Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Children's Books We Love


By request, and as a follow-up to my last post:

(Side note: books simply cannot be rated absolutely on a pass/fail or good/bad scale. These are just books *I* love and that my family loves. If you see inconsistencies in my recommendations of some of the below books, but in my rejection of Dr. Seuss, that's because I'm human. I have inconsistencies. The below books are *my* idea of worthwhile kids' books. They are not an absolute list, nor are they a complete list even from my own perspective. Nor do we limit our home library only to these books.)

Before I list my own recommendations, here are some recommendations of recommendations ;-) for you. You know, people older/wiser/more-experienced than me who have done this sort of recommendation thing. Books Children Love is a great starting place. I've heard from many people that Honey for a Child's Heart is another great source.

And also, for a free online list, try Ambleside Online's recommendations. Although I'm not technically a Charlotte Mason-ite, I'm a serious stalker, and AO is an AMAZING free curriculum resource for ideas, both for books, but also homeschool ideas in general. (Charlotte Mason is heavily into reading, so the books ARE the curriculum, not a supplement.) They have week-be-week options for study, for those who want to follow AO exactly, but I just use their site for book ideas as supplements, because like I said, I'm not a Charlotte Mason-ite, just a stalker :-).

Onward to book suggestions! I'm sure we've read many more great ones, but I gotta admit my memory is shot, so these are basically the ones we own or I happen to remember :-). Also, I'm focusing on picture books for two reasons: (1) I'm giving alternatives to Seuss, and (2) although my children - especially my 6yo - love and enjoy "chapter books," I've definitely spent more years as a mom reading picture books :-). You'll notice a variety of reading level in the books I list, from short books like "1 is One" and "Sheep in a Shop," to much more involved books like "Paddle-to-the-Sea."

If you notice that these are in a weird order and random groupings/pairings, you are right. I decided to go the lazy way. My OCD-ness may get the better of me later and I may go into convulsions, but my desire to finish this post and go read my Agatha Christie book is currently winning the inner battle :-D.

Picture Books

We also love original fairy tales by Grimm, Anderson, et al. Lots of goodies there. But our versions are actually very picture-sparse. I'm sure there are great retellings out there with more pictures :-).

Now please share YOUR favorite children's books! (Even if they are Seuss, we can still be friends ;-).)



7 comments:

jessicatelian said...

And...my "Children's books" wishlist just grew by a lot -- your recommendations pushed it past 100! I LOVE good children's books! As for some of our favourites, these are just the ones that you didn't already list...and handy-dandy Amazon links are a bit more clumsy in a comment than in a post, so I'm just going to give titles with authors. :)

Peep Leap by Elizabeth Verdick

The Henry books (like and Henry Builds a Cabin) by D.B. Johnson (based on the life of Thoreau)

The My First Little House Books -- we have four or five of the almost twenty and we love them! They're pretty faithful to the original Little House books and though they're not Garth Williams, the illustrations are really nice too. I love the kid-understandable glimpse of life "back then".

Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkinson

Antelope, Bison, Cougar by Steven P. Medley -- an alphabet book based on wildlife found in national parks.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Adele & Simon and Adele & Simon in America Barbara McClintock -- amazing illustrations in these!

I Go With My Family to Grandma's by Riki Levinson (and illustrated by Diane Goode who I love!)

Anything illustrated by Peter Spier -- we really like People, The Erie Canal, Noah's Ark, etc.

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Wallace's Lists by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan

Homespun Sarah by Verla Kay

AnatoleOne Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

A Book for Bramble by Lynne Garner

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Flora's Blanket by Debi Gliori

James Herriot's Treasury for Children

The transportation series by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker -- ten little books with titles like Busy Boats, Tough Trucks, Roaring Rockets, Tremendous Tractors, Dazzling Diggers, etc.

And...I'm done for now! :P :)

jessicatelian said...

And...the title that I missed for the Henry books is Henry Hikes to Fitchburg. Henry Climbs a Mountain is good too though a bit more abstract in idea than the other two.

Susan said...


Thank you! This is an awesome list :-).

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