Thursday, June 02, 2011

My favorite children's books

A while ago, I sent my internet friend, Bea, a list of books I enjoy reading to my kids. I've decided to share them here as well, since I am really picky and I would have loved to find recommendations like this all in one place.

The books I like have to be enjoyable both the the parent AND the child (otherwise, I kind of fall asleep)... most are funny or clever or touching or interesting - or a combination of a few of these. I left out books like "Cat in the Hat" that kind of troubles me; "The Three Little Pigs" that I just find boring; "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" that I really like, but you can't just sit and read it, you have to talk about the pictures and explain what's happening, which isn't always what I feel like doing (requires too much unavailable brain power, at times). Let me know if you like my list, think I've left out other great ones, think ones on the list aren't worth reading, etc...

Most of the books have links to the Book Depository, where you can buy them with free shipping worldwide (and good prices to begin with - almost all of the books are under $10). Until Sunday, the 5th of June, they're having a 10% off everything sale, using the coupon code MAY11.

Here goes:

My Dr. Seuss favorites
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - this one is silly and makes me laugh no matter how many times I read it.
Hop on Pop - same & good for early readers who can pick up a word or two here and there
Green Eggs and Ham - both a classic and a fun read

Eric Carle books - these are the ones I know and like best
The Grouchy Ladybug - lots of repetition and a good story
The Very Lonely Firefly - slightly happier than the previous. We have the version with built-in sound at the end, which is a nice touch.

Good books to read to little kids (even under 3)
I'm Not Feeling Well Today by Shirley Neitzel - a very simple story, but it builds up piece by piece so that the kids learn it by heart. (May be hard to find.)
The Little Engine That Could - also a classic - and my son, Yirmi, is crazy about trains (particularly Thomas the Tank Engine)
Leo and the Wallpaper Jungle - just sweet. (May be hard to find.)
My Friend is Sad - great for even really little kids - and short, clever and funny.

For slightly older kids (probably around 4-5 and up to 7 or so)
Stone Soup - we have the John Muth version. Excellent pictures and a very enjoyable story
Caps for Sale - another classic, something charming about it. Circus Caps for Sale is excellent too.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - nice. A bit long for really little ones, but I enjoy reading it.
The Empty Pot - I found this touching - and also teaches a good lesson.
Madeline - might be more a girl book, but we enjoy reading it (and our best listeners are girls)
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Beautiful story.
My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza - clever. (May be hard to find.)
The Princess and the Pizza - part of the 'fractured fairy tales' series. This book is both clever and hilarious and will give both you and your kids a good laugh.

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