Here are some of our family’s favorite children’s books. Even though these books are primarily aimed at the preschool to first grade age group, all my children enjoy them. The stories have just enough heart, action, and rich illustrations to keep us all entertained!
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Zen Shorts, is not only one of my children’s favorite books, it’s mine as well. I love the parables that are at the heart of this book. The elegant illustrations perfectly bring to life Stillwater, the Zen panda who teaches three siblings some integral life lessons. Not only is this storybook magnificently magical in it’s expressive narrative but when you finish reading it you feel as if you’ve educated your soul. I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but I really enjoy children’s books with a bit of a deeper, spiritual side to them, my oldest son Vicente has picked up on this and now searches his shelves for books with meaningful anecdotes.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly illustrated by Pam Adams
As a child my mother read this book to us, and I knew I had to have it for my children. The repetitive, sing song style of the story is fun for all ages. And the crazy, wacky, bright colors hold even the crankiest toddler’s attention for the duration of the book. My two-year-old daughter Audrey loves to clap her chubby little hands as we sing the song together.
Oh, the Thinks You can Think!” by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’ books have been a staple in most children’s libraries for the last forty years, and it is no different in my house. This book has Seuss’ typical run on sentences, fabricated words and whimsical pictures. The story not only asks children to think and use their imagination, but it’s as if Dr. Seuss has written the book from within the vibrant, varied head of a young child! My sons adore this book, especially Liam who is four now. It’s not so long that his attention wanders off, but just long enough to have him become enthralled in the kooky creatures.
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
The books in the “If You Give” series are considered hysterical in my family. This story is no different. Mayhem ensues when a little boy gives his dog a donut, then the dog gets wilder and wilder. The donut is not good enough; the dog then needs juice, a ball, to dance and so forth. My kids enjoy this book because they think the little dog is so silly, and I love the book because the little dog reminds me of my four children. There is always something the doggy needs; ad the little boy doesn’t rest until the dog has gotten what he wants. The pictures are playful, the tone is lighthearted, all in all it’s a wonderful anytime story.
Clifford The Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
I know this might come off as completely ditzy, but Clifford and Emily Elizabeth’s relationships are one of the most enduring and sweet love stories in literary history. All right, that’s a bit much, but in the world of young children, this is one love story for the ages. Clifford was a lost and lonely pup until Emily Elizabeth brought him home and loved him. She loved him so much he grew bigger than a house! Besides the sweet relationship between Emily Elizabeth and Clifford, readers get to meet a whole host of characters (dogs and people alike), which makes this series definitely worth reading! There are multiple stories detailing Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and all the townsfolk’s triumphs and adventures. The illustrations are vivid and just exude a sense of happiness. I think you and yours will enjoy this book as much as my family does!