I love books, especially children's books. I love the way that books smell, and the way that they feel in your hands. And when our son was born, I knew that I wanted to pass this love along to him. We have been going to our local library since he was three months old. Our house is FILLED with books, and we read every night. The time we spend, huddled under the covers reading books together, is priceless. And I know that this little tradition will become a strong memory.
The other night, he surprised me in the best possible way. Our little dude sounded out his very first word (for the record, bat). I almost fell off the bed, and I had happy tears welling in my eyes. I won't ever forget it, or how proud he was when he realized that he read a word. So, in honor of this milestone, here is a list of some of our favorite children's books. I think this will have to be a series....there are so many!
- Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
If I think about this book too much, it makes my heart hurt and my mom tears start flowing. I've cried more than once while reading it. Yup, I'm that sappy. But really, who can resist the beautiful story of the enduring power of parental love? "And if someday you're lonely, or someday you're sad, or you strike out at baseball, or you think you've been bad...just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair. That's me my sweet baby, my love is right there."
- The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak
Yeah, written by the guy from The Office! This book is the opposite end of the spectrum. Super duper silliness. It is bound to make your kid (and you) laugh, and is premised on the fact that whatever the book says, the reader HAS to read, no matter how goofy it may be. Kids loose their mind at the line "My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt" every single time.
- Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site by Sherri Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
The illustrations in this book about sleepy construction vehicles are fantastic. Our son was obsessed with this book for a while, and there are parts I am certain I can still recite from memory. It is a calming read for before bed, best whispered: "Construction site, all tucked in tight. The day is done, turn off the light."
- Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Another that I could recite from memory, this is a classic about how messy rooms are just no fun. "My teddy bear isn't junk!!!!!"
- Love is You and Me by Monica Sheehan
If you ask my dude what my favorite book is, he would tell you it is this one. A sweet little book with a fantastic cadence for reading aloud. "Love is fun! It's feeling free! Love let's you be who you want to be!"
- The Monster at the End of this Book Starring Lovable Furry Old Grover by Jon Stone
This is a favorite Little Golden Book from my childhood. Grover was cool long before Elmo made his splash on Sesame Street. "Maybe you don't understand. You see, turning pages will bring us to the end of this book and there is a monster at the end of this book."
- Llama Llama Home with Momma by Anna Dewdney
This is our favorite of the Llama series. And again, a book that was truly meant for reading aloud, with lines like "Purple medicine tastes yucky, Llama Llama's throat feels gucky!"
- Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
If you are like me and love a quirky children's book, this one will be a favorite. But keep in mind, reading this book may result in your child begging to have Taco Tuesdays for dinner. You've been warned! "If you want to have some dragons over for a taco party, you'll need buckets of tacos. Pantloads of tacos. The best way to judge is to get a boat and fill the boat with tacos."
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
OK this is one of my favorites, but, my little dude doesn't love it. Doesn't mean yours won't, it is a beloved children's book. And one of these days I will do a a shoot based on it. "And Max, king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all."
- Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale and Guy Francis
Anyone who knows us knows about the obsession our kid had with sharks. And this story is a great tale about self-control, centered on a shark that doesn't recognize his own strength. "Yes, Clark loved his life with all his sharky heart. But he loved everything way too much. He was too loud. He was too wild. He was just too much shark for the other fish to handle."
- Russel the Sheep by Rob Scotton
This is a story about an adorable sheep in a great big hat. And he just can't seem to fall asleep. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is silly. "Russel thought very hard. In fact, he thought so hard that his hat went ziggy-zaggy!"
And, that's it for now. There are about a million more favorite children's books that I could add to this list. So, part two will be coming at some point. What is YOUR favorite children's book? We are always looking for new ones to add to the rotation!