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It’s no secret that we absolutely love children’s books around here. After I began having kiddos, and after I wrote my children’s book, The Adventures of Pootsey the Wonderbug, based on notes my dad wrote for me when I was a kid (you can get more of the background story on that here), I began to grow an overwhelming love for great children’s books.
I think part of my love of them is purely based on the fact that there are just some seriously adorable (and funny!) books out there to read with my munchkins, and I think another part of my love for them is based on my understanding of what an impact it makes on our families (and thus, on our communities, country, and world) when we make time to regularly read with our kids. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a big ‘ole heart for little things that make a huge impact.
Reading is one of those activities that will always stand the test of time. No matter how advanced our society gets, there will always be a great need for wonderful stories, lessons through literature, and a need for kids and parents to connect through books. And, regardless of how much time I think I do or don’t have in a day, I’d be a fool to neglect the importance of reading with my kids (now, don’t get me wrong, some days I’m far better at this than others!), so we’ve just made it a point to build a habit of reading together into our regular family rhythm.
As we are on the path to building that habit, we’ve definitely found ones that we particularly love to read over and over. I’m sure (and I hope!) this list will only continue to grow, but for now, here are my favorite books to read aloud to my kids. (And at the time of me writing this post, every single one of these books listed has at least a 4.5 star review on Amazon, so I guess I’m not the only one who loves them!!)
1. My Favorite Children’s Bibles
I love the simplicity of children’s Bibles. They’re not just great for my kids, they’re great for me, too! They remind me of the simplicity of the Gospel message and the basic traits that God wants us to understand about Him and about His Creation. Our three favorites are:
The Jesus Storybook Bible – This Bible is particularly wonderful because it conveys how Jesus and God’s plan of redemption have been part of His story since the beginning of time. This book highlights God’s grace woven throughout all of Scripture, beginning in Genesis and going through Revelation. It highlights themes in Scripture like no other children’s Bible I’ve read! We’ve read this one a lot, and plan to just keep on readin’ it till the pages start to fall out!
The Beginner’s Bible – I grew up on this thing! It’s such a classic. I still have my copy from 1990 from my godparents, and my girls each now have their own copy from my godparents, too. The stories are very short, and in a sense, give an overview of Scripture and serve as anchors to have deeper and more meaningful conversations about the happenings in God’s Word.
Read-Aloud Bible Stories – These books, written with repetition and simple vocabulary, are a great tool for helping kids learn how to read and also for helping them get familiar with numerous stories in Scripture. Each short story ends with a couple of questions that allow for simple reflection on a biblical truth. Our three-year-old loves to “help us” read this book – I really think this book is a great tool to help her learn some reading basics!
2. My Favorite Books that Tickle Our Funny Bones
I love a good children’s book that gives us a chuckle! Especially ones that are quite punny – those just speak my humor language! Here are some of our favorites with a cute and somewhat funny storyline:
The Adventures of Pootsey the Wonderbug– Naturally, I have to include my own book in here. It’s full of some cheesy humor! Pootsey is a sweet, naive, enthusiastic little bug with a big personality. The book has some short stories of friendship that are sweet and heartwarming. I definitely wrote it with the hopes that parents would enjoy reading it over and over again with their kiddos and get a little chuckle each time.
Olivia – This little piglet has so much energy and sass! I absolutely love this book, and it definitely gives me a laugh, because Olivia really reminds me of my oldest daughter. She’s so busy, curious, and confident. This has grown into a much larger series, but I’d definitely recommend sticking with the original series written by Ian Falconer.
Charlie the Ranch Dog – Ohhh Charlie. Sweet, lovable, clueless Charlie. The Pioneer Woman is just one of my favorite people ever, so it doesn’t surprise me that I love this book so much! The illustrations in this book are beautiful (and my older daughter has fun finding the chipmunk on every page – sometimes he’s easier to find than others!), and the story is just so sweet. This book is also part of a series, but the original is definitely my favorite.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie/If You Give A Moose A Muffin – the books in this “If you give a…” series are just so funny, probably because every parent can just see themselves in the stories – they’re each comprised of a rabbit trail, so to speak, and we all know how much our little kids all send us on rabbit trails, don’t we?! If I’m being really honest, though, this book totally describes me and my personality sometimes, too. “If you give a mouse a cookie…” has become part of my regular vocabulary when it comes to describing my never-ending to-do list (and my want-to-do list)! These books really are such a joy to read.
3. My Favorite Books that are Just So Doggone Fun to Read Out Loud
All of these books on this page are ones we love to read to our kids, but these are ones particularly fun to read out loud!
Where the Sidewalk Ends – Really, any poetry book by Shel Silverstein is going to be great, but this is the one that we have and we love it! I appreciate the humor in his writing far more now than I did when I was a kid, but these poems are just so fun to read out loud (and to listen to). They are so funny, entertaining, and make it easy to want to read.
