Five Favorite Children’s Books

We have a lot of friends who have just had babies or who are due in the next couple months. I love giving books as part of the shower gift, so thought I’d highlight some we’re reading in our house at this moment.

Bea’s taste in favorite books changes nearly weekly, though we have a few lasting favorites that stay for months on end. Her favorites range from classics to something we randomly picked up at the library once.

Night Song by Ari Berk
This beautifully illustrated book is about Chiro, a little bat who goes on an adventure, following his song. When we first moved into our new house, Bea needed this book read to her every night before bed and often in the middle of the night, when she woke up disoriented.

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter
(Closely followed by The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
Of course we have the entire collection of Beatrix Potter stories and Bea has Peter Rabbit nearly memorized. Her current favorite, though is the story of Benjamin Bunny’s children, who are just as mischievous as Peter and Benjamin.

Bea with Old Kick Cow
Bea with Old Kick Cow

Thundercake by Patricia Polacco
Bea has adored Thundercake since this summer. When we took our road trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone, she dubbed our French press “Old Kick Cow” and kept it by her side for the entire ride. On our drive to Oklahoma in November, I found an audio version of the story and we listened to it on repeat the entire 10 hours. It’s a memoir of Polacco and her babushka making a cake before the thunderstorm arrives. Polocco’s storytelling is unparalleled and I’m thrilled that she is already a family favorite.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This classic has become our go-to “last story” at bedtime. It’s another one Bea has nearly memorized and she loved pretending to eat all of the yummy foods. My only criticism of the story is that Carle says the caterpillar builds a cocoon around himself. I explained that it’s actually a chrysalis, and now we have to edit the story. (Frank didn’t get that memo and Bea made sure he knew it was not a cocoon!)

The Magic Flute by Margaret Graves
Frank and I saw the Magic Flute in New York when we got engaged (and are going again in May!) Bea was taken by this version of the story when we were visiting family over Thanksgiving. Frank’s aunt sent it as a Christmas present and we’ve read it everyday. It’s on the longer side, so we haven’t completed the book each day, but Bea loves pretending to be Pamina or Papageno, which is fun to overhear. This book is a good reminder of stocking our shelves with a range of levels – you never know what will capture the imagination.

What about you? What was a favorite book from your childhood? Or, what are some of your kids’ favorites?

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8 thoughts on “Five Favorite Children’s Books

  1. Sounds like Bea has good taste in books! When I was a kid I liked anything that rhymed, so Seuss was a favorite. Some books I enjoyed reading with my boys were The Red Carpet, The Stupids Die, and anything by Chris Van Allsburg. Not sure they were my kids’ faves, but I liked them! As a copy editor I’ve been thinking about the chrysalis vs cocoon thing. I thought Eric Carle had a good answer on his website:

    1. Love Chris Van Allsburg. (His books are so long, though! May wait a few years…) And, of course you looked up the info on Eric Carle. 😉 That was a beautiful response and has me thinking about poetry over science. Thank you.

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