Learning to Love Books (First Six Stages for Babies)

So yeah. Another post talking about books. Books. Books. Books. What can I say, I have books on my mind. This one isn’t about my book though.

This one is about books and babies.

Did you know that there are six stages of learning to love books? If a baby completes these first six stages they will have a lifelong love of reading.*

*I made that up. No guarantees.

Stage One: Consumption (No, not the kind that Nikolai Levin has. The eating kind.)

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They are experimenting here. Is it tasty? Edible? How much of it can be shoved in my mouth?

The bad news is that once babies realize that books aren’t good for eating they get angry.

Stage Two: Destruction 

books-and-kids-2

This stage is why board books were invented.

Still though, they always manage to find the paper kind. And usually one of your favorites.

However, eventually the baby will meet a book they’d like to get to know.

And they like it.

They really, really like it.

Stage Three: Addiction

books-and-kids-333

Baby needs a fix and nothing else will do.

If you are lucky you won’t hate the book. At least not the first 50 times you read it.

It is okay though. This is just their gateway book.

Eventually they’ll learn that other books are groovy too.

Stage Four: Accumulation

books-and-kids-4

You may even find yourself negotiating to read less books. “No honey, just pick out six tonight. Not six hundred.” 

Baby knows and loves these books. And I mean really knows them.

Stage Five: Memorization

books-and-kids-5

They will catch you if you try to skip even one word so don’t even try it. And if you ever edit, modernize or censor books and can’t remember your personal version you are screwed.

Yep, baby has become a connoisseur. An aficionado.

An enthusiast.

An expert.

But with this knowledge comes a price.

Baby is now a snob.

Stage Six: Pretension

books-and-kids-6

Not exactly snobby about books. Snobby about the way books are read.

Sometimes you will be incapable of replicating a particular book character’s voice. Especially if someone else (like say a spouse or grandparent or neighbor or an imaginary friend) invented such a voice and you’ve never actually heard it. Good luck. If not handled properly, baby will throw the book across the room and you’ll temporarily be back in Stage Two.

Keep on truckin’ down this path and you’ll guarantee* a lifelong love of books.

 *No guarantees in parenting, remember? Sorry. Hey, at least we all tried.

 

——————

Honestly, we’re in a book rut right now. What is your current household favorite? Or if childhood would not be complete without reading _______, what is it?

We just read George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl and they loved it. That book was recommended by someone here in the comments months ago. 

Which leads me to…

YES, I read the comments. All of them. Including all 1000+ on my last post. Thanks for the overflow of support and camaraderie. You guys rock.

 

This entry was posted in book, crappy pictures, good stuff, learning, terrible twos, through the ages, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink.

731 Responses to Learning to Love Books (First Six Stages for Babies)

  1. Linnea Linton says:

    All the Pippi Longstocking books are great. Boys like them, too, since she does such crazy things. The Elephant and Piggie books are well-loved here, as well as Henry and Mudge. And I really think that no house is complete without “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Or Richard Scarry’s “Best Storybook Ever”. When they’re older, things like “The Coolest Cross-Sections Ever” by Stephen Biesty will keep them going for DAYS.

    • amber says:

      Pippi! I had forgotten about those, I loved them as a kid. Thanks!

      • Fran says:

        We went through a Pippi addiction for awhile. We read the book, chapter by chapter. We found Pippi movies in the library. They were horribly dubbed Swedish things, but my daughter adored them.

        • Tanja says:

          We are Norwegians, and WE.LOVE.PIPPI.LANGSTRØMPE. Yes, that is what her name is in our language. They read the books to us in kindergarten and school, and we the movies were on Saturday night when I was growing up. Saturday night is like the PRIME TIME of children’s programming in Norway.

