We take children’s books very seriously here. We have serious allegiances to authors (hi, Mo Willems!), all-time favorite books, and very specific tastes when it comes to the books we’re reading together as a family.
Here are three that appear regularly in our rotation these days:
This book is just lovely. The story is simple and sweet – two pandas and three children spend a summer picking apples and befriending an old neighbor. The watercolor pictures bring a calming quality, making this a perfect bedtime read. The small panda speaks in haiku and I look forward to every time he talks – I love me some sweet, little haiku. So simple yet so packed full of fun moments, meaningful stories, and sweet characters. The book ends at the end of summer but on a hopeful note that makes it a perfect read for this time of year.
I almost didn’t buy this book. The synopsis I read about it seemed a bit cheesy. Eventually, I bought it because I thought the snippets of familiar children’s songs scattered throughout (Wheels on the Bus, Do your Ears Hang Low, If You’re Happy and You Know It) would be fun for Baby. But before I knew it, this super fun, perfectly lyrical book became our number one favorite. The rhyming and rhythm make it so much fun to read and the inclusion of songs Baby knows well, but with a slight twist, keeps her completely engaged. It also has a lovely message that when we all come together we can create something magical (and musical – a zoozical!).
This was the first book that I ever read to Baby. It was week 2, maybe 3. She was alert; I was tired. We both needed something to do, so I read Brown Bear to her. And I was unimpressed. It seemed so simple and quite boring. Over the past two years, it has made rare appearances in our story-time. But last week Baby pulled it off the shelf and insisted we read it. And then she mostly read it to me. She recognized the color and animal on each page. And she remembered the cadences. And suddenly, I love reading it with her.