Monday, July 1, 2013

Great Reads for Little Ones

I love to read, if that wasn't apparent. One of the best gifts you can give a child or a new parent is the gift of a book. Here are some suggestions for great books to gift or even read to your own little ones. 

First up is my newest favorite: Press Here by Herve Tullet

Press Here is a very simple, interactive book. It begins with a yellow dot that you have to press on and as each page turns something new happens because of what you did on the previous page. I read this to my nephews when they were up for the weekend and they loved it. They made me read it three times the first night and the only reason there wasn't a fourth was because I said no. My oldest nephew, who is four, insisted on sleeping with the book and carried it around the house the next day, even asking my neighbor to read it to him. If you don't believe me when I say this book is awesome, check out the looks on my nephew's faces when we read this book:

Next up is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. 

Does this book even really need an explanation? This is a tender story. Shel Silverstein has created a moving story that offers an sweet interpretation of the gift of giving and acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. I tear up every time I read it, it is such a sweet, loving story that is cherished by many. 

Third on the list is Stinky Cheeseman and other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Sciezka.

I love spoofs, and this book is a perfect spoof of some well known fairy tales, such as "The Gingerbread Man", "Jack and the Beanstalk", and "Little Red Riding Hood". If your child is already aware of fairy tales, they should get the humor behind these stories and you'll both get a little laugh out of them. I used to love reading this book as a child, I'd go to my school library and read it all the time, over and over again. 

Sciezka has a few other spoof books that I enjoyed as well: The Frog Prince, continued and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.

Another favorite from my childhood? The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.

In this story, its the girl who is the hero of the story, and what little girl doesn't love that? Princess Elizabeth must go save her fiancee, Prince Ronald, and outsmarts the dragon who took the Prince and destroyed everything. The book sends a great message to little girls and it provides a smart, fun story to read.

Love You Forever is another by Robert Munsch that made the list. 

This is a sweet, sweet story of a mother who sings to her son every night:

"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always

As long as I'm living

My baby you'll be."

She does this all throughout his life, when the day comes that she cannot because she is old and frail, her son sings it back to her and then to his own daughter. I love the concept of this story, I even got the phrase sewn onto a handkerchief for my mother for my wedding. It's such a resounding tale, just fair warning, keep the Kleenex nearby because you're probably gonna cry.

The last suggestion I'm offering up today is Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. 

The story follows a baby bird who is looking for his mother and asks different things like a dog and a plane if they are his mother. It's such a cute little story, I've loved it since I was able to pick up a book. This is the kind of story that will make your child want to continue to read and foster a love for books. 

That is all I have for suggestions for children's books today. If you've already shared these great stories with your children, let me know your thoughts. If you need more ideas for stories to share with your child check out your local library. Many parents come into the library I volunteer for and let their kids walk around a pick up a few on their own, plus your librarian should be able to offer up more suggestions. 

Happy reading!