It's not hard to find a list of recommended books for young children, but we thought it was time to let parents to tell us what their children love to hear at story time. Check out these titles recommended by Spokane area parents and the young readers that live in their homes.
Eva, mom of Everett who is proud to be 5!
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry is still a favorite in our house. We love searching for Goldbug on each page and for the silly things that happen. There's a ton to look at and even after a million reads we're all still charmed by the appearance of a carrot car or a pickle truck with dill pickles flying out the back.
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins is a really cool book that shows the actual size of animals so, on the gorilla page all you see is the hand of the gorilla cause that's all that fits on the page. My son loves to put his hand up to the page and marvel at how big the gorilla's hand is in comparison and then the pigmy mouse lemur on the next page has the same type of hands (opposable thumbs) but is super-tiny. At the end of the book there are pictures of each animal in full with lots of interesting facts about each. The illustrations are done with torn paper collage and are beautiful. This is a great book because both parents and kids learn things they didn't know.
Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain has been driving us up the wall lately cause my son has discovered he can read it himself (over and over and over!). This is a perfect learning-to-read book because it is so simple and the child can count the bears and the wheels and figure out the words on the page. Even though I'm completely tired of this book, watching my son's delight at reading it himself is so wonderful that I will gladly listen many more times!
Molly, mother of Liam age 1 ½
10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle:
This wonderfully colorful book is based on the true story of a shipment of bath toys. Lost at sea, the toys floated ashore from Alaska to Greenland and places in between. Liam's favorite page is the last one. After looking at all the beautiful animals the ducks meet along their floating journeys, the last page is the story of the one rubber duck that meets a family of real ducks. They all quack to say goodnight, but the rubber duck squeaks with the help of the "press here" button. Liam's favorite part!
Home For A Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams:
Liam's loves the repetition of sound in this classic book first published in the ‘50s. The story follows a bunny as he looks for a home, stopping to question the other animals about their homes as he goes. Liam's favorite interaction is between the bunny and the frog: " ‘Where is your home?' he asked the frog. ‘Wog, wog, wog,' sang the frog. ‘Wog, wog, wog, under the water, down in the bog.' " When Liam is not so sure he wants to take a nap, I can convince him with a little "Wog, wog, wog." He smiles and takes off for his bed, ready to listen to this story.
Just Go To Bed by Mercer Mayer:
Liam is just starting to learn words. One of his new favorites is "go!" With that one wonderful word, he's started to ask for this book by name, pointing and exclaiming, "Go!" This book follows Little Critter through his bedtime routine. With every new step (bath time, snack, pajamas) Critter tries to stall and play more. Liam nods his head with understanding at the bedtime steps (and the attempted stalling.)
Kelly, mother of Macy, age 6:
My first-grader has interesting taste in books! We can count on the fact that all her favorite books have to do with animals because she's an animal lover!
Bad Dog, Marley by John Grogan
This children's story features the much-loved dog, Marley, although it predates the author's best-selling adult book "Marley and Me" (and has a happy ending). It tells the story of how Marley came to live with his family. Despite his rowdy behavior—including destroying the living room, stealing cookies and other antics—he is a sweet dog. At their wits end, the family considers giving him away but changes their mind when they realize Marley is more than a dog, he's an important part of their family.
Macy: Marley really is a bad dog! He doesn't use his good manners. He dances around and does all kinds of crazy things that are funny and gets into lots of trouble. I like the funny way Baby Louie talks.
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
This book is about a Duck who thinks the Farmer is asking him to work too hard so he wants to be "in charge" on the farm and change that. Duck sets up an election among the animals and wins by a landslide. Not fulfilled by his new role on the farm, Duck has visions of grandeur and proceeds to run for public office, winning each race along the way, right up until he is elected President. Once he's in the White House he changes his mind about wanting to be "in charge" and returns to the farm. The author does a good job of appealing to kids and parents.
Macy: The duck is so funny. He writes on a computer and posts notes for the other animals. He gets all dirty and smelly and he doesn't like it but he's still the boss of the farmer. Duck is in other books by this author and he's always so funny.
The Cat: Cats Rule and Dogs Drool by "the cats" as told to Howie Dewin
This is a non-fiction book with many facts about cats and dogs, but written from the perspective of the animals telling us about themselves. It's light-hearted but imparts lots of interesting facts so it's perfect for a child who loves animals. It's also good for kids who want a pet because many of the facts teach about the responsibility of owning a cat or dog.
Macy: This is one of my favorite books! The cats are smarter than the dogs—which I already knew because we have two cats and one dog. I liked learning how much a cat sleeps every day and how they can see in the dark!