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Favorite Books to Read with Children

Children and adults experience a common joy when reading together. When you hear a child giggle or gasp at events in a story, you know that you are engaging in an invaluable activity for your child. Most parents want to raise readers. The way to do so is straightforward. Yet in our era of screens and busy schedules for our children, we have to be proactive to ensure that we are passing along the joy of reading to the next generation.

Here are some good strategies to raise children who love to read:

  • Make frequent trips to the library

  • Teach your child that time at the library is as valuable as time as the gym or baseball field

  • Read books together aloud and talk about them

  • Keep age appropriate books around the house

  • Encourage reading before bed rather than watching television or playing video games

Make reading a habit from the beginning of your child’s life. Board books introduce colors, rhymes, and many new things for your child to notice. Here are some classic books to start with, many of which were probably read to you as a child!

Ages 0-3

Board Books

Humpty-Dumpty and Other Rhymes by Iona Archibald Opie

This delightful book contains rhymes and wonderful pictures for your child to enjoy

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Very Busy Spider is a well known classic, but it is also a great tactile book. Kids will love to feel the raised grooves on the pages as the spider winds a web.

The Wheels on the Bus by Jerry Smath

This book brings the popular nursery song to life with fun illustrations.

On the Night you were Born by Nancy Tillman

The text of this story uses simple rhymes to celebrate the wonder of a newborn baby

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss

This Dr. Seuss classic uses onomatopoeia as Mr. Brown mimics the sounds of the things around him

Picture Books

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Lower-case letters climb up a tree and tumble out! The book goes letter by letter describing the injuries.

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri

Each page in this book has a duckling hiding for your child to find

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

This is a funny, read-aloud book that talks about a boy’s walk through the countryside

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

If your child has ever misplaced or lost a prized object, he/she will relate to this story!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Laughter is nearly guaranteed when you read this hilarious book with your child!

Ages 4-8

Picture Books

Corduroy by Don Freeman

A teddy bear leaps off the shelf in a toy store and goes on a journey to find his missing button

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

This book is about a boy, Peter, walking around his neighborhood after the first snowfall of the season

Best Word Book Ever. by Richard Scarry

This book teaches children about letters and numbers while entertaining them with human-like animals

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss

This story introduces kids to 10 musical instruments and is filled with unique pictures

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This classic is filled with minimalist pictures, but contains a valuable lesson, making this a book that children and adults remember for years

As your child becomes more and more independent as a reader, it is still important to take time and read with them. Helping a beginning reader takes time, and we need to be patient and positive as we watch our children’s literacy skills develop.

Books for Beginning Readers

Thank You, Amelia Bedilia by Peggy Parish

In this story, Amelia Bedilia prepares for Great-Aunt Myra’s visit. When Amelia Bedilia tries to follow the instructions she’s been given, laughter is sure to ensue.

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

These stories follow Jack and Annie Smith, two normal children who go on amazing adventures and conquests thanks to their tree house

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

This book follows 4 orphaned children who create a home for themselves in a box car.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

This book is about a lovable widow who lives in an upside down house.

Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman

Another classic story about a hatchling searching and searching for her mother. 

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