Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Favorite Children's Books

Just for fun, I thought I'd post some of my (and my son's) favorite children's books. After all, books are free from the library (and also fun to buy), and we're always scouting out new ones. Let's face it-- you can only read Sandra Boynton board books (cute though they are) so many times before you start to loose your sanity. There are three sections-- board books, picture books, and chapter books.

  • Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? written by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by Bruce Degan. I probably love this book more than my child, but he certainly doesn't mind it. The rhythm of the words is great for a read-aloud book, and I love how we get to see different angles and rooms of the same house, so it feels like Carlstrom and Degan create a little world.  (Note, link is to paperback edition-- I can't seem to find it in a board book). 
  • Good Night, Gorilla written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann. This is an absolutely wonderful book. It's BYOW (bring your own words) for the most part, but that's part of what makes it fun. I think my toddler especially loved that the story line is primarily told with pictures. There are tiny details and themes that repeat throughout the illustrations that make it fun for children and parents.
  • Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo written by Kevin Lewis, illustrated by Daniel Kirk. This is another book with a fantastic rhythm that make it fun to read aloud. And, after all, what kid doesn't love a good choo-choo?
  • Touch the Art: Make Van Gogh's Bed by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo. This book is from the Touch the Art series which features famous works of art with "touchability." For example, there's a little piece of red fabric on Van Gogh's bed for the sheet. I happen to really love the idea of the books, but the prose that goes along with the pictures is a little lack luster. My son likes them okay, but I find that I really buy these for myself because I think they're cool. Be warned that they do tend to go out of print quickly and then prices skyrocket (in fact, since I purchased this several months ago, even this one has gone out of print. But search for the authors and you should find some of their other current works).
  • Peek-A Who? written and illustrated by Nina Laden. This is a great board book for the 1-2 age range. The words and concepts are easy enough for smaller children to really get involved.
  • What's Wrong, Little Pookie? written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton. I would never have thought I'd be recommending a book with "Pookie" in the title, but there is something irresistible about this little pig. 
  • LMNO Peas written and illustrated by Keith Baker. The illustrations in this book are so fun to look at for both parent and child.
  • The Art Lesson written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. I would really recommend any of Tomie dePaola's books. I love both the illustrations, the content of the stories, and his writing style. I love art, so this is one of my favorites.
  • A Birthday for Frances written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban. I remember liking this book a lot as a girl, but now that I'm a parent, I think it's HILARIOUS. Seriously. I made my husband read it after our son went to bed because I thought it was that funny. (He thought it was slightly less funny-- but I think that was just because I had built it up so much.) The illustrations are sweet, but it's the way the dialogue so perfectly captures everything innocent and hilarious about children that really sets the "Frances" books apart.
  • Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea written by Vera B. and Jennifer Williams and illustrated by Vera B. Williams. My third grade teacher read us this book and I've loved it ever since. Each page is a different postcard from a young boy's road trip across the country complete with wonderful notes and pictures.
  • A Chair for My Mother written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams. It's a little bit of a slice of life narration about a family saving up for a chair to replace the one they lost in a fire. I honestly wouldn't have guessed it would have become my toddler's favorite, but he LOVES this book. I love how she captures such an honest first-person narration from a young girl's perspective.
  • Hazel's Amazing Mother written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells. One of my mom and I's favorite books. Delightful illustrations and a cute story. (Also includes lots of pictures of food, which makes it more appealing to my son.)  
  • The BFG written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. I am a huge Roald Dahl fan, so I probably could have put any of his books on my list. This one, about the Big Friendly Giant, is one of my favorites.
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I think that Avi is a fantastic writer. This book is both a page-turner and wonderfully well-written. 
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. This book is kind of like Little House on the Prairie, but with a lot more action. I think it would appeal to both boys and girls. I've probably read it at least six or seven times.
  • Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. Schmidt writes in the first person as a young boy, and it comes off believable and refreshing. Great for adults and older children.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This is one of those seriously quirky classics that you really just have to read at some point in your childhood (or adulthood, if you missed out earlier).
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book follows a main character throughout a year in his life with a major facial abnormality. After reading this book this summer, it made me decide that I'm going to come up with a list of books I want my kids to read at some point, and this one will for sure be on it. 
My boys enjoying a good bedtime story.

 Share-- What are your favorite children's books?


  1. What a sweet picture! :)

    I have a couple of children's books that I have almost memorized from reading so much. Annie Bananie from my childhood. Digger Man from reading it to my nephew.

    I LOVED Wonder. Definitely on my list of books children must read. If you liked that, you should also read The Wednesday Wars. Another favorite chapter book to add to your list.

    1. Wednesday wars is an awesome book. I'm not usually one to re-read books but it's about time I checked that one out again. :)

    2. I haven't heard of the first two! I really liked The Wednesday Wars too. I liked Okay for Now just a little bit better.


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