“One more, mama,” Nora says as I turn the final page and lay the well-worn book beside her. “One more” is her favorite catch phrase these days and while “one more” is used from cookies to episodes of Bubble Guppies, I never seem to mind giving in to “one more” bedtime story.
Instilling a love of reading in her has been an incredibly wonderful experience for this English major mama. As my tiny tot’s personality has grown, so has her love for books.
Nora’s favorites range from the classics, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a fantastic board book version of Madeline to newer classics like Pete the Cat and Skippy Jon Jones. Always on the lookout for new books, I polled my fellow contributors and compiled a list of some their children’s favorite read aloud stories.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds is about a bunny who eats carrots out of a garden by his house. One day the carrots plot their revenge. The bunny sees creepy carrots all the time and decides to build a fence and a moat around the carrot patch to keep them in; however once completed, the bunny can’t get to the carrots anymore. The carrots plan worked and they safe from the bunny – hurray! Creepy Carrots is fun to read in a dramatic voice and has a simple text. My three boys love it. (Catherine Faulkenburg)
Pete the Cat Series is about a groovy blue cat who likes movin’, groovin’ and schoolin’. No matter where he goes, Pete the Cat always keeps his cool! We love Pete the Cat because it is entertaining for our boys, while incorporating beneficial life lessons in a way to which kids relate. (Mary McCrary)
A Remainder of One
A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes: A Remainder of One has a bit of repetitive marching in it, and my daughter Lucie likes to march around as we read the story. It teaches division, and the illustrations are great. Elinor J. Pincezs has several others that are favorites. All of them teach math concepts in a fun story. (Barbara Reggio)
Meet Wild Boars
Meet Wild Boars by Meg Rosoff is a hilarious book about wild boars (stand-ins for horrid children) who destroy things. Lewis Carroll is simply amazing. My oldest can recite “How Doth the Little Crocodile” – he loves the rhythm and rhyme. It’s a great way to begin early literacy and writing skills in an adult-friendly way. We love Where the Sidewalk Ends for the same reason. (Elizabeth Broadbent)
Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli is an all time favorite of my daughter Nora (2). The little board book stars a bald toddler who hilariously acts out his love of “yummy” foods like soup and spaghetti and his distaste for “yucky” foods like soap and worms. A great book to start teaching your toddler about opposites in a fun and engaging way. (Ashleigh Wilder)
The Jesus Storybook Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a favorite of ours. Our six-year-old daughter loves the colorful pictures and the comfortable storytelling voice that sets this apart from other Bible storybooks. I love the way the author connects every story, from Genesis to Revelation, to Jesus. In doing so, she shows how the Bible is one continuous story and not disconnected events – something I didn’t learn until I was an adult! We will be reading this over and over again for years! (Kristi Bothur)
Keisha Ann Can by Daniel Kirk: A library find that joined our permanent library, Keisha Ann Can takes readers through Keisha Ann’s day at school, from riding the school bus to cleaning up at the end of the day. Her classroom is a bright, happy place, and she’s clearly enthusiastic about school, as I hope my son will be. The verses are catchy and the illustrations are adorable. And as a bonus, the book shows my (white) son that girls and minorities are worthy of his attention. (Marian Cowhig Owen)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowlings is a collection of five short children’s stories based on the book of the same name that appears in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the final book of the Harry Potter Series. My husband and I grew up on Harry Potter and adore it to a point we’ve named our children after characters. This book has been a great way to cultivate imaginations through reading via short stories that happen to have a moral base. (Megan Easterling)
Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park introduces a lesson on the Korean culture while getting children excited about vegetables. You can’t go wrong with a book that makes your kids want to eat their veggies! (Mary McCrary)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle helps teach young children about animals and colors. My son Brock has always loved it. As a baby I read it to him to teach him about animals. As a toddler, I read it to him and quiz him on the sounds the animals make. I can be in any room in the house and say “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and he will immediately go to his bookshelf and find the book. (Tiffany Nettles)
Annie the Apple Pie Fairy
Annie the Apple Pie Fairy is a sweet little story about Annie the queen of pies whose position is threatened when Sondra the Strudel fairy has a more popular cooking show. The fairies learn about compromise and teamwork which is a lesson every parent will appreciate. The illustrations are also fantastic! (Ashleigh Wilder)
Dinotrux by Chris Gall “Millions of years ago, DINOTRUX ruled the earth. These mighty part-truck, part-dino demolition dynamos rumbled, plowed and bulldozed their way through the centuries.” Amazon (Sarah Bradford)