          When I was browsing for new DVDs for my twins last summer, I came across a complete set of all the Pippi movies at a super cheap price. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I bought it, and the kids ADORE them. They were just 2 years old when they started watching them, and they are all in the original Swedish, no dubbing, terrible image quality and old-fashioned “special effects” but they are favorites! (It really seems that my kids prefer old movies. Maybe because they portray a simpler life? Less stash, less stuff?) Maybe when they grow up a little and learn to sit still for more than 30 seconds, I can start reading them the books too…

    • SarahJSG says:

      The author of the Pippi Longstocking books also wrote “The Tomten” and “The Tomten and the Fox”, which are absolutely wonderful nighttime books. My 3 and 5 year olds are enthralled with them.

      And Huzzah! to the Elephant and Piggie books, too!

      In terms of classics, we’re loving the Frog and Toad books, and the Little Bear and Nutshell Library books by Maurice Sendak. For more modern fare, we’re really into the Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee boy books and “The Amazing Secret of Awesome Man”. :)

      • Lezlie says:

        My kids (4 and 5) love Ladybug Girl (and Bubmlebee Boy and their friends, and the dog…) too!

        If you want a fun to read book, “Yes, Yes, Yaul!” is full of “old school” hip-hop throwbacks that make it hilarious for kids and adults. http://www.amazon.com/Yes-Yaul-Jef-Czekaj/dp/1423146824

        We did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a book on CD during a 14 hour van ride. Got us hooked. (Plus: they do the voices FOR you! And in great British accents!)

        My husband has been reading them “The Hobbit” at night and they love it. I figured they were too young, but I guess not. And no nightmares so far.

    • Amelia says:

      Elephant and Piggie books are great! But I do get caught in the “Do the voice!” trap. :-)

    • Bea Taylor says:

      “YOU CHOOSE”……EVERY night. Despite having a collection to rival the British Library. At least it doesn’t have many words.

    • Jessie says:

      I read the Pippi books to my students at school and they LOVE her! (I teach 1st grade) They are some of my favorites!

  2. Lindsay J says:

    No childhood (with boys at least) would be complete without Go Dog Go! In fact, we speak like that regularly around here. Look a white dog under the tree, a black dog next to a tree, etc. Everyone in the house has it memorized, including Grandpa, who hasn’t ever read it, just heard it a million times. :)

  3. Kristy says:

    Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel! Great book!!

    • Sue says:

      Loved that one, too! And Blueberries for Sal. And Froggy goes to School! (Really, any of the Froggy books.)

      • amber says:

        Mike Mulligan & Blueberries for Sal are wonderful. I LOVE classics like that.

        • rachel says:

          and “make way for ducklings”.

        • Maureen says:

          Loved Robert McCloskey’s books. Then in grad school I found out that my advisor/boss was his niece. It was a very surreal moment. Cute story: Apparently, she didn’t make the connection that her cousin Sally was Sal (in Blueberries for Sal) until she was a teenager.

          • Michele says:

            My two favorites! Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings. Don’t forget One Morning in Maine.

    • Annie says:

      We love mike mulligan. In fact, a steam furnace has to be included in all lego and lincoln log houses built.

  4. Robyn says:

    My son is stuck on “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” right now, which I don’t mind. We got a nice, heavy duty board book version!

    • amber says:

      Okay, I’ve never actually read that book. I’ve heard of it (and seen it!) so many times but it has just escaped our collection somehow. Adding it. Thanks!

      • SD Murray says:

        there is a song cd that goes with the book — you’ll love it until you hate it and then love it again!

      • Kate P. says:

        Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was one of my favorites as a kid too! We are currently into Goodnight, Moon. And we’re at the memorization stage. My two year old is very much “other one, balloon” about getting to the next page the red balloon is on. Another recommendation, if I may, would have to be “Sailing on a Very Fine Day.” It’s a Burl Ives book and it’s hard to find (but you can get it on ebay I think), but lots of fun! Good luck! LOVE your posts!

        • Jess says:

          Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was always my favorite. I just bought a hard board book for my niece. I can’t wait to read it to her. “A told B and B told C…” Love it.

