One of the best ways to create memories with your child is through reading. Bedtime reading is a popular way to sneak in a few books during your time with the kids. But don’t let it stop there! Read as many books as you can, whenever you can! The more your child is read to, the better they will be at reading themselves. We love books at our house, and our daughter’s school is excellent at encouraging our children to read. So I am excited to share with you my family’s list of favorites for ages 1-6. I have included a section on picture books, readers for independent reading and chapter books that you can read to them. If I didn’t include your favorites, be sure to share them with us so we can expand our reading repertoire too! The books that are good for very young children are marked with an asterisk.
I made the choice to not link each book to a book seller except for Usborne because I want to encourage you to purchase books locally and visit Fabled in downtown Waco. It’s a beautiful place to visit, and I would love for you to purchase your books from them! www.fabledbookshop.com
PICTURE BOOKS, NEW AND OLD
1) A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
–Paddington is a hilarious bear that just can’t stay out of trouble. He will keep you laughing!
2) Berenstain Bears, Stan & Jan Berenstain
–These books are absolute favorites around here. We have almost all of them, and they are the most chosen ones. I love them because they teach different values and manners.
3) Blueberries For Sal, Robert McCloskey
4) Christopher Robin: A Boy, A Bear, A Balloon, Brittany Rubiano
–A charming retelling of the Disney movie, Christopher Robin
5) Curious George, H.A. Ray
–What is not to love about Curious George? He is so funny and is always getting into trouble. These books are enjoyable for adults too!
6) Disney 5 Minute Story Collections
–Disney has several of these, and we have worn out all of them. They are short and sweet and beautifully illustrated. We found most of ours at thrift stores or JBF consignment sales. Well worth it to look for them!
7) *Dr. Suess (Cat in the Hat, Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Green Eggs & Ham, Hop On Pop)
–These books are perfect for reading outloud and then transitioning to them reading independently. The rhyming is silly and fun!
8) Finding Winnie, Sophie Blackall
–We are big fans of Winnie the Pooh around here. Reading this story was so magical for us because it brought the books to REAL life! I was really impressed at how the author told the story.
9) *Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Sherri Duskey Rinker
10) *Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
–We read this every night for bedtime. It goes through the routine of saying goodnight to everything in the room. It’s a great book to add to your bedtime routine.
11) *Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, Al Perkins
–Cute book that you can chant in a rhythm and add motions to!
12) I Would Know You Anywhere, My Love, Nancy Tillman
–If you enjoy being emotional, this one will do it for you. This book says how you will know your child no matter where they go or what they look like. Even if they’re a bear or a rhino! It’s a creative way to tell your child how much you love them.
13) If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Laura Numeroff
–There are several books in this series, but this is our favorite. The big awkward moose makes the story so fun to read. He becomes a painter, gets jam everywhere, dresses up and has a blast.
14) Leo the Lop book Collection, Stephen Cosgrove
–This was my favorite as a child. Each of the books teach a moral, and I love how they weave it into the stories.
15) *Little Blue Truck, Alice Schertle
–This book brought us so many smiles because of all the silly sounds. Beep, beep, honk, honk, and so on. Such a cute little book.
16) *My Very First Winnie the Pooh-Growing Up Stories
–This is a large book that contains multiple stories, and ours has been well read!
17) Olivia, Ian Falconer
–This book tells the true story of life with a little brother. We laugh a lot.
18) *Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt
–Interactive and sweet! Toddlers love this book because it has different textures to touch and even something to smell!
19) Pinkalicious, Victoria Kann
–These books are all about the color pink! Pink hair, pink cupcakes, pink EVERYWHERE!
20) *Sneezy the Snowman, Maureen Wright
–Lots of fun voices and sounds that you can make with this story! The poor snowman is so cold. But he can’t warm up too much or he will melt!
21) Stellaluna, Janell Cannon
–This is a fascinating story about a bat who is trying to find their family.
22) Stone Soup, Marcia Brown
–This classic is about a community that is brought together by a few visitors and a big pot of soup.
23) *The Mitten, Jan Brett
24) Wave, Suzy Lee
–Beautiful book about the ocean with no words! It leaves room for your imagination to come alive.
25) What’s So Bad About Being an Only Child, Cari Best
–Obviously the title gives this book away. It is told by the child, and it’s very funny! Turns out, there are a lot of positive reasons for someone to be an only child.
26) *Big Dog Little Dog, P.D. Eastman
–A fun little comparison book that also doubles as a reader!
27) The Frog and Toad Collection, Arnold Lobel
–These quirky stories are so great for young kids. We also used these as readers in 1st grade.
28) Narwhal books, Ben Clanton
–These are a simple graphic novel style book for young readers. They are very funny and short!
29) *One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss
30) Usborne My Very First Reading Set
–Includes beginner books that have the adult AND child reading certain parts. Gradually the stories move toward the child reading all the time. These books were the turning point for our daughter. These jump started her reading! She loved knowing that she didn’t have to read everything in the books and that I would be helping out on each page.
INSPIRATIONAL (BIBLE-BASED) BOOKS
31) *God Gave Us You, Lisa Tawn Bergren
–Precious little book that might make you teary.
32) God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible, Sheila Walsh
–I love how interactive this devotional is. The author uses acting, beauty tips, multiple choice questions and music to illustrate the story being told.
33) Good, Good Father, Chris Tomlin
–This is a beautiful story of how God loves his children no matter what and that he will go to great lengths to help us.
34) How Great Is Our God, Louie Giglio
–GREAT devotional! These are short devotionals that show God’s power through his creation. If your kid enjoys science details, they will love this devotional!
35) The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones
–This is a great children’s Bible that tells most of the major stories. The author ties each story to Christ, which makes this particular Bible stand out from the rest.
36) Max Lucado collection (You Are Special, The Crippled Lamb, You are Mine, Your Special Gift, The Tallest of Smalls, Hermie & Friends)
–There are so many that I couldn’t name them all. We love these books. Max Lucado has a way of telling a story that is so clever. He weaves the story of Christ into a well crafted storyline that captivates young children (and even adults! Let’s be honest here!)
CHAPTER BOOKS (READ ALOUDS OR FOR ADVANCED YOUNG READERS)
I was very hesitant to read a chapter book to my kindergartener. But when it was suggested at school, I gave it a try. At first she resisted quite a bit because there are only a few pictures. And some books had NONE at all! But after I persisted, she she began to imagine the stories on her own, and she is now reading her own chapter books. It’s beautiful to watch her enjoy a book from start to finish. You may need to start slow and only read a few pages in the beginning. But give it a try. Your child might just surprise you.
37) The Boxcar Children series, Gertrude Chandler Warner
38) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
39) Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
40) Hank the Cowdog, John R. Erickson
41) Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
42) Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers
43) Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Betty MacDonald
44) Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
45) The Princess in Black series, Dean Hale & Shannon Hale
46) Ramona Quimby, Beverly Cleary
47) Sarah Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
48) Stuart Little, E. B. White
49) Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne
50) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum