Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Reads for Kids

My kids love to read. I owe it to the fact that we have read to our children each night before bed since they were very little - a treasured tradition in our home.

Reading is a powerful thing - it can inspire a love of the written word, expand a child's imagination, and increase vocabulary. It is also one of the best ways to bond with your child in a meaningful, yet fun, way. And, I've found that it is one activity that my kids look forward to every night. Even if we have read a lot during the day, they love knowing that there will be cuddle time with Mommy or Daddy and a few favorite books before bed. It's such a special way to connect with them each day and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I love discovering new books to share with my kids and, over the past few years, I've found many that have quickly become my kids' favorites. Here are a few of them...

1. Is There Really A Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis / Laura Cornell — a story about enjoying the journey and living life to the fullest, by helping and inspiring others, so that we leave the world a better place. (I find myself holding back a few tears each time I read the last few's beautifully powerful and moving.)

2. The Foolish Tortoise by Richard Buckley / Eric Carle — a sweet tale of a disillusioned turtle who learns that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

3. Ollie by Olivier Dunrea — one of many in the popular series featuring Gossie, Gertie, Boo Boo and friends, this book is all about waiting for Ollie to hatch... and realizing he will do it in his own time.

4. Miss Lina's Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone / Christine Devenier — a story about how change can be a good thing, with a wonderful rhyming narrative that little girls will love.

5. Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard — about a bird who wakes up cranky but, with some help from his friends, turns his day around.

6. Finn Throws A Fit! by David Elliott / Timothy Basil Ering — a hilarious depiction of a toddler tantrum that young children can relate to.

7. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor / Robin Preiss Glasser — a beautifully-illustrated story about a charming little girl who loves being fancy and using fancy vocabulary, helping readers learn new words (and their meanings) along the way. My 5-year-old daughter has many books in this series (including many of the "I Can Read" stories) and she adores them all.

8. Freight Train by Donald Crews —if you've got a little one who loves trains, this is a fantastic addition to your library. A simple story that describes a train and how it moves through the city and country. My two-year-old loves this book so much that he has memorized it and can read it to me!

I hope this list has inspired you... and if you have a favorite book, please let us know in the comments below. We'd love to hear about it. :)

Happy reading!