          • Fuchsia says:

            We have a serious problem with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – due to the dance the preschoolers invented. It involved a lot of hip and butt wiggling and really isn’t appropriate for small children! But they invented it, so we can’t really say anything!

      • Sarah says:

        Yes, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is one of my favorites! but get the paper version because the board book doesn’t include the second half of the paper version.

        • Trisha says:

          We have a large board book version, and it does include the second half of the book (with the letters being helped up by their mamas and papas and uncle and aunts). So it does exist! :)

    • Jill says:

      My daughter is 18 months old, and LOVES Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. She flips to the last page and says, “OH NO!” every time the letters fall out of the tree….so cute. Definitely one to add to the collection!

  5. rye says:

    have you guys read the gruffalo??? it is AWESOME and super funny. my kids love it! also george and the dragon is great. (PS: if you order books off thebookdepository.com ALL shipping is free!!)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gruffalo-Julia-Donaldson/dp/0333710932/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362778923&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/George-And-Dragon-Mini-Treasure/dp/0099475685

  6. Jen says:

    The 2-yr-old is a huge fan of “Harry the Dirty Dog” right now. She fills in the blanks including some weird terms like “coal chute,” which I find shocking.

  7. Corinna says:

    Duck on a Bike!

  8. Cat says:

    We are reading the graphic novel version of “The Last Unicorn.” He’s seen the movie and loved it, so we’re reading the novel and then going to re-watch the movie. It’s written by the same gentleman who wrote the script for the movie. Different artist though.

  9. Sarah says:

    Frog Belly Rat Bone. Truly awesome.

  10. Lisa says:

    The Library Lion, Some Dogs Do, A Sick Day for Amos McGee – love love love them all. I say, “Can we read Library Lion again, please?” :)

    • Martha says:

      A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a favorite at our house.

      • Wendy says:

        Have you tried Bear Has a Story to Tell? I love Erin Stead’s illustrations so I bought all of her books.

    • Shawna says:

      I totally second Library Lion. I bought a copy for my kids, and then spent half a year buying copies for all my friends!

    • Nina says:

      Library Lion is one of the best books ever! So many lessons and the sweetest story. We gave it to my son’s preschool teacher and she teared up telling me how much she loved it.

      I also like Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons by Amy Krause Rosenthal.

    • Naomi says:

      OMG! I start sobbing half-way through Library Lion and my kids get exasperated with me. lol.

    • Nancy M says:

      How have I never heard of Library Lion, and Gruffalo?? I’m going to get them for myself since so many are raving about them. My youngest is now 9 and reading the Harry Potter series by himself, but this post made me nostalgic so I went through our “keepers” bookshelf:

      The Way Mother’s Are – Miriam Schlein
      Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
      If You Give a Moose a Muffin – Laura Numeroff
      Frog and Toad (all of them) – Arnold Lobel
      On the Day You Were Born – Debra Frasier
      George and Martha One Fine Day – James Marshall
      A Porcupine Named Fluffy – Helen Lester
      Dinner at the Panda Palace – Stephanie Calmenson
      Tickle Tickle; Say Goodnight; All Fall Down – Helen Oxenbury
      Owen – Kevin Henkes
      Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? – Nancy White Carlstrom
      Sheep in a Jeep – Nancy Shaw
      Underwear! – Mary Elise Monsell
      Duncan & Dolores – Barbara Samuels
      Could Be Worse! – James Stevenson
      Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards – Serge Bloch

      Oh, and when I was in elementary school I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Goody Hall, A Wrinkle in Time, all Nancy Drew books, Harriet the Spy, all Roald Dahl books, Trumpet of the Swan… Okay, I’ll stop now. I could go on and on about every Caldecott and Newbery award winner too, but I’ll spare you. Can you tell I love books? :)

    • Sara says:

      I just read “Some Dogs Do” to my son’s kindergarten class last week! What a great book it is. Of course, now half of the class is convinced their dog can fly. ;)

  11. Emily says:

    For my work I write about babies and how they learn. Right now I’m writing about language and literacy and how critical it is to support the love of books. However, you win. :) This is so great for me today. Thanks.

