In the past three weeks, my son had a cold, my daughter had a cold with a fever, I had a head cold of my own, and now this week my son got another head cold, this time with a fever. Blogging hasn’t really been at the top of my list of priorities. So I was grateful when my sister-in-law nominated me to write a post listing five of my favorite children’s books. It was like being handed inspiration for a blog topic on a plate. Head on over to Man-Cub Mamas to see Mama R’s list of five books that I will need to add to my own “to-read” list. She predicted that I would have a hard time narrowing my choices down. At first I didn’t think that was true, but it turned out that she was right.
As avid readers, Brett and I decided that we want our children to be avid readers, too. Nothing less will be tolerated. Before Wolfie was born, my sister requested that our baby shower guests give us books instead of cards. Most of them did and our children’s book collection began to grow. We add to it on birthdays, at Christmas, and any other time we can find a good deal on books. We also make trips to the public library as often as we can. Throughout the day we make time for reading, and reading is part of our children’s bedtime routine. So far, they love books as much as we do. Although, sometimes Brunhilda is more interested in eating them or throwing them than actually reading them.
Some of the books on this list are ones we own and some were great library finds. So, here they are, in no particular order:
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
Written by Al Perkins, Illustrated by Eric Gurney
One thing I love in children’s books is a good rhythm. I think that’s linked to my love of poetry and music. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb is written to invoke the sense of drums. My son loves when I drum my fingers on his arms or back as I read, “Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.” Reading a book with a good rhythm and rhyme scheme is really fun for me and helps to keep my son engaged.
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo
Written by John Lithgow, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
This one was a gift from my best friend before Wolfie was born. She told me that it’s one of her favorites to read with her children, and it quickly became one of my favorites, too. The story is very imaginative and fun, teaching the instruments in an orchestra while also naming many of the animals that can be found in the zoo. The illustrations are humorous and engaging. An added bonus is the accompanying CD with John Lithgow singing a song based on the words of the book.
One Moon, Two Cats
Written by Laura Godwin, Illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
I love everything about this book. The words are simple but poetic, the images are stunning, the pace is perfect. After reading this from the library, I wanted to check out every book they have by Laura Godwin. She is a great children’s writer, but this one is still my favorite. My son loves everything to do with outer space, especially the moon, so that’s his favorite part of this book. It’s nice when a book has something for us both to enjoy and makes us both want to return to it over and over again.
Bedtime for Batman
Written by Michael Dahl, Illustrated by Ethen Beavers
In case you missed my post about comic books, we are huge comic book fans in our family. My husband in particular loves Batman. When he found this book, there was no question that we were going to buy it. How do we teach our children to love comic books? We introduce them to the characters through children’s books. (And T-shirts. Lots of them.) This book tells the story of a little boy getting ready for bed, comparing his routine to Batman saving Gotham at night. Not only does it help Wolfie to see what he needs to do to prepare for bed every night, it also shows him that it’s fun to use his imagination.
Robots, Robots Everywhere!
Written by Sue Fliess, Illustrated by Bob Staake
Wolfie is extremely passionate about two things: rocket ships and robots. About six months ago, our city library had a two-story robot made out of balloons. He was fascinated and has loved robots ever since. Out of all the robot books we’ve read since then, this one is his favorite. It rhymes and has a good rhythm, and it also has colorful pictures filled with robots of all shapes and sizes doing a variety of tasks. After reading robot books, he will immediately sit on the floor and start to build robots out of his blocks. Of course, we can easily read this book three times in a row before the building begins.
An honorable mention would be the Duck & Goose books by Tad Hills, particularly Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin. But since this challenge was to name five books, you’ll just have to check this one out to see why it’s so fantastic.
There are many other books I could mention, but I chose these because they show a glimpse of the variety we enjoy in our home. Our daughter is finally starting to show an interest of her own in books, so it will be fun to see which subjects she is passionate about a year or two from now. But don’t worry, gentle reader. When that time comes, you will be among the first to know.
Originally Published December 2017