Monday, November 2, 2009

Favorite Books: The ones we wish we had when we were kids

Henry loves books.  Since birth, we've read to him every day.  Before he could sit up on his own we would place him on the floor and lay next to him with the book up in the air.  Now we sit in the rocker with him in our laps.  His naptime and bedtime routines include reading at least 1 book (if he's tired), usually 3 or 4.  He can sit through book after book after book.  At birth it didn’t seem like he noticed much other than the sound of my voice.  At 6 months his favorite books were the touch and feel and flap books.  Now at 10 months he still loves his touch and feel and flap books, but he has started pointing to the small illustrations.  He also loves his books for the convenient binding, which doubles as a great teething toy.  I love Henry's books for the clever words, the didactic tales and the beautiful illustrations.  I read without inhibition, taking on silly voices and making up song tunes to the words.

Below are some of our favorites that combine great illustrations with wonderful poems, prose and prose poems.  

The Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman  “In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long cold winter sleeps a great brown bear.”

Sandra Boynton Favorites
Belly Button Book “Belly Button Beach – Where tons of hippos stand around in bathing suits too little because they hope you will admire the button on their middle.” 
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!  "Dinosaurs weak and dinosaurs strong.  Dinosaurs singing a dinosaur song!” 
Barnyard Dance!  “With a BAA and a MOO and a COCKADOODLEDOO everybody promenade two by two.”
Doggies:  A counting and barking book “1 One dog.  Woof! 2 Two dogs.  Yap Yap” 
Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!  Different textures with funny-faced animals. 

Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’s ABC:  An Amazing Alphabet Book!  “Big A, little a, what begins with A?  Aunt Annie’s alligator.  A…a…A”
Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown can MOO!  Can You?:  Book of Wonderful Noises  “Oh the wonderful sounds Mr. Brown can do!  He can sound like a cow.  He can go MOO MOO.”
Dr. Seuss’s There’s a Woset in my Closet  “Did you ever have a feeling there’s a nink in the sink?”

I Love You, Good Night, by Buller and Schade “I love you like I love blueberry pancakes!  I love you like I love strawberry milkshakes!”
Jamberry by Bruce Degen  “One berry Two berry Pick me a blueberry”
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown  “Goodnight starts.  Goodnight air.  Goodnight noises everywhere.”
3D Plastic slinky caterpillar covered in soft material inside
Opposites with Albert and Amy:  The fun way!  A spinning disk is great when baby starts using his pincer grip.
Toes, Ears, & Nose!: A Lift-the-Flap Book By Marion Dane Bauer
As you turn the page the horse gallops, the rooster struts, etc.
Trains, Boats and Planes Pop-Up Book by Gill Davies  “The plane is flying in the sky…How wonderful to be so high; Hills and houses look so small, Just like toys, not real at all.” 
bright baby:  animals
The Empty Pot by Demi 
Beautiful illustrations and a story that teaches kids to be honest, no matter what.
A tear jerker.  Prince (dad) and Pirate (mom) live fantastic lives before they meet.  Once they marry they have an exciting life traveling and ruling the kingdom.  Then they have their baby.  “They dance with you slowly, then tuck you in tight, Ending each day with a warm tender kiss, saying, What could be better than this?  Nothing is better than this.”    
Cookies: Bite-size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  “Proud means, My chin is high and I sure do like the way my cookies turned out.  Modest means you don’t run around telling everyone you make the best cookies, even if you know it to be true.”
Flip through halfway, and the pages are upside down.  You’ll find that the story starts over from the back to front upside down.  An egalitarian book teaching that Mommies and Daddies are capable of doing the same things with baby.


  1. This is a great post! I love the Sandra Boyton books too and now I want to get the What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best Book. Ainsley's favorite first book was called "I Kissed the Baby" by Mary Murphy. It's black with white words and caught her attention well when not much else did :)

  2. Malisa loves Gallop! and so do I. :) Have you read "On the Day You Were Born" by Debra Frazier? I love the illustrations and there are some fun facts at the end for parents (and older kid), too!