Oh Say Can You Say – Just like above, you can get any book by Dr. Seuss and have fun reading it out loud, but this tongue twister book is SO FUN to read. It’s pretty funny, too! We absolutely love this one!
Sandra Boyton Board Books – All Sandra Boyton books are so fun! I hadn’t heard of her until after my first daughter was born, but we are huge fans now! Most of them are rhyming and really easy to memorize, so we recant the little stories in them even when we’re not reading them. We have a handful of them and love them all!
4. My Favorite Series
The Fancy Nancy Series – I think we’ve read through every single book in this series. Fancy Nancy is just the best! Nancy is a bubbly, confident, and occasionally dramatic (but in a funny way) girl who loves everything to be fancy and has big aspirations. The author of these books, Jane O’Connor, has come up with such a clever way to introduce young readers to big vocabulary words. We adore every one of these books!
5. My Favorite Sentimental Books
There are so many sweet children’s books out there that help parents give their children a glimpse into how much they love them. We have several sitting on our shelves! I love how other authors help me articulate to my kids how I feel about them. Here are three of the many that we love:
On the Night You Were Born – I just think this book gives a mom and a child all the warm fuzzies. It certainly was written to help a child feel special, unique, and created by God with intention.
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You – Another book along the same lines; a parent simply conveying to their child their infinite love toward them. This book offers a message of love in a beautifully poetic, rhythmic story.
When God Made You – Such a great book that helps me communicate with my girls how God made them for a purpose! Doesn’t every little kiddo want to know they matter? I love this book because it helps me share with my girls that God created them uniquely special and with intention.
6. My Favorite Books that Teach an Important Lesson Through the Main Character
Don’t we all love a good “moral of the story” book, especially ones that have a surprise ending with a lesson even parents can walk away with learning? These three books fit the bill! One of my dearest friends, who has made it her mission to ensure we have great children’s books with great stories and lessons, got us all three of these books and they easily make my “favorites” list. I’m proud my kids own these!
Love Monster and the Last Chocolate – ADORABLE book. I mean, ADORABLE. You may or may not shed a little tear at the end. Want a really easy (and fun) way to teach your kids about friendship? Read this book over and over. It is delightful.
Rosie Revere, Engineer – We refer to this book often when we talk with our 3-year-old about problem-solving. In fact, we call her “Elizabeth Engineer” all the time, reminding her that she’s equipped with the ability to try to figure things out. This book is so great in helping me teach my kids about learning from mistakes, believing in themselves, and working hard to pursue their dreams. I pray often that the Lord will help me see the gifts, talents, and joys that each of my girls have and to help them pursue them!
Imogene’s Last Stand – I mean, this book was written to find a place on my bookshelf! It’s about a daughter and a dad – a quite patriotic dad/daughter duo, I might add – who work together to stand up for what’s right and preserve an important piece of history. Y’all, that is my dad and me! We’re not necessarily trying to preserve the exact same piece of history, but we’re a patriotic duo, working together to encourage stronger relationships, to encourage families to read together, and to remind families to create and preserve traditions (i.e. rich family history) that they can pass on to future generations. I LOVE Imogene – she is so funny, so witty, and she is a firecracker. This book needs to be on your bookshelf, too!
7. My Favorite Science Books
I enjoy science far more as an adult than I did when I was growing up. My husband plays a big role in that. Though he’s a phenomenal U.S. government teacher, he could easily teach science or math. He loves learning new things about both, and he’s definitely helped me to appreciate them so much more than I ever did! We want to instill the same hunger and curiosity in our kiddos. Just as in any of the categories I’ve mentioned in this post, we want our science-related section of our bookcase to expand greatly as our kids get older! For now, here are two we’ve really, really enjoyed reading with them:
Indescribable: 100 Devotions about God & Science – SUCH a great devotional for families! Each one is short and to the point, but they are jam-packed with great science information and how science relates to particular biblical principles. There are fun facts that come along with each devotional. We bought this last Christmas, knowing it might be a little mature to start reading with our 3-year-old, but it’s written so well that it has be incredibly easy to read with her!
Little Kids First Big Book of Space – my 3-year-old was completely enchanted by this book when she got it for her birthday! I have thoroughly enjoyed going through it with her, and I really look forward to going through it with my 1-year-old as she gets a little older, too! These bite-sized, mini encyclopedias, if you will, are perfect for learning some really interesting facts. I want to build a collection of these – this book is so fun and such a great introduction to learning about space (we love learning about space around here!).
I anticipate this list will just keep on growing! What are some of your favorites that I need to check out with my kiddos?! If you haven’t already, check out our lovable Pootsey – I’m certain he’ll become one of your favorites, too! 🙂
Want to remember this list?! Save this pin to your favorite Pinterest board. These books make great gifts for kids, as well as the perfect sentimental gift for a baby shower!