Contrary to my immediate family and my dear husband, I'm not someone who enjoys reading that much. I remember my mom encouraging me a lot when I was little, that I should try to read more and it'd be a great hobby to have for the rest of my life. But it never actually came natural to me. Having had to read so much for school (and I was in school for a long time), I avoided reading whenever I had free time. Looking back now, I wish I listened to my mama more and put in more effort, but I guess it's never too late to start anew, yea?? :)
One thing I've learned about myself after becoming a mama is that I really enjoy reading to the kids. It is hands down one of my favorite things to do with them. When we dive into a story together, we don't allow ourselves to get distracted, which really is a treat in our busy days filled with other responsibilities. I love listening to what they think about each story and the pictures, especially the questions they come up with. I learn along with them, too (I never thought I could know so much about sharks, ha!) I've had a few friends asking for our recommendations for books. I think a lot of it depends on your child's interests and what you as parents are looking for, but I started to compile a list of favorites that are in regular rotations in our house. It turned out to be a pretty long list, and here is the first 8 :)
1. Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen. Z and N both love this book. It talks about a kind lion who loves storytime and helping out at the library. The lion was told that he's welcome there as long as he follows the rules, such as no running and be quiet. Then one day he had to roar in the quiet library due to an absolute emergency (someone he cares about got hurt), afterwards he was so guilty and ashamed, he didn't go back to the library for days. Everyone missed the lion and at the end he learned that it is okay to break the rules depending on the circumstances. The kids and I really love this story, and I love that the lesson behind the story is so applicable now and most likely will be so a few years down the road.
2. Good night, Good night Construction Site, by Sherri Dusky Rinker. We got this book for dee for his 3rd birthday. We read it once then and tucked it away. A couple weeks ago he rediscovered it on the bookshelf, and has been loving it since. He loves all the different trucks in the book, and the fact that they get tired and sleep at night too. The words are simple, and the pictures and the details in them are really cute. Our favorite is the crane truck holding a teddy bear in his sleep :)
3. Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie, by Sophia Grace Brownlee. When Zoey was younger, I was pretty intentional about steering her away from things that are too girly or princessey. But it turned out that she loves girly stuff (to be fair, though, she loves blue and green and building things as well, so I'd say she's got a good balance going.) We first read this book at pottery barn kids and I couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards. It's got pink, sparkles, fairy godmothers, pretty desserts, and tutus in it, but the storyline between two cousins who love each other is sweeter than any of those things.
4. Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell. This cute little boardbook is more suitable for younger kids. You get to lift a flap on each page to find out what animal is behind it. The simple storyline and idea is very cute! Even now, Naynay reads it out loud to himself sometimes.
5. Just Being Audrey, by Margaret Cardillo. I found this book at the sale section at the University Bookstore and couldn't resist bringing it home. I loved telling Z and N that Audrey Hepburn was real, and they both like hearing about her story. I got to explain what UNICEF was to them because of it, too ;-)
6. My Octopus Arms, by Keith Baker. What can an octopus do with his arms? Each page talks about all sorts of different things an octopus can do with his 8 arms, and at the very end, the octopus uses his arms to hug a little octopus who was sad (and it says "all arms can give a hug!") I just can't resist sweet, loving storyline like this.
7. Five Little Monkeys Storybook Treasury, by Eileen Christelow. We are very familiar with the five little monkeys jumping on the bed story. One time at the library, Zoey found a book with the same five little monkeys baking birthday cake, which was new to us and she thought it was hilarious and wanted to read it over and over again. For Christmas last year, I found this storybook treasury for her. It's got 5 different stories in it, which makes it a very good deal to me, ha! The language is very simple and has lots of rhymes and good rhythm. Z can read pretty much every story on her own, and I often find her reading this book to Naynay.
8. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt. I decided to get this book for Zoey for her birthday because there was a time where I'd catch her talking to her crayons like they were her playmates :) Zoey is definitely more into this story than Naynay, though he enjoys it too. I do think older kids can appreciate the story more though. It's about a little boy named Duncan, and one day when he was about to color, he found a stack of letters written to him by his crayons. Each crayon had different problems and complaints about how Duncan colored with them, which is a pretty creative idea. My favorite is when Zoey told me that her favorite was the green crayon. I asked her why and she said "green crayon is the only one who doesn't whine in this book. that's why i like him :)"
And that's all for now! Thanks for reading through this. If you have any favorites and don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear about them!