linked most of these books to Borders, as it’s both a local Michigan company and a great place to shop in the store or online. And don’t forget your smaller book stores, too.
If you didn’t see a book here that’s just right, here’s a great book finder by Random House that will connect with you something age and interest appropriate. This top-100 list also covers a wide variety of old and new favorites from Sheep in a Jeep to Fancy Nancy. And remember, your local librarian is always an excellent resource.
Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!