Reading has always been super important in our household. We’ve read to Eleanor at least once a day since she was born. I will admit that I felt pretty ridiculous reading to a 2-week old baby, but we did it.
The experts say you should talk to your baby – A LOT. Well, I found that harder than I expected. All I wanted to do was tell her how cute she was and kiss her teeny tiny fingers and toes. So I knew I was going to be too repetitive and at some point my husband was going to get tired of hearing me. I was getting tired of hearing me!
So, I read.
We built up our book library by asking for inscribed baby books instead of cards at my baby shower and we also put a lot of books on the baby registry. I still find myself in the habit of picking up a book when I’m out shopping. It’s great and before I knew it, we had a bookcase full of children’s books.
But, that brings me to my next point. We definitely like some books more than others. I recommend reading the books at the store before you bring them home because sometimes they end a bit differently than you expect. Lesson learned.
Reading them first is not always the easiest thing to do online thought so here’s a list of our top 10 favorite children’s books in our household to date (Eleanor is currently 2). Some of these are probably familiar, but hopefully you’ll find a new gem or two on here that you didn’t know about before.
I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince – We received this book from a friend that already had kids. She said she and her husband liked it and didn’t get too bored when having to read it over and over again. The book focuses on Jack who works the switch on the railroad track. One day an ant is about to go smack into a train unless Jack can get the track switched in time. There are great “-ack” rhymes on every page and it’s definitely one of my husband’s favorites.
Isabella, Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry – Two reasons I love this book – it sparks curiosity in beautiful places around the world and it encourages girls to be brave, strong, artistic, and smart. The illustrations are very clever too and I love how her stuffed animal mouse morphs into iconic images in each of the locations Isabella travels to in her imagination. It’s also great that there is a write up about each of the places she mentions at the back of the book.
Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman – This is one of Eleanor’s favorite books and we had to read it every night before bed for at least 90 days in a row. Of course that means I know it by heart. When I first read it, I thought it was really strange, but I can see how the short descriptive sentence structure really helped advance her speaking. Eleanor even names the dogs at the “Big Dog Party” after members of our family. Ask me if you want to know who everyone is.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess – I absolutely love this book and it was great to read to Eleanor when she was really young because of the bright, vibrant images on every page. She would just gaze at all the amazing things going on, while we got to read an uplifting and inspirational story. Now, she’s a little too fidgety for a book of this length, but we bring it out to read a few pages here or there.
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman – This is a really sweet book, but every time I read it I think of the line in Wedding Crashers where Isla Fisher’s character says to Vince Vaughn’s character, “Don’t ever leave me because, I’d find you.” That said, the illustrations with a different wild animal on each page is darling and the overall message of love is endearing.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees – The story focuses on Gerald, a clumsy giraffe who is terrified about the upcoming Jungle Ball where all of the animals get together for a big dance. He basically gets booed off the stage, but finds that when he listens to his heart he is able to find his own song. A great message and good rhymes make it a fun read.
Global Babies by the Global Fund for Children – This is one of the few books we took with us when we traveled for 6 months. Eleanor loves the photos of babies from around the world and the story talks about everyone’s beauty no matter what we look like on the outside. Another plus is that the proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization Global Fund for Children (which in name sounds totally like the Human Fund on Seinfeld, but it’s not, promise).
Sweet Child of Mine by Caroline Jayne Church – Another sweet loving book to read to your children. The words are a nice poem talking about when the reader loves the child throughout the day and through all the seasons of the year. The artwork is well done and Eleanor loves the little stuffed animal doggie the girl in the story carries with her on every page.
Is Your Mama a Llama by Deborah Guarino – A modern classic, this book follows a young llama named Lloyd as he talks to six animal friends about their mamas. Sweet rhyming riddles lead you to discover each type of animal and their mamas. We also love how the last animal describe can be seen in the background of the next animal. Look for them next time you read it.
Way Out West Lives a Coyote Named Frank by Jillian Lund – This was a gift from my parents because they retired to Arizona and live “out west”. It’s a cute story of Frank the coyote and what he likes to do with his coyote friends. Eleanor loves to playfully scream when she sees the rattlesnake and howl with the coyotes at the end of the book. Great for anyone that lives in the desert, has family there, or has taken a trip “out west”.
What are your favorite children’s books? I’d love to hear about them in the comments so that we can continue to grow our library. Thanks!