Finding Fun with Children’s Books

Every now and then I’m asked by a new parent or friends of new parents for children’s book recommendations, so today I thought I’d take a short break from kids tech-talk to post some of my favorites. I want to thank Amy Kraft over at Media Macaroni for introducing me to the No Time for Flash Cards blog. This site’s a great find that promotes play, discovery and learning with preschoolers in mind. A recent post asking for favorite children’s books reminded me that I’ve been keeping an ever growing list of my own. I think every new home library should include these “must have” starter books, and chances are if you’re looking to give a children’s book as a gift, these will already be in the collection:

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and Archambault
  • Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Now that we have those great ones out of the way, here are some of my personal favorites for young and growing children. I’ve simmered my list down to just these 10 books:

  • Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
    Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton A delightful rhyming story of barnyard friends that go to a dance. The rhythm and meter of this story will keep you reciting sections from this book for days on end. Another great find for our family was discovering that there’s a Sandra Boynton CD available with this book’s lyrics set to song.

  • How Are You Peeling? by Joost Elffers
    How Are You Peeling? by Joost ElffersElffers is a fantastic photographer with a talent for bringing personality and emotion out of common everyday fruits and vegetables. Each page is filled with wonderful facial expressions from his creations. Light copy, lots of unique and interesting faces to enjoy.

  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
    Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen CroninFarmer Brown runs a no-nonsense farm, but things change once the cows who live there acquire an old typewriter and learn how to express there wishes on short notes. When Farmer Brown doesn’t comply with the cows requests, the cows decide they will go on strike. Fun, fun. fun!

  • Bunny Planet by Rosemary Wells
    Bunny Planet by Rosemary WellsThere are so many great books written by Rosemary Wells that it’s hard to pick even just a few, but the Bunny Planet books (a small collection of three books sold together as a set) have a wonderful Zen-like story quality to them. Ms. Wells explores the idea of a perfect world that lives inside our heads when things outside don’t go quite as well as we had planned.

  • Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh
    Martha Speaks by Susan MeddaughThe story of a family dog named Martha who likes to eat alphabet soup. The interesting twist in the story is that when Martha eats the soup, the letters go up to her brain instead of down to her tummy! There are many Martha Speaks books available and the first is the one that sets up the story for the entire series.

  • The Monster at the End of This Book by John Stone
    The Monster at the End of This Book by John StoneI think everyone in the entire world loves Grover, the fuzzy blue character from Sesame Street. In this story, Grover asks, even begs, the reader not to turn the pages of this book because he’s afraid there’s a monster that might scare him on the very next page. You will read this one again and again with your young child.

  • The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller
    The Scrambled States of America by Laurie KellerWhat would happen if each state in the nation could move to a new location? This book explores the fun and mayhem that ensues when each state moves to where they think they would really enjoy living. A funny story for children who are learning to memorize the US states.

  • I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
    I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato by Lauren ChildThis is the first book that began the popular Charlie and Lola series of books and television shows. Lola is a very finicky eater. Her older brother Charlie presents familiar foods with funny names and stories that make Lola curious about what she might be missing. Just where do peas and fish sticks come from? And what sort of story would you tell to make eating these items more appealing?

  • Owly by Andy Runton
    Owly by Andy RuntonThe Owly book series are a charming collection of graphic novels starring an owl and his woodland friends. Together they go on many adventures, making new friends and helping other animals and friendly insects along the way. These books require a parent to imagine and invent the dialog alongside the visuals which I believe fosters an even closer story telling experience between reader and child.

  • Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann
    Police Cloud by Christoph NiemannThe graphic design approach to this story is just beautiful. Christoph Nieman is an artist for the New Yorker magazine and now shares his visual talents as a children’s book author. Nieman tells a captivating story about a cloud that wishes to become a policeman.

    I hope you find this list helpful and enjoyable. Happy reading with your young friends!

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  • 6 Responses to “Finding Fun with Children’s Books”

    1. Allie Says:

      I am so glad you found us , I am loving your site, wow.

      You have a great list, “Click clack moo” makes me laugh every time I read it and “The Monster At The End Of This Book” is a favorite from childhood. Thee are a few new ones too. Great List!

    2. Scott Says:

      Thank you for the great content on your site too Allie. I know I will be visiting often and sharing with all my early learning friends! Continued success.

    3. Alice Wright Says:

      Great suggestions Scott! I found a few from your list to add to my son’s library that we haven’t discovered yet. He’s six and completely adores anything by Bill Peet — he’s become a favorite in our household.

    4. Scott Says:

      Thanks Alice. I hope you’re son enjoys some of these suggestions. At six, I know my son really like Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells as well as Dragon Shirt. Such a great age! So many wonderful books to pick from.

    5. Jen Says:

      Great list! Many of my favorites are on it and a few that I haven’t read yet! I stopped over from No Time for Flash Cards.

      Jen
      Creative and Curious Kids!

    6. Scott Says:

      Thanks Jen! I appreciate the note, and recommend to others to check out your blog as well. Best, Scott

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