  12. K says:

    My son was obsessed with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for like 6 yrs! Anything Dr Seuss is read a million times and is for sure a must read in childhood.

  13. Ginny says:

    my 3 y/o son is super into one of the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, “Ducking gets a Cookie!” We’ve been reading it for two months, complete with different voices for the Pigeon and Duckling. Cute, esp when he reads it to me from memory. In my desperation to read something (Anything!!) else, I read him “The Grumpy Dump Truck” by Brie Spangler. He’s loving it and wants it read three times a day, more if we’re willing. I love (and loathe) this stage.

  14. Sue says:

    The Snail and the Whale. I read it hundreds of times (like you do with all of them!) and its lyricism stays with me today. It was always such a relief when that was their evening choice!

    • TC says:

      Julia Donaldson’s books are all awesome! The Gruffalo is great and there’s an Oscar-nominated animated movie of it which is spell-binding :)

      • Julie says:

        Super favorite kids author! My favorite is Room on the Broom;).Well illustrated with good stories.

        • amber says:

          We love Room on the Broom! Haven’t seen The Gruffalo though, will look for it.

          • Sarah Pascall says:

            *gasp* I didn’t think you could be a parent without reading The Gruffalo first? :P It’s a firm favourite with my 2 year old along with Each Peach Pear Plum and various Thomas the Tank Engine books. She also likes to ‘read’ the, herself and flicks through books, saying (strangely) “At the moment…” followed by whatever she can see in the pictures

          • Jamie says:

            The Gruffalo is a favorite in my house right now with my 2 1/2 year old. The book and movie are read and watched at least once daily.

          • Sara says:

            LOVE the Gruffalo! We just read it last night! ‘My favorite food is Gruffalo crumble!’ :)

    • Ashley says:

      Oh yes! We love her books. Zog is a fun one too.

    • Julia says:

      Love this one, too! Would read it every day, but sadly my kids don’t love it as much as I do! We have lots of Julia Donaldson’s books, don’t know the english titles (I’m from Germany), the kids especially love the Gruffalo (it was the first book my 6 year old daughter read all by herself).
      Also loved the Gruffalo movie.
      The book I read almost every day during my au pair time in the States was Love you forever, bought this one for my kids a few years ago, wonderful book.

      • Stefanie says:

        Love you Forever is our favorite. I made up a lullaby with the words and the boys insist I sing it every night.

        • Sanj says:

          Stephanie,
          Share the melody with us, please? (Maybe a link to an online video of you singing, or to a PDF of the written score, or ?) Thanks!

        • suzy says:

          love you forever is such a classic. my son who is 10 says the main lines to me to this day!!!

        • Nancy M says:

          I made up a lullaby too! My first baby is now 22 years old, but I still remember the simple melody…

          G E E E E D
          I’ll love you forever
          C D D E D C
          I’ll like you for always
          A C C C C C
          As long as I’m living
          D E D C D
          My baby you’ll be.

          then I repeated the words with the last line changing to:

          D E D C C
          My baby you’ll be.

        • Brenda says:

          My mom always sang the song, and in college when one of my friends read it and sang the song differently, it totally messed me up because I didn’t realize not everyone knew my song, the RIGHT song.

        • Erin says:

          I cry like a gigantic baby EVERY TIME I read this to my girls. They love it, though. When I was a Nanny I used to read it to the kids there [the same copy, actually, as we got all of their awesome books when they grew out of them], and I would *almost* tear up, but not quite. Think you have to be a Mama….

    • Bridget says:

      All of Julia Donaldson’s books are great! My favorite by her is Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book.

