Friday, March 23, 2012

Most Beloved Childrens Books

I always love reading about others favorite things. I love getting insight into their interests as well as expanding my own horizons. One of our favorite things to do these days is to go to the library. I cannot tell you the excitement that Ella feels and expresses when she is allowed to pick out books. While most people enjoy reading on their Kindle or other digital devices, I just love the feel of flipping the pages of books. I love the way they smell. I love the discoloration and damaged spines...those are the best because you know they have been well read and enjoyed by so many. I am an old soul and as much as I love technology, I'll never stop loving the feel of turning a page.

While I am not one to go out and buy tons of books, there are some I just have to have for my own personal library. Many of those are Children's books because having a book full of illustrations is almost as lovely as having a coffee table book full of pictures of my beloved Paris.

So, today, I have compiled a list of my favorite children's stories that we often read while snuggling on the sofa or in bed. Because of my love for an old book, most of the Children's books in our little library were bought used. Here, in no particular order, is a list of many of our favorites:

(Numbers 1-6 are all by the same author and centered around the same little girl named Katie. The central theme is a girl who visits museums and jumps in and out of paintings. If you are an art lover, you and your child will love these. They are charming, imaginative, and educational all in one. We have not read them all, nor do we own them all. But they are all amazing. I can't say enough good things about this series. This is probably my favorite series both for the illustrations, the education in it, and the story line. I listed a few of our favorites below. )

1. Katie's Sunday Afternoon By James Mayhew
2. Katie Meets the Impressionists By James Mayhew
3. Katie and the Sunflowers By James Mayhew
4. Katie and the Mona Lisa By James Mayhew
5. Katie in London By James Mayhew
6. Katie and the Waterlily Pond By James Mayhew
7. Fancy Nancy By, Jane O'Connor: We have almost all the books in this series. It's about a little girl named Nancy who likes everything French and everything fancy. I know it is shocking that I would  like a book that teaches a little french. J'adore this series!
8. Picasso and the girl with the Ponytail By, Laurence Anholt: Another book for art lovers. There are several books in this series, but this is the only one we actually own and have read.

9. Belinda in Paris By, Amy Young: Another book about a ballerina, but this one is different because she has big feet. There are several in this series. We have read a couple others and liked them as well, but this one has such great illustrations...and, well, it's about Paris.
10. Madeline By, Ludwig Bemelmans: We love our Madeline. However, this is one where the tv character is actually better most of the books. Some of the books are a little strange, although we still enjoy reading them. The original and the one listed below are our favorites.
11. Madeline's Rescue By, Ludwig Bemelmans
12. Angelina Ballerina By, Katharine Holabird: Who doesn't love a story about a little mouse who does ballet? We have them all. We love them all.
13. Ella Bella Ballerina  By James Mayhew: This is a new series by the same man who wrote the Katie books. We initially did not realize it was the same author, but had checked it out from the library because it had Ella's name on it. So far, there are only 3 in this series and they ALL are great. We can't wait for Ella Bella and the Nutcracker to come out this year!
14. Green Eggs and Ham By Dr. Suess: Ok, I'm generally not a big Dr. Seuss fan. I know I am in the minority in that thought, but his books are a little too weird for me. But this is one that Ella really likes, so I added it to the list.
15. The Giving Tree By, Shel Silverstein: This was one of my favorites growing up and of course I want to pass it on to my children as well. It means even more to me now than it did back then.
16. Just Being Audrey By, Margaret Cardillo: It's an illustrated childrens book about Audrey Hepburns life...need I say more? Of course this is a favorite. If you are an Audrey Hepburn fan, you will love this book and your child will too.
17. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? By Eric Carle: Every preschool aged child loves this book. In fact, most probably have it memorized. It's definitely more of a "my first book" type of story, but it has remained a favorite in our house. Ella actually reads it to the babies before nap most days. (And by read, I simply mean she has it memorized).
18. Someday By Alison McGhee: It's about a mothers love for her child. You'll need a tissue every time you read this book. This is a great book to give as a shower gift to a new mother.
19. Curious George By, Margret Rey: Everyone loves this monkey. I don't think I need to even explain. I've never met a child who doesn't love George and the man with the yellow hat.
20. Winnie the Pooh By A.A. Milne: We don't actually own any of these, but we have checked many a Pooh and Tigger books out from the library. These stories have stood the test of time and I believe they will always be a childhood favorite. I need to add a few of these to our library so that Jacob will have something else to read besides books about ballerinas.

I could go on and on.  I think it is important as a parent to find books that you yourself enjoy reading to your child. They will hear the enthusiasm in your voice when you read something you enjoy. There are so many choices these days. While I love the added bonus that reading is good for my children's minds, what I really love most is the feeling of my child snuggling up close with their blanket. It brings back a sense of nostalgia from when we would rock for hours when she was an infant. In a world where we over indulge our kids, the library is both and free and promotes so much bonding. I hope this list will give you some new ideas of fabulous reads to read to your child...or to just pick up for yourself.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
 Emilie Buchwald 

What are some of your favorite children's stories? I'd love to hear. We are always looking for something new to read. I'd especially love insight into books for boys, as a good many of our books are more feminine in nature.


s is for sarah said...

For boys, look for Andrea Zimmerman's books...we love Trashy Town and Digger Man, but they're all great!

Also, Don Freedman's Corduroy, Earl the Squirrel, and Manuelo the Praying Mantis.

Finally, Rosemary Wells...any of the MacDuff books. Great for boys and girls.

Oh, and the Llama Llama books!!! Can't remember the author's first name but her last is Dewdney.

Enjoy! I love the quote at the end of your post. We love books and the library too!

Amy said...

where to even start?? we LOVE books in the tippins house!! i am a children's book hoarder and have so many that our garage is literally overflowing with tubs of books and i feel guilty that we can't read them all!
our current favorites are
i love you as much
how do dinosaurs say goodnight
olivia (i'm not a huge fan, but libbi likes her right now...)
clifford (the puppy series, not the big ones - ha!)
the david books (by david shannon)
and those are just the ones we read today :)
we have found a new love of going to the library, too. libbi has just started to "get" the whole picking out a book thing. and she loves that she gets to keep them in a safe place away from laylay. :)

Krista said...

WE LOVE James Mayhew! I bought Jakob, Katie in London for when Grandma comes in a couple weeks and along with it Ella Bella Ballerina swan lake for Ella's birthday in June (she already has Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty)

Lisa said...

Kissing Hands by Audrey Penn.
My Children are 14 and 19. And you are absulutely correct. "Reading starts on their parents laps". My children love to read. We were reading to them before they were born. I still can recite childrens book by memory from reading them over and over. And there is always those boxes of books that you just cant seem to pass on. Thanks for the reminder of such great memories.

Confessions said...

you should look at the book Honey For a Child's Heart. It is a fabulous book about reading to children, instilling a love for reading in your children, and has a fantastic list of great reads organized by age. Some of our VERY FAVORITE books we found by checking out the books on her list from the library.

You should look at Kiki and Coco in Paris. ADORABLE for your girls.