We’ve clocked a lot of hours with children’s books around here. Our shelves are filled to capacity with books for kids, some classic, some modern, some treasures and some trash. These books have withstood being read hundreds of times and are still loved. Not just by the kids, but by me.
So, to mark Children’s Book Week, here are ten of our favorites. These are the first ten I thought of, but there are others. (Skippyjon Jones books by Judy Schachner come to mind for their clever storytelling and the sheer pleasure of reading them aloud.)
- Bunny Bungalow by Cynthia Rylant and Nancy Hayashi. Our kids have aligned themselves with these young bunnies who find their dream house. I want to crawl into this cozy bungalow and live with this family.
- Duck on a Bike by David Shannon. Big, bright illustrations and an early introduction to animals. Our copy has fallen apart, been replaced, and loved into pieces again.
- Scaredy Mouse by Alan MacDonald. A shy mouse on a grand adventure. Its repetition makes it fun to read.
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virigina Lee Burton. A favorite from my own childhood. Who would think a book could engender affection for a used-up steam shovel named Mary Anne? This one does.
- A Night-Light for Bunny by Geoffrey Hayes. A gentle story with soft illustrations to soothe the anxious afraid-of-the-dark sleeper. We’ve invented our own melodies to go with the lyrics in the story.
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. A fun read-aloud that has the kids sneezing along at the end.
- The Flea’s Sneeze by Lynn Downey and Karla Firehammer. More sneezing and fun trying to read with a stuffed-up sounding voice. Who’d a thunk germ transmission could be so fun?
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson. Another favorite from my childhood about the gentle bull who’d rather sniff the flowers than fight. Best line: “… and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy.”
- Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas. Another fun read-aloud with enough repetition to build tension. Illustrates the ol’ “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. Just so clever and completely captures the childhood phenomenon of being entranced by the moon’s penchant for following you wherever you go.
What favorite children’s books do you never tire of reading?