  15. Carolyn Harris says:

    Roald Dahl fans here, but at the moment we’re on a repetitive loop of Hairy Maclary…

    • wilma fingerdoo says:

      We are also huge Roald Dahl fans. Our all time favorite is Matilda (we even named our puppy Matilda because of this book) followed by James and the Giant Peach and the Witches. The youngest is reading the Giraffe and the Pelly and Me but she’s 6 now. Her other fav is Library Lion.

      Looking back on board book favorites, can’t beat the story of Ferdinand or Richard Scarry books. Oh, how they loved finding Lowly Worm on each page!

    • Lezlie says:

      Giraffe and a Half! It’s a one-sitting book that is really fun by Roald Dahl.

  16. Cris says:

    Peter Reynolds books SkyColor, Ish, and Dot! MUST READ – great for creative youngsters and kinda made this mom a bit emotional. You know in the hormonal hallmark commercial sort of way.

    Also LOVE Press Here by Herve Tullet! SO creative and kids love it and the low-tech nod to technology!

    • Wendy says:

      Press Here is awesome!

    • Abadab says:

      Press Here is fantastic, and I hear he has more! My 1 year old has loved it since she was about 6 months old (she just likes the colors), and I brought it in to read to my 4th graders, and they loved it, too!

  17. Danielle says:

    Anything by Mo Willems is awesome, funny and entertaining for the ‘grown-ups’ as well as the kids. :)

  18. Corey says:

    My son’s favorite is Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site. He is a big fan of trucks so he points out all the construction trucks. It also rhymes and has a nice flow. Almost like a song…

    • Alex says:

      That is a nice one. My son memorized it in 2 days! I think the rhyming helps with the memorization. It is poetic.

      We also memorized The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton. I love all her books.

      Another memorized favorite is The Little Engine That Could – we have the old version that my husband received as a gift when his little brother was born.

      I really like The Bunny Book by Patsy Scary (Richard’s wife?). I do modify it by using gender-neutral names for the professions (am I a geek?).

      Amber, I am so thrilled you said you read all the comments. I rarely get to post early and I often don’t post at all because I don’t think anyone will read it. Thank you for being so dedicated to your fans!

      • Sara says:

        When my oldest was around 2, “The Little Engine That Could” was his favorite. One day, we got caught out running errands and he was exhausted. He insisted on the book, which I didn’t have with us. Luckily I had memorized most of it, and he filled in the blanks. He curled up in my lap, and we recited it over and over. It is one of my all-time favorite memories.

    • marie says:

      yep. my son loves that one, too!

    • Rebecca says:

      My son has this one memorized as well! He reads it to himself for bedtime! We now know ALL the different construction machines, and as a result, I now know them too. He will let me know if I accidentally call a “backhoe” an “excavator.” Thank God for the public library and their vast collection of OTHER “digger” type books, including Bob the Builder!

      • Emily says:

        Thanks for the tip! My daughter has been obsessed with construction equipment since she could see out the car window. I would love a nighttime-centered book!

      • Sanj says:

        I love the way the construction equipment isn’t ready to sleep yet, so each piece has to do a little more of its specialty before it settles down and goes to sleep. Kind of like a kid needing to run around just one more time.

    • K's mom says:

      Was my son’s favorite for month’s on end, and by 25 months he too could repeat the entire book back to me! LOVE this book!

  19. Samantha P says:

    We are stuck on three books right now…The Wheels on the Bus, The Napping House, and a stupid Bob The Builder book. (I seriously have no idea where Bob The Builder even came from, but we might accidentally lose it…)

    • Angie Dowland says:

      I got some hand me down Bob the builder books read one and promptly passed them on! Cruel and unusual punishment.

  20. Mhays says:

    Did you know that the “Just-So” stories are named that way because of rule #6? Rudyard Kipling’s oldest daughter Josephine wanted them told “just so!”

