Books are like, my favorite thing. For my birthday last year, my fiance bought me a set of illustrated Harry Potter books to read to our daughter when she’s older. It was probably one of the best gifts I have ever received, and I am now very impatiently counting down the years until she is old enough to appreciate the story. Reading is a big part of my life, and it has taught me SO MUCH. Not just life lessons, but grammar, spelling, conversation etiquette, basic geography, and above all – the power of imagination. If you find yourself wondering what to do with your kids while we’re all stuck at home – I implore you – read to them! While there are literally hundreds of books I have read and loved throughout my life, below are some great ones for kids.
The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson: A little mouse goes on a walk through the woods, telling tall-tales to prove how bad-ass he is. This book is super fun to read aloud, and the artwork is adorable. My girl loves story time with this book, and always lets out a few giggles. It comes in a board book style, which is perfect for letting older babies and toddlers explore.
On The Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tilman: The moon talks to your baby, telling her how special she is and how much she is loved far and wide. This book is so sweet – it might make me cry after a long day of momming. Again, really nice artwork in this one. It’s also a little longer than a lot of baby books, so story time lasts more than five minutes.
Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey, by Emily Winfield Martin: Various dreams are explored with our favorite beasts. Honestly, this book is on this list purely for the artwork. This book is very pretty. Anytime I pull this one out, my girl is extra slow about turning the pages so she can soak everything in. It’s a perfect bedtime book.
Go Dog Go, by P. D. Eastman: If you haven’t read this book, you’re missing out. This is easily one of my favorite kids books. I remember my parents reading this to me as a kid. I was so enamored with the idea of dogs having a party on top of a tree that I would dream about it – for years. It’s a great book for kids of any age!
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, by Shel Silverstein: There were a few books from my early school years that really stuck with me, and this by far holds the number one spot. When hearing the name Shel Silverstein, everybody always thinks about Where The Sidewalk Ends, but I think about Lafcadio. It’s about a lion who basically suffers an identity crisis after experiencing life in two very different worlds. It’s a great story, and to this day I still want a suit made out of marshmallows.
The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien: This book is a classic for good reason. When I was young my Dad read this to me and my brother. It introduced us to Tolkein’s world in a very kid-friendly way. It’s the perfect adventure story, complete with treasure and a dragon.
Sideways Stories From Wayside School, by Louis Sachar: This is another book that really stuck out from my grade school years. I remember the whole class literally begging our teacher for just one more chapter. It’s a collection of wacky stories that take place in a school that was built vertically instead of horizontally. It’s hilarious and imaginative, and for sure will leave your kid wanting more. I can’t be blamed if your kid suddenly wants a potato tattoo on their ankle, though.
Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling: Of course I saved the best for last. I was an avid reader growing up, but I can honestly say no story shaped me like this one did. My Great Aunt used to read this to me, my brother, and my cousins when we were young. We would sit on the floor, completely hooked on her every word while she read the first three books to us. There is so much magic in these books, I promise you cannot go wrong in reading these to your child. In fact, it is your duty as a parent – you must!
Seriously Mama’s, I can’t even begin to preach the benefits of reading to your kids. Story time is not just for babies – it can be fun for older kids too. Some of my best memories growing up came from fictional stories. It’s such a great way to spend time together, spark imagination, work on vocabulary, and be entertained all in one. Honestly guys, reading to your children is one of the best gifts you can give them.