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Books for Kids: Part I

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

As I reader, one of my goals in life is to help all the small people in my life become readers. So I give a LOT of books as gifts–enough that I had to create a spreadsheet so I could track who has received what.

As I was wrapping books for the latest birthday, I realized that other people might find a list of the books I give most frequently useful.

Books for Kids: Part II

First, books for toddlers and pre-schoolers:

green-eggs-and-hamLet’s start with my all time favorite book from childhood, Green Eggs and Ham

I taught myself to read with this books, and even now, just looking at the cover makes me happy.

Green Eggs and Ham was the result of a bet between Dr. Seuss and his editor–a bet that he couldn’t write a book using only fifty words. Not only did he win that bet, he wrote a classic. I mean, who doesn’t immediately remember “That Sam-I-Am! That Sam-I-Am! I do not like that Sam-I-Am!”

And although it wasn’t written by Dr Seuss, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and illustrated by Eric Gurney was another favorite.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and her son loves this book, and loves repeating “Dum Ditty Dum Ditty Dum Dum Dum.”


moo-baa-la-la-laAnother favorite is Sandra Boynton. (She’s on Twitter!) MOO, BAA, LA LA LA! is quite possibly one of the happiest books I can think of, followed immediately by Barnyard Dance.

Who can resist “STOMP YOUR FEET! CLAP YOUR HANDS! EVERYBODY READY FOR A BARN YARD DANCE!”? Not me!

Both of these books (and several others) have apps for Android devices, and I’ve had many children play with these apps on my phone, and they saved several dinners from “I’m booooooooored.”


dinosaur-vs-bedtimeAnother fun book is Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea.

There’s lots of roaring in this one, so if you’re reading it as a bedtime book, you might want to start, rather than end with it.


sector-7Sector 7 by David Wiesner is another book that parents have told me their kids have loved.

There are no words to this book, just a story told in pictures.

Gorgeous pictures.

photo-2-wiesner-sector-7_600x350

But really, anything by David Weisner is going to be absolutely gorgeous. Art & Max is another fabulous book by him, as is Flotsam


These are good for per-schoolers, and kids learning to read.

click-clack-mooClick, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin is another fabulous book that is a lot of fun to read aloud.

The cows have gotten their hands on a typewriter, and have decided they have some demands to make of Farmer Brown.

I’m sure ultra-conservatives have problems with the theme of collective bargaining and striking to get what you want, but it’s really quite marvelous.


interrupting-chickenInterrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein is another fun book (are you seeing a theme here? I love fun books.)

Papa is trying to read a bedtime story, but the little red chicken gets a little too into the stories, such as warning Hansel and Gretel “DON’T GO IN! SHE’S A WITCH!”


Zen_ShortsZen Shorts by Jon J Muth is another lovely book. A panda moves next door to three siblings, and over time, each child visits Stillwater the panda, and he tells them stories.

Unlike most of the previous books, this isn’t a funny story, but it is quite lovely. And the pictures are beautiful.


CharlieParkerBeBopOne last book for this post, is Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka. This is a jazz story, full of rhythm and rhyme and swing.

This is probably going to be appreciated more by jazz loves than by those who don’t listen to jazz, but if you know who Charlie Parker is, you’re going to enjoy reading this book.


Now go find a kid and read to ’em!

(NOTE: If you click through to Amazon and buy one of those books, I get a penny or two, that eventually adds up to MORE BOOKS FOR ME!)

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