  21. Jane Steinback says:

    I love Emily Loves to Bounce. Such fun Boing Boing Boing and Bounce Bounce Bounce. Every kid I have read it to loves it as well. They all then want to bounce to but that is what trampolines are for.

  22. Leslie says:

    Just wait until they hit the obsession stage again as elementary age kids. My son has read the “Harry Potter” series at least a dozen times. I actually have to take them and hide them in my closet and make them ‘off-limits’. I never thought I would have to ban my child from reading. But here we are.

    • ErynBob says:

      Us too!! Inconceivably we find ourselves saying, repeatedly, “STOP READING and eat/dress/bathe/move.” Never thought I’d hear myself say it! :)

  23. Raven says:

    I have memorized every line of “Peter Rabbit” and “The Elephant’s Child” (and do a fair retelling of “Brer Rabbit and The Tar Baby”). This works out as a benefit when in dark cars or too tired to turn on a light and someone is demanding a book. We have also developed strategies involving improv and absurdity when reading or telling old tired and true stories such as the three little pigs, billy goats gruff, goldilocks, jack and the beanstalk, etc. If you make the ending different in totally absurd ways it is endlessly funny (and it makes it a teensy bit less tedious telling the three little pigs for the ten thousandth time…)

  24. Jill says:

    Our 5 y.o. daughter loves all the Skippyjon Jones books and yes, we must read it in the same voice and accent EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!

    • amber says:

      Yes Skippyjon always brings out the critics. “No Mama, do the accent MORE!”

      • Michelle says:

        Oh, SO right on! My husband is not allowed to read SkippyJon because he doesn’t do the accent “right.”

        • Kathleen says:

          My 13 month old is obsessed with SkippyJon Jones: he will drag the book over, crawl into my lap, and sit while I read it to him. Then he goes and gets a different SkippyJon book and does the same thing. Over and over…

  25. Melli says:

    Goodnight Moon, The very hungry caterpillar.
    My 3 1/2 year old son loves to play “Bookshops” he gets a heap of books out, makes a display, sets up a register and gets the paper bags out of the kitchen and my husband, myself and his 17 month old baby sister have to buy the books. One of his favorite outings is to the bookshop. :-)

  26. Amanda says:

    Do you know the author Mo Willims? Author of the pigeon books? Look him up.

    Also I just read the Three Ninja Pigs. It rocks.

  27. Meg says:

    I have all of my old books from when I was little that my boys love reading – especially the Three Little Kittens and The Little Engine that Could. A newer one I found is The Dot – it’s fantastic.

  28. Paula says:

    We’re reading “The adventures of Nanny Piggins” by R.A. Spratt; it’s hilarious, one of those you stop to crack up with the jokes for the adults that the children don’t get. We got them from the library but I’d love to buy them for our collection. I’m trying to get the australian edition, apparently the american edition has been “sanitized” and “politically correctisized”… :-(

    • JoKateG says:

      I just ordered the Australian version from fishpond.com.au We love so many of these books mentioned and have just made a list to check out everything recommended! One new one we love is “I’m the Best” by Lucy Cousins. Very funny and a good lesson although my 3 year old doesn’t get it yet! Also ANYTHING Dr Seuss is a winner.

  29. Sammy Greer says:

    I have to say, this really cracked me up! Baby is only 7 months, so we haven’t gone through many of these stages yet, but I so remember these from my own childhood- and those of my lucky siblings who had a sister that would read. endless. stories.
    Oh, and I always LOVED The Boy With a Drum. My mom gave me my ancient, tattered and torn copy, and I started reading it to baby in utero. Can’t start them too early. Hubby stared at me with saucer eyes when I started chanting “there once was a boy with a little toy drum! Rat a tat, tat a tat, rum a tum tum!!!”

  30. Shannon says:

    We read Goodnight Moon more times that I could ever count. My nearly 5 year old still has only board books allowed in her room because she sometimes reverts back to the destruction phase. Now that we are homeschooling books are a huge deal every day. Their favorites at the moment (though no educational) are the old school Garfield comic books.

