17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Favorite Children's Books

Alright all you parents, it's time to freshen up your children's book supply. I am a mommy x 3, an elementary ed. graduate, and taught preschoolers for years. This is a favorite topic of mine. So, whether it's the library or the bookstore, take a look at some of these, my favorites.

To begin, some classics:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World (or any of Richard Scarry's)
The Snowy Day
Quick as a Cricket
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
Caps for Sale
The Little Red Hen
Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See
Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear
Dr. Seuss!

And the less familiar, but so dear to my heart:

Rosie’s Walk
A Zoo For Mister Muster
Giant John

Start your littler ones off with these I love:

In the Small Small Pond
If You Give a Moose a Muffin (there are many "if you give a..." books that are great)
The Napping House
Dear Zoo (this is a favorite for the lift-the-flappers)
Any of Sandra Boynton's
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle has a billion books to browse through)
Good Night Gorilla
Each Peach Pear Plum

Where’s Spot (if you're hooked, there are a ton of Spot books)
Chugga-chugga Choo-choo

If your kiddos are perhaps a bit older and like a little more of a story...

Tikki Tikki Tembo
Stone Soup
It Could Always Be Worse (this may be good for you Moms too!)

Because of the rhythm and rhyme in Nursery Rhymes, they are some of the best literature to read your kids. But not all Mother Goose books are created equal. Here are two of my favorites because of illustrations and layout:

The Very Best of Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose

A couple every little girly girl will love:
Fancy Nancy

Once your kids are familiar with fairy tales, get them laughing (and you too, for sure!) with these spoofs, they are so good!

The Three Silly Billies
Falling for Rapunzel
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Also, I recently discovered Mo Willems who wrote the pigeon stories. Take a look at his stuff if you have kids age 4+. His books crack my kids up (ok, and me too).

This list is only the beginning of books your kids will love. What are your favorites? How about that one that your kid makes you read fifteen times before you can set it down?

Here are some references for more great children's lit:

Newbery Award winners list
Caldecott Award winnners list
A great list of children's non-fiction
A great list of children's fiction
Introducing children to poetry
A child's first chapter books
Children's books with female heroes
Holiday books for children
Children's Christmas stories
Audiobooks for children


  • I have a Q for you NYC tales girls. I served in the NYNYN mission years ago, and remember that there was a member who wrote a children's book. It was about some sort of animal and their adventures in NYC. Maybe it was a dinosaur, I really don't remember. Anyway, some of the scenes, (one at Yankee stadium), had Mormon missinaries in the crowd. These are the only things I remember about the book, and I would LOVE to find the name/author of it so I can order a copy. I do recall that on my mission we saw in in large book stores, like Barnes and Noble, so I assume it is still out there.

    Does this ring a bell with anyone? Anyone heard of this children's book?
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/06/2007 06:45:00 AM  

  • We got Don't Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus for Christmas and my (then)2yo had it memorized in about a week. HILARIOUS. I love Mo Willems!

    Our other favorite is Possum Come A-Knockin'. The colloquial language and the rhythm are fantastic, from my POV, and my girls just find it very silly.
    posted by Blogger RCH at 9/06/2007 07:08:00 AM  

  • Thanks for this Katie. DS LOVES books. We read them all day long, so I'm always looking for new ones.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 9/06/2007 08:23:00 AM  

  • We love Suess, especially the Horton stories, the Foot Book, and Red Fish, Blue Fish. I love so many on your list!

    A few off the top of my head that my kids love:

    Harold and the Purple Crayon
    The Day the Babies Crawled Away
    The Dog Who Cried Wolf
    Miss Bindergarten Stays Home from Kindergarten
    Are you My Mother?
    the Olivia books
    posted by Blogger Sue at 9/06/2007 11:59:00 AM  

  • What a great list. Thanks especially for all the links. That would take me forever. A favorite in our home is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". Great for kids who can't sit still for too long, in other words my kids. I also LOVE "Today I Feel Silly, and other moods that make my day." Its a great book, and the illustrations are delightful. Its one of those books that the kid loves, but the adult finds the subtleties to be hillarious.
    posted by Anonymous Dorothy at 9/07/2007 12:16:00 PM  

  • this is a fabulous list. we are going to have a great time finding these at the library...i'm especially intrigued with Mo Willems!

    Our favorites include anything by Julia Donaldson and Doreen Cronin.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 9/08/2007 05:06:00 AM  

  • This is a wonderful list (and a lot of work...thanks!) This post will be helpful in so many ways.
    Can't wait to get started!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 9/08/2007 10:00:00 PM  

  • You left one out of your girly girl section: The Paper Bag Princess. "They didn't get married after all" has got to be one of the all time best final lines in all of children's literature.
    posted by Anonymous tisheli at 9/09/2007 09:45:00 AM  

  • tisheli, I think I've heard of the paper bag princess. That line totally made me laugh out loud!

    anon, I have no idea about the dinosaur book! Good luck on the search.

    sue, great books. I've read one Olivia book and I've got to go back for more. It was so clever.
    Yes, Knufflebunny is a Mo Willems book. Mo's "pigeon" makes a cameo in Knuffle bunny's illustrations.

    Dorothy, I'm going to have to check out the "silly" book, love the ones that make Mom laugh too. :) And by the way, you really look like someone I know...

    michelle, thanks for the author recommendations. And by the way your husband looks like somone I know...

    melissa, thanks! And you're welcome. :)
    posted by Blogger Katie at 9/09/2007 07:42:00 PM  

  • Katie! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I love getting book suggestions, especially since I'm all the way in Japan and getting a library with English language picture books is (possible but) very difficult. I'm keeping a list of must reads/buys etc.


    I don't think this one was mentioned, but I love it: Time for Bed, by Mem Fox
    posted by Blogger sunny at 9/10/2007 10:21:00 PM  

  • Thanks for this great post! I love getting new ideas for my girls. A couple of favorites for us are "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, "Good Night, Sweet Butterflies: A Color Dreamland by Dawn Bentley & Melanie Gerth for little ones, and "How I Became a Pirate" by Melinda Long and David Shannon.
    posted by Anonymous mkc at 9/14/2007 10:09:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the list Katie! Love the Pigeon Books so much. Here are a few more of our favorites:

    Board Books - the entire Carl the Dog Series. Hardly any words, so you can make up your own and the illustrations are captivating for my kids.

    Toddler Books: The Monster at the End of This Book - this is one of my childhood favorites that I have passed on. It is just a silly Sesame Street Golden Book, but kids just find it hilarious-especially if you can do a good Grover voice.

    Joseph Had a Little Overcoat - Based on an old Yiddish folk song this book is simple, fun and the most likely your child's first foray into the world of refashioning and repurposing :)

    Lost and Found - a beautifully illustrated book of a boy, a penguin and friendship.

    For an older child (maybe 4+?) - The Quiltmakers Gift-Lots of great illustrations to look at while mom reads the story that has a great message of the joy of giving.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/15/2007 10:53:00 PM  

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