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One of my favorite things growing up was going to the library every week with my Mom during our summer breaks. I absolutely loved to read when I was younger (and still do- if I could just find the time to do more of it!). Some of my favorite memories are even tied to books I was reading at the time. My older kiddos love to read together and I hope to foster that love of reading with them like I had.
My mom is a teacher and firmly believes that gifts for birthdays or Christmas should be accompanied by a book. We have quite the collection going in our house and I thought I would share some of our very favorites. I love a book that starts a conversation or teaches them something in a way I wouldn’t think to do. Almost all these books do just that. This list is perfect for children that are preschool and kindergarten aged (3-6+).
I Know a Wee Piggy
The story is about a mischievous pig making a serious mess running through different colored things at a fair. The illustrations in this one are wonderful! It’s written in a very catchy repeating rhyme that my kids love to join in saying. This book has been a favorite of ours for years and it’s perfect for this age range. It’s funny because they have loved it for different reasons at different times. When they were three or four, they loved to shout out the color in the rhyme that the pig would run through. Now that our oldest is 6 he likes to jump in and read all the words he can.
How to Babysit a Grandpa
One of our boys favorite things in the world is their Grandpa so this book was a obvious gift for them. It was wonderful for us because it tells a really funny story of a boy’s day spent ‘taking care’ of his Grandpa while his parents are away. However, it also subtly addresses the child’s fears about being away from his parents. They do fun things together and eat awesome snacks (ice cream topped with cookies and cookies topped with ice cream- my kind of snacks!). Then the worst part happens- his parents return and he has to say goodbye. My grandpa was also one of my very favorite people and this book reminds me of the grandpa-only fun we had together! If you like this one, check out How to Babysit a Grandma. That one is a favorite of ours too!
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
We are big Pete the Cat fans but this particular book especially. Poor Pete keeps losing buttons on his coat until he doesn’t have anything left but his belly button! I love this book because every time he loses a button they say “Does Pete cry? Goodness no! Buttons come and buttons go!” Our Eli is famous for making a huge sobbing deal out of something pretty small. This book has been perfect for us to try to encourage him not to fall apart every time something small goes wrong. We say “Do we cry? Goodness no!” 😉 Plus, there are videos on Youtube to go along with Pete the Cat books that we love too!
This book has been wonderful for us to continue talking about kindness towards others. Poor Billy starts the story with 10 friends, but cuts in line, hogs toys and pushes people to slowly count down to zero friends! He realizes the error of his ways and begins to share and think of others until he can count all his friends back. It has sparked many conversations about kind behavior to friends at school and how our actions affect others. Plus, our boys love to count friends on each page!
My No, No, No Day
This one is about a little girl pretty much having her worst day ever. Her peas are “TOO HOT!” and her bath is “TOO COLD!”. Even her toothpaste is “TOO MINTY!” As a parent I find this book hysterical because we have all been there with our kids. Seeing the behavior from a different perspective has been great for our boys. We all have bad days, this book won’t change that but it gives us an opportunity to talk about how to handle our emotions when we are super upset. The book ends with her mom telling her that everyone has bad days like that and tomorrow will be better. Love this!
Dragons Love Tacos
This one is just total fun. There’s no lesson in this book (except maybe that dragons shouldn’t eat super spicy salsa) but it’s a favorite of ours nonetheless. The pictures are great and for some reason my boys just think it is incredibly hysterical that those dragons love tacos so much. It’s a bestseller so clearly, that must be a popular opinion. Whenever we get out the salsa for taco night, Caleb has taken to ask us “is that super spicy jalapeno salsa that dragons don’t like?”
Mr. Duck Means Business
Our kids love this one for the beautiful pictures of the animals and the silly words but I love it for the lessons. Mr. Duck loves being alone in his pond all day to do his own thing how he likes it. When his pond is invaded by other animals, he freaks out and makes them all leave after throwing a giant fit. Later in the story, Mr. Duck realizes that life is more fun with friends and compromises his quiet pond for a fun hangout two hours of every day. This book has helped us talk more about compromise, sharing and not losing our cool like Mr. Duck when someone suggests another way to play with something! Obviously that never happens in a house full of boys. Haha!
The Day the Crayons Quit
This is my favorite pick to read aloud to them because the story is hilarious. Each crayon that belongs to the little boy in the story, writes him a letter with their grievances. One is exhausted for being used too much, one is sad they are only used for outlines, one is embarrassed that his wrapping was torn off and he’s naked and a couple crayons are fighting over which one is the true color of the sun. I would imagine that our kids are still too young to catch all the jokes but they still think this book is hilarious. I can’t promise this one has a lot of life lessons but it sure has the laughs to make up for it. 😉 And if you like this one, definitely check out The Day the Crayons Came Home. That one is a favorite too!
The Kissing Hand
I’m sure you have heard of this one because it’s crazy popular but I still had to put it on here as one of our very favorites. This book has helped us through the nerves of starting different school years and a new school. The sweet story of a momma racoon and her baby explains how a kiss from mom on a child’s palm will stay with them wherever they go throughout the day. It doesn’t go away until they are back together again (and a kiss from child to momma too!). It was a sweet tradition we did every morning last year and I’m hoping that my first grader isn’t going to be ‘too old’ for it this year! This one is a bestseller for a reason! Love it!
I could talk about this book forever. It is made up of pictures of real life families of all different kinds with colorful words that talk about how amazing and wonderful having a family is. They show big families, small families, families whose children look like their parents and those who look different, families with grandparents, single parent families, adoptive families and everything in between. We first found this one at the library and my boys asked so many amazing questions that I had never thought of. I just loved this book so much!
That’s our top ten favorites. I hope you love them as much as we do. What great children’s books are we missing? Are any of these a favorite in your family too?
For my favorite children’s books about twins, click here!
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