Usually, I share snippets from my published books on Wednesdays, but I came across an article I'd written several years ago now for a parenting magazine on how to get kids interested in reading.
Of course my answer was to get a child interested in books and reading, parents or caregivers need to instill that curiosity and enjoyment in words early on and it simply grows from there.
My children had (and still do have) several bookshelves overflowing with books, but these are the ones we most often took out to read all smushed together on the couch. Not only does this activity inspire a life-long love for books, it is a wonderful way to come down from the craziness and chaos of a regular day and just enjoy spending time together.
Here were our top ones:
THE BELLY BUTTON BOOK by Sandra Boynton: My son was non-verbal until he was almost four. What was most difficult to watch was that he knew perfectly well what he was trying to say to his sisters and I, the words just didn't come out. He loved this book because the wording was simple, the baby hippo in the story spoke at his level and, eventually, he said, 'Bee Bo' too. The is at a preschool level, but I enjoyed reading it so much. In fact, we still have our very worn out copy.
HUG by Jez Alborough: Baby monkey Bobo searches for his Mama in the jungle where Mamas and babies are hugging. Needless to say, I got tons of hugs at the end of reading this one. [Preschool]
GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown: Sweet little ‘goodnight’ book where a little mouse has to say goodnight to everything before falling asleep. [One to four]
CHICKA CHICKA ABC by Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson and Lois Ehlert: All the small letters of the alphabet try squishing up a coconut tree. Great way to teach ABC’s through rhyme and fun word play. [One to five]
WHERE’S THE DRAGON? by Jason Hook: A great book for younger children to have read to them as well as for the older children (under 7) to read on their own. Also a great ‘Touch and Feel’ book.
THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK by Jon Stone: This was one of the all-time favorites in our house because Grover is so lovable and it’s fun to be silly! Great for kids between two and seven.
THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein. What a beautiful book to teach about friendship, love and being grateful for what we have. Best for children four to ten.
IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE by Laura Numeroff: This is one of the many in the series. Delightfully silly and fun to see how one thing can lead to another. Great for children who can follow longer books or starting to read on their own – three to eight.
OLIVIA by Ian Falconer: Again, there are several books featuring Olivia and all of them are wonderful. Kids like Olivia because she has a fantastic imagination, she’s funny and (according to my kids) her Mama is just like theirs. Best for children over four.
THE CHEERIOS ANIMAL PLAY BOOK by Lee Wade: This book is best for younger children—under three—when you’re just starting them out with reading. It has children putting Cheerios on certain spots in the scenes. Even our oldest loves reading this with the younger ones because she gets to eat ‘O’s at the same time!
BIG PLANS by Bob Shea and Lane Smith. We never owned this one but we took it out from the library so much, I'm wondering why we never just bought it. This book reminds me of my Sophie who always has 'big plans'. A wonderful book that empowers children to think big, be true to who they are and not be afraid to positively express themselves.
ANY BOOKS FROM ROBERT MUNSCH: We have almost every book he’s written. Younger kids love the pictures while the older readers laugh at the subject matter and the way Munsch expertly puts words together in a fun way.
Which books can you add to this list? I may think of others down the road.