So in this all-knowing-self-help-reference-book age of parenting, most of us realize how valuable it is to read to our kids and for our kids to spend time “reading” to themselves. But, in the overwhelming market of children’s literature, it can take a while to find what you want or anything new your kids (and of course yourself) might enjoy. So, I thought I would share some things that our kids are reading and enjoying — as are we. If any of you have any recommendations of your own, I would love to hear them.

Enticing to all of my children because of Eric Carle’s fabulously bright animal art, but this book also includes poems (written by various poets) about each depicted animal.


Ideal for toddler wiggles. I often read this to Blythe while we stand, so that she can perform all the “activities.” Each of my children has loved this book (along with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? & Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?).


A classic. The kids love the pictures and silly poems. Obviously they miss out on Silverstein’s frequent play on words.


The boys love looking through this book’s detailed pictures. As the title says, it follows one street through history giving a broad picture of the evolution of society. Along this same line, they also love the World History Encyclopedia: New Millennium Edition (obviously slightly outdated, but works for the other 4 million year it covers). Beware of apparently small questions that may be impossible to explain to preschoolers with limited terms and knowledge of history, i.e. “Mom, what’s fascism?” or “What happened in World War II?”


Full of bright, cheerful pictures, this book introduces the characters and mini-stories in the Bible, but intertwines them together revealing the bigger picture of the Bible: Christ.


(No Picture) A Child’s Swiss Family Robinson by Joan Marlow Todd

I just started reading this to the boys, as an alternative to the original. They love it. The chapters are manageable for their ages (at about 15-20 paragraphs) and pictures every other page or so.

Share this post:



  1. Kev’s reading Bronwyn The Magician’s Nephew right now. She’s enthralled. It’s the original version, so he changes some of the phrases to help her understand a little better. It’s amazing what she grasps, though. Opens up lots of discussion!

    And the boys would most likely not be interested, but when Blythe gets bigger you’ll have to introduce her to Junie B. Jones. Bronwyn is obsessed! Of course, that’s probably because she can relate to the character so well. She’s like a newer version of Ramona Quimby.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. Thanks Patti. We have a couple of the books that you mentioned, and the kids do really enjoy. Bedtime for Frances was my favorite book as a little bit. Thanks for the suggestions and the Honey book (inspite of the cheesy title); I’ll definitely find that one. Also, another book I found at the library called the Read-Aloud Handbook has several suggestions that are specifically great for reading aloud (oddly enough) at all ages. Sometimes the info is embedded in paragraphs — not always ideal — but there are several lists to sift through.

  3. We’ve been enjoying:

    The Puddle by David McPhail (great watercolor illustrations)

    Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner, il. PD Eastman (Harper so enjoyed my childhood copy at my mom’s that we got her a new copy today)

    Bread and Jam for Frances (it’s in her room and she’s asleep–it’s a husband and wife who write/illustrate)(there are several books about Frances–she’s a badger)

    Little Bear (several in the series that we like) by Else Holmelund Minarik, il. Maurice Sendak

    Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber

    Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

    Katy and the Big Snow by Virgina Lee Burton (Katy is a snow shovel)

    Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (I love the charcoal illustrations in this one)

    Hm, I just realized these were all, with the exception of The Puddle, published in the ’60’s or before. Very retro of us. Robert the Rose Horse has bank robbers in it and one of them is toting a machine gun, which amuses me. These may be a little long for Blythe’s attention span yet. I tried to read Frances with both kids yesterday and Hudson started getting really fidgety with all the words. A friend recently loaned me a book entitled Honey for a Child’s Heart (cheesy title, useful info) that had age-appropriate lists of classic and more modern books for kids to help them recognize what good literature looks like even when they are tiny. I think all the books I mentioned (except Robert) made the cut.

  4. One of my favorite things about teaching at the primary school is all of the children’s literature we get to read together. My kids love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (great alphabet book). Your boys would like Superhero ABC’s I’m guessing. When Charlie McButton Lost (loses?) power is great for when they get to be about 5 or 6. Congrats on the upcoming arrival!

Leave a Comment

You May Also Like
Talking about Racism.
Talking about Racism.

My 2020 Booklist

Small Acts of Generosity
Small Acts of Generosity