Favorite Children's Books

favorite childrens books

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Every so often I get one of those rare evenings.

The children eat all of their supper quickly and without complaint. The 'five minutes of play before bed' really is only five minutes and not fifteen. I only have to ask twice before my little darlings get undressed, and for once this is not preceded by endless games of hide and seek. Bath-time could be described as, dare I say it, serene.

Suddenly I find that we are sitting on the bed ready to read books way too soon. They'll never fall asleep this early!

What do I do?

On these, oh so rare, evenings, I agree to read more than our usual quota of books. These extra books, we all concur, are for Mummy to choose. Hurray! I can choose a book which we haven't read for the last five nights in a row. I can choose one of my favorite children's books. True, it's sure to be a favorite of my children's also, but at least I get to pick it.

So what do I choose? What are my favorite children's books? That's the hard part. There are so many. Some children's picture books are winners of prestigious awards or bestselling books of all time, but that doesn't necessarily make them my favorites.

After much deliberation, I have finally whittled it down to these five favorite children's books. They are all children's picture books which I have been reading for a couple of years now, but I never get bored with them. My kids love them too, of course - that is certainly a part of why I love them so much. The first three are perfect for the youngest of listeners. 'The Snail and the Whale' and 'The Little House' are longer with more text but my children have still been listening to them happily from three years old.

1. "How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?" by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? book depository amazon has given my children and I lots of laughs as we read about the very naughty things the dinosaurs get up to when eating. A favorite is the exceedingly naughty dinosaur who sticks beans up his nose. The illustrations are big and bold and there are only a few words on each page, which is ideal for younger children. I like the fact that it is also trying, in a very funny way, to teach good table manners. Not that it seems to have had much of an effect on my children!

2. "Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Diary" by Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Diary Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy book depository amazon is a fun, short, rhythmic book which is great to read aloud. The rhymes carry you along and also make you laugh, for example "Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum" . There is a lot of repetition which my children like joining in with (usually in very loud voices). The illustrations showing the various breeds of dogs are perfect for dog lovers.

3. "A Dragon on the Doorstep" by Stella Blackstone and Debbie Harter

A Dragon on the Doorstep A Dragon on the Doorstep book depository amazon was the first singalong CD we got and the children love it. I have since bought others also published by Barefoot Books and they are all equally brilliant. The book comes with a CD containing the words of the book sung to music. At first we always played the CD whenever we read the book, but we soon picked up the catchy tune and now we often sing it on our own. As well as loving the music, my kids enjoy trying to find the animals hidden in each room.

4. "The Snail and the Whale" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Snail and the Whale

The hardest part of coming up with this list of my favorite children's books, was deciding which Donaldson/Scheffler book to choose. I love them all. I finally decided on The Snail and the Whale book depository amazon because of the wonderfully varied illustrations of habitats around the world and the touching story of a tiny snail succeeding in saving the huge whale. As with all of the Donaldson/Scheffler books the strong rhymes make them great fun to read. My two boys also love the pages showing all the rescue vehicles racing to save the whale. They can look at those two pages for hours!

5. "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton

The Little House The Little House book depository amazon is a real gem which I originally found at the library and quickly bought when I realised that none of us wanted to give it back. It was a Caldecott Award Winner in 1943. It describes how a house in the countryside eventually finds itself in the middle of a busy city after a new road is built followed by more houses, apartment blocks, tramways, railways and subways. The thing I love about this book (which is long - not one for those evenings when you are running late) is that as well as being a touching story, it is so rich with things to discuss ... transport before cars, the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, urban vs country living. My children love it too and have committed most of it to memory. I was astonished when I realised I could stop virtually anywhere in the book and my three year old would finish the sentence for me.

So those are some of my favorite children's books, now what about yours?

What is Your Favorite Children's Picture Book?

Have you got an all-time favorite children's picture book ... one that you never get bored of and you think should be on every child's bookshelf? Do tell! Share the name and author of the book here along with what you think makes it so fantastic.

Other Visitors' Favorite Children's Picture Books

Click on the links below to read about the favorite children's picture books of other visitors to this page ...

Best Word Book Ever 
After being read to from the better books, a child will often be interested in "seeing" the words for anything that interests him or her. Richard Scarry's …

The Phlunk 
This book by Lou Rhodes has very unusual and beautiful full page illustrations by Tori Elliott featuring an equally unusual character - the Phlunk. …

The Wind in the Willows 
This classic by Kenneth Grahame has language that is rich and smartly humorous. It uplifts children and adults and provides prose with a thoughtfulness …

Before You Sleep 
This book by Benji Bennett and illustrated by Roxanne Burchartz is a perfect bedtime read written by a daddy for his child. Read it once and then one …

The Paper Bag Princess 
This is a fun story by Robert Munsch about a princess who rescues her prince from a dragon by outwitting the dragon. After rescuing the prince she realizes …

Eliza and the Moonchild 
This is a charming story by Emma Chichester Clark about a moonchild who travels in his "moonzoom" spaceship from home, where everything is "white, white, …

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