9.21.2010

Favorite Children's Books

I've got so much to blog about.  We're back from our two week vacation to the Pacific Northwest, and trip down the coast.  It was more than beautiful, and more than fun, and I have 500 pictures to sort through, and share (don't worry, I won't share all 500 of them).

I've had two little boys have birthdays (and one that I haven't even written his birthday letter to, which makes me feel horrible), and start our at-home preschool, and they are growing and learning so much.

So because I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with where to start, I'm going to start with my favorite children's books, and link up to my good friend's blog.  I read her post today and got all excited about it.

I love children's books.  Adore them, actually.  When we were in Seattle, I spent so much time in all the used bookstores there, almost all of it spent browsing children's books.  I felt like I was in heaven.  In one of the stores that I found some real treasures in, the associate who worked there said "anyone who collects vintage children's books is alright with me."  It took me aback for a moment-- collecting vintage children's books?  Is that what I'm doing?  It sounds so much nicer than saying I hoard used children's books, which is how I've always thought of it before.  But I believe he has a point.  The books I always prefer, are almost always old (or "vintage" if you will), although that is secondary to how much I love the story and illustrations.

So here are some of our favorites in this house.  Even though this is a large list, I really had a hard time narrowing it down, so these are our favorites that we own.  This list can change, sometimes on a daily basis, but as it stands today, these are the favorites in our home:

Favorite Bedtime stories:
I Love You Stinky Face, by Lisa Mccourt.  This is such a funny bedtime book, and never fails to make my kids laugh.
Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney  I love reading this book.  It's got such a great rhythm and sound to it, and reinforces to my children that "I love them so" even if I'm not right there.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen.  Mason hands me this book on a daily basis.  I love the humor in it, and the fun illustrations.
Fairy Tales by Katharine Gibson.  Albert Einstein said  "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."  I hope he is right!  :-)  These are my favorite stories to read with my kids at night, after they are already in bed.  This vintage book that I have is my favorite fairy tale collection we have.




Some of Mason's Favorites:
Tarde de invierno/Winter Afternoon (Spanish Edition) by Jorge Elias Lujan.  I try and read my kids at least one bilingual book a day.  This is by far, my favorite that we own.  The illustrations are just gorgeous, and the writing is simple and beautiful.  Mason loves snuggling with me and reading this one.
Little Pea, by Amy Krouse.  This is a very simple and funny little book about a little pea who hates eating candy (which is what all peas eat to become big and strong).  It's tongue in cheek, and Mason laughs when we read it together.  I love the simple illustrations.
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear (Child's Play Library), by Don Wood.  This was a favorite of mine from childhood, and I'm so glad that my children now love it.  I remember as a kid loving the illustrations of that big yummy strawberry, and the scared little mouse.  It's a classic, and we love reading it.


From Head to Toe Big Book and Very Hungry Caterpillar, both by Eric Carle.  Both of my kids love these books.  I'm sure most people have already read them, and know why they are so great.  They are great on so many levels.


Some of Vaughn's Favorites:
Gregory, the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat.  This is another book that I remember very vividly from childhood.  Vaughn loves me to read it to him. 
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker, Nadine Westcott.  This is the perfect book for my little boy who asks me about a million questions a day, and who loves pirates.  The humor is great, and it answers in verse.  Very fun.  He also loves Pirates Don't Change Diapers, by Melinda Long, a fantastic read, but we don't own that one (yet).


Owen (Caldecott Honor Book) (Hardcover) by Kevin Henkes.  This is such a great book about growing up.  I love the nosy neighbor who keeps telling the parents what they should do (don't all mothers face this?), and the clever solution they find to their problem.  Vaughn, who loves his blue blankey, really loves this story.


The Ice Cream Store, by Dennis Lee.  This is one of the best collection of poems for kids I've found.  I absolutely love reading them with my kids, and love the illustrations.  How could you not love a poem like this (and you simply have to see the illustrations that go with it):


Stinky


My boy friend's name is Stinky,
He comes from cold Helsinki.
He's four foot two, and he smells like glue--
My dinky, slinky Stinky.


Some of My Favorites (that my children love too):
The Empty Pot by Demi.  I love this book so much.  I just love little Ping, who keeps watering his flower pot every day, even though nothing sprouts in his pot.  I love the wise advice that his father gives him that he "did his best" and that his best is good enough to present to the emperor.  I always tear up when he answers the Emperor why he brought an empty pot.  I think of so many friends or people that I've known in life who have really struggled, yet keep on going, even though they aren't seeing the "fruits of their labor."  It makes me really reflect on how strong character is really built.  I could go on and on about this book.  It's beautiful.
The Little Red Fish I adore this book, and my kids do too.  The illustrations are beautiful, and the story just opens the imagination.  My kids always seem so spell-bound while we read it together, and I must admit I feel the same way.  I could read it a million times, and never get sick of it.


I Am a Bunny (A Golden Sturdy Book) by Richard Scarry.  This is such a simple little book, but so beautiful at the same time.  I just love little Nicholas the bunny who lives in a hollow tree, and chases butterflies and blows dandelion seeds in the air.  I love how it's centered in nature, and how much movement is in the illustrations.  We all love this one.


Little Bear (An I Can Read Book) by Elsa Holmelund Minarik.  I've loved these stories since I was a little girl.  The little bear and his Mom are just so cute, that I can hardly stand it.  They are so fun to read with my little boys.  Such a classic book.
Charley Harper ABCs (Chunky Version).  This is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I've ever seen.  I adore it's simplicity, and even it's humor.  It's my favorite alphabet book.  


And that my friends, is the end for now.  Wishing you all a lovely Tuesday evening.