Seeing as my brother and sister-in-law just had their first baby, and several of my blogging friends are soon expecting, I felt inclined to reminesce over some of the books, without which my boys' childhoods would simply not have been the same. For this list I'm sticking to the baby/toddler crowd. Later years will have to be another post another time. So...here we go!
#1: Anything by Sandra Boynton.
What's to love? Simple drawings, silly rhymes, snazzy colors...even music! We have a ton of her books (I refuse to give them away), and my kids loved reading them. We also have all four of her music complilations (with celebrity guests), which are creative, diverse, and super fun. I dare you not to sing along.
#2: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
What's to Love? Vibrant colors, nibble holes in the pages of food, fun story that builds and builds until the glorious transformation of caterpillar into butterfly.
#3: The Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak What's to Love? Adorable little stories with charming pictures, made for little hands. If you can get the audio version, do it! It's wonderful! (I'd also add Where the Wild Things Are.)
#4: The Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown
What's to Love? If you get the deluxe version, the book is actually covered in fake fur, which is very luxurious. A cozy story of a little furry dude that spends his day having an adventure and then happily returns to a warm and loving home.
#5: The Olivia Books by Ian Falconer
What's to Love? Olivia's incorrigible, irrepressible attitude and unerring ability to turn things on their head...in a charming way. Her little brother is quite something too.
#6: The Frog and Toad Books by Donald Lobel
What's to Love? The simple stories of two best friends having adventures. So amusing, so charming, so very sensible.
#7: The Francis Books by Russell Hoban
What's to Love? What's NOT to love?? Francis is irresistible, with her clever little songs, and her crafty ways of meting out justice, and her picnics and parties. Oh, I can't say enough!
#8: Anything by Richard Scarry
What's to Love? The crazy amount of detail that goes into every book. It's impossible for a child not to be engaged when simultaneously a pig's falling off a truck, a moose is stepping into a manhole, and a cat is about to get hit in the face with a pie. They call it Busy Town for a reason! And then there's the educational value...whether it's shapes, colors, occupations, numbers, or fruits, you're learning something.
#9: The Little Quiet Book by Katharine Ross
What's to Love? It's such a soothing transition into bedtime. Simple, sweet, and perfect.
I read this book to my oldest son every night for months (with a few other selections mixed in too).
#10: The George and Martha Collection by James Marshall
What's to Love? Two charming hippo friends just living their lives--sounds pretty awesome, right? They understand the importance of friendship. But then there's the silliness, and the subtle humor that have you grinning all the way through. We were late comers to these, but my eight-year-old still likes reading them, giggling the whole time.
And there you have it...our list. What would you add??