To continue the conversation about stories, I wanted to share some of the books I love to read with my Littles. My kids (ages 3,5, and 7) are at different stages, but they often listen in on each other's bedtime stories. Here are ten of their favourites...
These books about a young girl delight our whole family. We have laughed out loud as she stumbles into awkward predicaments (like when she cut her friend's hair to help her friend feel better or the time she took all the bottle caps off of the beer bottles to make tap shoes for herself). We walk with her through the heartbreak of losing her cat, as well as the sadness and confusion she feels when she finds out her family is growing. If there are any literary parents I'd like emulate, Clementine's parents are high on the list. They respond with wisdom and grace, humour and sensitivity. I find myself tearing up as I listen to how they navigate life with a creative little girl.
This picture book tells a simple story of a girl who gets in trouble at school because she is so excited about her new purple purse that she disrupts the entire class. It captures so well a child's uncontainable excitement, as well as the anger and then shame of getting in trouble. It also paints a picture of grace and forgiveness. Yet another kids' book where I found myself surprised by my own tears one day as I recognized the goodness in how the teacher responds.
How could a list of children's books be complete without this classic? I found The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh at a used bookstore a few years ago, and we love re-reading the adventures of our friends in The Hundred Acre Woods. Here's another tear confession: The last story in The House at Pooh Corner...the one In Which Christopher Robin and Pooh Come to an Enchanted Place and We Leave Them There doesn't just bring tears to my eyes--it chokes me up so much that I struggle to keep reading it out loud.
Oh these two friends just make me smile. If you have young children at home, these are worth owning.
Okay, not technically a book, but we read these so often that they made the list. Our kids' subscription ran out a little while ago, and I've yet to renew it simply because I've been busy. But our kids often pull old issues off the shelf for us to read together. We've read the same stories in these magazines over and over!
Our kids went through a phase when this was all we were reading. We got to know the stories so well, that sometimes they'd just pick a favourite chapter to read, even if it was out of order.
These picture books are about a tractor named Otis who goes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff around the farm. He and the animals discover courage and friendship as they welcome newcomers and face tough challenges together. I love the illustrations in these books, and our kids love going putt-puff-puttedy-chuff along with Otis.
My seven year old adores these books about a group of mice friends who solve mysteries together. The mice travel all over the world, and the author includes pages throughout each book to learn more about the history, art, and culture about whichever place the mice happen to be exploring.
This chapter book series for beginning readers follows the magical lives of the fairies of Neverland. What I like about these stories is that the fairies each face challenges and end up learning something new about themselves.
Classic picture books about a young badger named Francis. I think the author so accurately captures the way kids think and approach life. My husband and I both find ourselves chuckling as we read these stories. Whether Francis is squishing the chocolate bar she has just bought for her sister's birthday present or coming up with reasons she can't sleep, she endears herself to us.
If you have kids in primary school, I'm sure you're familiar with these books. They follow the adventures of a brother and sister who travel through time. I love the ways they look out for each other, and how their differences in personality move the stories forward. They are great for the imagination, and we've learned a few things about history along the way. We still have a long way to go to read the whole series, and I'm glad all three kids enjoy listening to these books.
Okay, your turn! What books do you love reading with the kids in your life?