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Favorite Children’s Books

September 7, 2011

My oldest daughter came home from kindergarten last week very excited because she had homework for the first time! She has been anxious to begin reading and is thrilled to be learning “sight words.” At 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, she was begging to do her homework and to read her first book!

Research shows that a love for learning is linked to a love for reading books. We started reading books to both girls when they were tiny babies, and so their love for books began early. How cute it was to see them as 2-year-olds turning pages of a book and “reading” (babbling) the words to themselves. Then our oldest would start “reading” the books she had memorized to her little sister.

Books have always been important in our family, and time spent together reading them has been a blessing. The following are the McGuire family’s top five picture and board books.

“10 Little Rubber Ducks” by Eric Carle was inspired by a true story of ducks at sea. Carle’s 10 rubber ducks fall overboard and meet creatures along their journey to shores all around the world. I’ve had to tape and re-tape almost every page, as this book was well-worn. Finally, I bought another copy and still have had to tape its pages! This has definitely been the girls’ #1 most-loved book.


“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic because children love the story and can recite almost every word. Little Rabbit saying “goodnight” to everything taught us to say “good-bye” to everything, making transitions easier when the girls were toddlers.


“Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow is wonderful because the kids already know the song and love to pretend to be the jumpy monkeys. (Although this mommy doesn’t have to pretend to be the exhausted mama monkey—I definitely am!)

“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney is one that melts my heart every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations and heart-warming story perfectly sum up a parent’s love: “all the way to the moon—and back!”


“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin, Jr. was Eric Carle’s first illustrator credit, sending him on his journey as writer and illustrator for many classic picture books. The rhyme and repetition in this book is loved by kids and can be repeated over and over (and over and over).


 As we transition out of the picture and board books, I am excited to share some of my most favorite children’s books with my girls!


“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak brings to life a child’s imagination and wonder. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love the message that even when kids are naughty, parents still love them!

“James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl was my favorite Dahl book, but I loved them all! When James climbs inside the peach and it rolls away, I wanted to be on the journey with him and Grasshopper, Earthworm, Miss Spider, and Centipede. Dahl knew how to bring a child’s imagination to life!

“The Ramona Series” by Beverly Cleary is a true child’s classic. I love, love, love all things Beverly Cleary! I adore Ramona’s spunky character, could identify with the older sister Beezus, and wanted to live in the world of the Quimbys. Beverly Cleary is a hero in my book!

“The Chronicles of Narnia Series” by C.S. Lewis bring a magical experience with each book. You become entranced with each fabulous character and learn how good can always triumph over evil. Lewis wrote these books over 50 years ago, and children today are still falling in love with the four kids who stumble upon the wardrobe.

“Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder is my absolute most favorite book of all time! I have read this book and the rest in the “Little House” series many, many times. I wanted to live in a log cabin, have a corn cob as my doll, help Ma make everything from scratch, and dance to the fiddle music of Pa. Probably the best history lesson I ever received, as well as a lesson in family togetherness, was found in this book!

Share with us the books that are your family’s favorite!



4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 9:28 am

    I am so excited to one day share the Little House books, Ramona, and several others with my daughter! And to discover whatever her new favorites will be. When I started reading, my mom and I would take turns reading chapters of the Little House books out loud to each other. It was a nice way to continue reading together because that was something we had enjoyed.

    I have a little blog where I’ve been keeping track of some of my favorite picture books. I don’t post a book unless both my daughter and I like a book.

  2. Erin permalink
    September 7, 2011 1:30 pm

    I love “Time for Bed” by Mem Fox. The illustrations are so pretty and the story is sweet. M loves to do the noises to all of the animals. It’s one of our daily reads before bedtime.

  3. September 8, 2011 10:40 pm

    I could recite “Good Night Moon” to you! D still loves that book! I was thinking recently about how some of my favorite shower gifts were books. I think of the people who gave them to us every time I read them.

  4. September 15, 2011 11:32 pm

    Some of our current favorites are the Llama Llama series by Anne Dewdney. Llama Llama Red Pajama … Llama Llama Mad at Mama … and Llama Llama Misses Mama. They are super-cute and help kids with issues like fear, tantrums, and separation anxiety! Jack LOVES them!

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