Today I'm veering away from my regular reviews to talk about something that we read in our household daily. With two young children, we are constantly reading to them and searching out the next great read. My friends frequently post on social media requests for recommendations for books and recently we've come across quite a few good ones I'd like to pass on to other people looking for inspiration.
When I first started compiling for this article I pulled books I wanted to include down from our kids' bookshelf and realized I'd need to find a way to categorize them for making this list manageable. So without further ado, books our household currently ranks as the top reads for board books, early reading books, chapter books/middle readers, and series of books.
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For board books, I look to my little girl's stash and found her top five frequently requested books.
5. I Know A Rhino by Charles Fuge
This is a cute book about a girl who knows quite a few animals.
4. Glasses by Ann Gwinn Zawistoski Photography by Heide M. Woodworth
This book makes the top because my little girl wears glasses and it helps introduce kids to glasses on people and what is their purpose.
3. Don't Push the Button written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
Much like Monster at the end of the book, this is a fun and interactive story to read.
2. Hello Ninja by ND Wilson and illustrated by Forrest Dickison
The Nerd in my loves this book. The rhyming and cute pictures have me reaching for it over and over.
1. Peanuts Do Your Happy Dance! Celebrate Wonderful you by Charles M. Schulz, Adapted by Elizabeth Dennis Barton, Illustrated by Scott Jeralds
This book by far is my favorite board book. It talks about being an individual, trying hard, being different, trying your best, and many other life lessons with our favorite gang. It is a long book but worth every read.
For early reading books, I am pulling from a wide selection of my personal favorite and unique books I like to read to the kids.
5. Squid Kid the Magnificent by Lynne Berry and Illustrated by Luke LaMarca
This is a delightful book about a Squid who thinks he's a magician and his pesky sister.
4. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Do you like tacos? Well did you know Dragons like them too? But they do not like Spicy tacos!
3. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker (bonus would be Little Green Peas a big book of colors also by Baker)
This cute little book walks you through the alphabet of professions with cute little peas. Don't forget to find the ladybug hiding on each page.
2. Don't Worry Bear by Greg Foley
The cute illustrations make the wonderful topics in this book soar.
1. The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson (bonus would be the two other books she has written as well, all equally as good as this one)
I'm a huge fan of Beatrix Potter and Emma Thompson does a fantastic job writing complimentary tales. It's another adventure for Peter!
For Chapter books and middle readers, I looked at books that I'm anxiously waiting to read to my children when they get a bit older.
5. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
In this book Andrew sees the boy sitting in front of him has freckles and Andrew believes he could solve many of his problems if he just had freckles. Another classmate hears his woes and tells him of Freckle Juice, a way to get freckles. This is a fun story that I think the kids will giggle at and enjoy.
4. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
In this classic story, a family of Rats needs to move but one young member of the family is very ill. Mrs. Frisby meets the rats of NIMH and they come up with a solution to her problem. It has well-written characters, the great theme of courage and doing what is right. Good for kids and wonderful to re-read as an adult.
3. Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan
Fortunata makes up fortunes to help earn money for her family. One day she tells a fortune that may cost her. A clever heroine, wonderful supporting characters, and a nice different fairy tale.
2. The Six by K.B. Hoyle
Darcy and her friends stumble upon a gateway to another world where they are all part of a prophecy. This book is very C.S. Lewis and Tolkien inspired with wonderful creatures and characters and a great plot.
1. Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan
Trix is a tough girl orphan who is offered a position with the travelling space circus. She finds a new world to explore with dangers and new friends as well as exploding desserts. She is searching information about her past in this delightful Middle reader.
Finally here are the top three books series that I think are must haves for families with children.
3. The Day the Crayons Quit & The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
These two books chronicle the misadventures of crayons in a boy name Duncan's life. They are compilations of letters of crayons going on strike for various reasons. In the second book, the Crayons write Duncan from multiple locations with tragedies and convictions. We find it's more entertaining with someone reading in funny voices as well. Hilarious and silly.
2. Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer & Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
Each book in this series is about a real person who changed in things in the world. The books are illustrated in the cartoon style which keeps younger kids interested as well. People such as Albert Einstien, Jane Goodall, Helen Keller, and George Washington are all have their own books.
1. Sky Color & Ish & The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
These are my absolute favorite books. Each book talks about someone struggling with an artistic concept. In Sky Color, Marisol is looking for the right color to paint the sky in a mural. In Ish, Ramon struggles with if he can draw after receiving criticism from his brother. And in The Dot, Vashti is certain she can't draw until one special teacher takes a different approach to reach her. Each book is beautifully illustrated with a lovely message. There is a fourth book about music which we are itching to by called Playing from the Heart.
Elisabeth Scherer grew up in a very small town in Minnesota but now lives in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time raising her two young children. She and her husband have a large collection of books that takes a good space of their small condo. When she's not reading she has a variety of hobbies that include crocheting, drawing, baking, cooking, and movie watching. She is currently obsessed with making French Macarons and other baked deliciousness! You can also find her blogging at http://kitchenstoriesetc.blogspot.com
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