Books, children

Favorite Children’s Books

My girls are 4 and 2 1/2, and I thought I’d share some of their current favorite books, in case there are any parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/close friends who are interested in good books for very small people.

Anything by Beatrix Potter. Their current favorites are the nursery rhyme books: Cecily Parsley and Appley Dapply. They also like The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes, Jemima Puddleduck, and Mrs Tittlemouse (Grace goes around all the time saying “Sank ‘oo, ‘sank ‘oo, mouse*,” in a very credible imitation of pompous Mr Jackson).

White Rabbit’s Color Book. This is one of Grandpa’s stories that he keeps for the littles. Grace asks about it the entire car ride whenever we go and visit (that’s four hours straight, by the way). They love learning about the mixing of colors, and I think they both (especially Grace) identify with the inquisitive White Rabbit.

Along those same lines, The Color Kittens is another favorite. I’ve been slowly increasing our collection of Little Golden Books; this one they like the best so far. We can’t get through a day without one or both of them asking me what color comes from mixing _____ (insert any two colors of choice here), and then correcting me if I get it wrong.

Joy more than Grace loves this Classic Fairy Tales book, another one that Grandpa picked up at the used bookstore and gave us to take home. Carl reads this to them often, and Joy knows most of the stories well enough by now that she can go through it by herself and recite the stories.

Footprints and Shadows is lovely. I found it at a used bookstore and couldn’t believe someone had sold it. The littles love the quiet rhythm of the words, and I get enchanted by the illustrations. It has actually inspired me to attempt more picture books, and I even have a plot simmering in the back of my brain for the next one!

Any of the books in the Stranger in the Woods series are perennial favorites, adored ever since the littles were babies. They are especially fun in the wintertime.

They are both just starting to appreciate the wacky humor of Dr Seuss. Grace loves her ABC book, and I bought Joy One Fish, Two Fish for Christmas, and this is ONE present I’m fairly certain (rap wood) she won’t reject after opening.

Jan Brett is another one whose books the girls love – any and all of them. On Noah’s Ark and The Owl and the Pussycat are their favorites, but now that Christmas is coming, I suspect they will want to read The Gingerbread Baby over and over (and over and over) again.

Grace is still a little young for them, but Joy enjoys Madeline and Babar, and they both like Curious George (although the first time I re-read the first book since I was a kid, last year, I was horrified at it – the Man in the Yellow Hat kidnaps George, and then George gets arrested for accidentally dialing a wrong number because the Man in the Yellow Hat just goes off and leaves him alone and loose in the apartment (AFTER KIDNAPPING HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE) … the whole thing is dreadful. Give me Babar’s communism any day).

Finally, they also both like listening to the CD of the Jesus Storybook Bible (GREAT for long car rides), and even though I find myself choking up at various stories when I try to read it aloud (Abraham and Isaac? BAWL), they also like to have it read to them by Mamma or Papa.

So there you have it! Any books little people in your life adore that I ought to look into adding to our collection?

*that translates to “Thank you, thank you, Mrs Tittlemouse.”

Carl reading Winnie-the-Pooh to Joy when she was about a week old, starting what we hope is a lifetime habit of loving good stories.

6 thoughts on “Favorite Children’s Books”

  1. The Balloon Tree was and is my hands-down favourite, followed closely by The Napping House. The illustrations of both are breathtakingly intricate, but it's the story in the Balloon Tree that edges it ahead of the other. The Plucky Girl Princess defying grown ups around her, planting the last balloon in the kingdom to summon help . . . and her wee shaggy dog! It's such a rich experience no matter what age you are when you read it. My goal is basically to keep from reading it into tatters before I even get kids home to enjoy it :P

  2. Andrea – would you believe I've never heard of either of those? I'm a huge fan of Audrey and Don Wood, too! I've added both books to the wish list :-)Lydia – Jan Brett is going to be in Boston on the 6th of this month, and I want SO MUCH to go! Only I've never been to Boston before (shameful, I know), and I'm not sure I want to venture my first time all on my own!

  3. Is it awful to say I assumed you hadn't heard of them simply because they weren't on your list?! Bold, I know, but I figured if you had read them before there was no way they could have escaped being included ;)

  4. Andrea – well, you do know my taste in reading material fairly well ;-)Kirsten – oh yes, I'd almost forgotten about Owl Moon. I had great fun yesterday, pulling out a bunch of books I'd packed away until the littles (especially Grace – Joy is good with it now, but if she's reading a book, Grace wants to look at it too) were old enough to not tear pages from paper books and sorting them out. The girls were thrilled to see all these "new" books; it was like Christmas came early! I might have to post an update post on this soon, once they've started reading more of these non-board books.

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