Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Choosing Favorites: My Top 5 Book Collections for Kiddos

Recently, a friend asked me to name my "favorite" books. When my response included Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss titles, The Giving Tree & Oh, The Places You'll Go, she wondered if I'd misconstrued the question. 

I actually second guessed myself for a moment there. Could I, a former English teacher, really declare that some of my favorite literary inspirations are actually children's books?

I thought about it more. For days.
Yup. Without a doubt. 

These books are, in my opinion, just perfect. No frill. No superfluous blathering. Just incredible, inspiring lessons that leave my heart full. Up to the brim.

Today I'll rave about 5 of my favorite children's book collections. These are the stories I, blissfully, read over and over, again and again. And I take something new away—every time. 

Let's start at the top...
Falling Up Every Thing On It Where the Sidewalk Ends A Light in the Attic The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein's Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic and The Giving Tree
My all-time favorite author is Shel Silverstein. When I posted, The Book That Started It All, I described how much Where the Sidewalk Ends influenced me, but in all honesty, I'm taken by every word Shel ever wrote. 

Every kid needs to own a copy of The Giving Tree. Every kid. 
I dare you to get through a reading without misting up. Not sure it can be done. Because you love like that. 
Berenstain Bears books
Jan and Stan Berenstain's Berenstain Bears books
And don't all kiddos need Jan and Stan Berenstain's books on their shelves?

The Berenstain Bears books somehow feel The lessons I learned from Mama, Papa, Sister and Brother Bear have stuck with me since my own childhood, and I'm so happy to share their stories with my own baby bears these days.
Animalia, The Eleventh Hour and The Sign of the Seahorse
Graeme Base's Animalia, The Eleventh Hour and The Sign of the Seahorse
For those who appreciate art, you've GOT to get some Graeme Base books happening at home. Base's hidden pictures, secret messages, tantalizing stories and whimsical word play are unforgettable. Even adults will be utterly drawn into his intricate tales and illustrations.
When I'm Feeling books
Trace Moroney's When I'm Feeling books
Trace Moroney's When I'm Feeling box set has really impressed me. These books are jam-packed with really great advice about how to cope with emotions.

I've found that, if I'm feeling sad or lonely, reading one of these stories to my girls actually makes me feel better. The wording is simple, gentle and a good friend—perfect books to help develop healthy social (and self) improvement strategies.
Oh, the Places You'll Go, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle the Turtle, The Lorax, Cat in the Hat, The Sneetches
Dr. Seuss
And we conclude with...the man.
Dr. Seuss just got it.

He knew how to pull anyone into his games with words, and MAN what a ride!

Seuss could do simple, to engage the itty bitties who are just learning to fall in love with words and rhyme.

He could do comical with an edge, baiting the older brothers and sisters to nab one of HIS books to read to their little sibs.

But every story is real. Every time you close one of his books, you know you just experienced something profound. Something great. Something that lingers in the very best way.

Get your hands on every Dr. Seuss book you can.
If you've read, really read any...then you already know why.
What are YOUR favorite book collections for kiddos? Drop me a line and I'll start making room on the shelves! We can always make room for more magic...

Have a literary day, my friends, and a wonderful 4th of July!

P.S. "Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here for news, updates and reader tips


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