    • S says:

      One solution I found for protecting tear-able pages: tape the bottom edge. Mainly the back pages of books, rather than the first pages. I think it’s physics, or something.

  31. Erin says:

    “Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm”, by…..someone-Provensen. Sorry, I’m blanking on the first name. It was my favorite book as a child, and was #1 on the hit parade for both of my boys. I had to re-buy the book because they read mine to tatters.

    Also — “Ferdinand the Bull”. I know it’s not a PC book to have now, but again — a huge favorite of mine, and I bought it for my younger son when he asked for his own copy.

    All of the “Marley” childrens stories are popular in our house, too :)

    • amber says:

      Alice & Martin Provensen were a married writer/illustrator combo. I love all their books!

    • Abadab says:

      Ferdinand is my absolute favorite! Maybe not PC, although if you REALLY wanted to use it for something other than a really beautiful book, you can teach about bullfighting and how it’s a cultural staple. And also how they ended up not killing the bull!

  32. Mary Ann says:

    Mo Willems: “Pig and Elephant” books AND any of his “Don’t Let The Pigeon…” books. You’ll die laughing. I’m a reading teacher, my kinder and first graders beg me to read Mo Willems them and my 8 year old thinks they’re hilarious too.

  33. Amy says:

    Try “Uncle Wizmo’s New Used Car” by Rodney Alan Greenblat. It’s a goofy story with GREAT pictures! Have you done the “I Spy” books yet? Hours of fun if your kid is into them. The Beverly Cleary books are still good!

  34. Dawn says:

    Currently, my son (2 1/2) is addicted to Hugs and Kisses. It really is an adorable book…the first 50 or so times you read it. And luckily, if I can keep him away from it for a couple of days, it gets cute again very quickly. We act out the kissing parts and everyone has a lot of fun.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hugs-Kisses-Christophe-Loupy/dp/0735819726

    Oh, and the memorization thing is actually pretty cool. I just have him read to me when I’m sick of a book. And you’re right, no editing or short cuts allowed. “NO MOMMA! That’s not how it goes!”

  35. Sophie Wolford says:

    My oldest (he’s 7) LOVES the Spiderwick Chronicles, and we also just read The Hobbit.

    My 4 year old is in love with Frank Ashe’s bear books, particularly ‘Mooncake’ and ‘Milk & Cookies’.

  36. Polly Holthaus says:

    I am not shitting you when I say “Brown Bear Brown Bear CAN GO TO HELL”

    That is all. :)

    • amber says:

      Ah, that was firmly on our memorized list. Fortunately, he’d just flip through it and “read” it to himself eventually.

    • SusanC says:

      Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Along with Polar Bear Polar Bear. :)

    • islajmom says:

      agreed. although my 2.5 year old daughter flips and reads them basically on her own now. I do however LOVE the songs she makes up to these books, my favorite one being about her little lady bits.
      I crack up just thinking about it :)

  37. Thora says:

    Anything by Bob Shea! The dinosaur vs series is a hit, but the big one right now is Big Plans (probably because of daddy’s hilarious voices for the characters). They LOVE it!

  38. NDL-T says:

    thidwick the big hearted moose- dr.suess. best morbid ending ever.

  39. Krystal says:

    oh forgot about the french books. Kids love to have me read them. Only issue is neither of them speak french but make me read the page in french and than translate it in English. So I have to read each page twice!

  40. Jennifer says:

    Mine almost 2 year old likes Fox in Socks. Although I still like some of the other books after reading this one a little too fast I am convinced Dr. Seuss is a sicko perv.

  41. Angie says:

    My oldest got a bookstore giftcard for her birthday, she picked out a Babysitters club book, Tales of a 4th grade nothing, and Are you there God, its me Margret. All things that I read when I was little. Love it.

    Also, my oldest loves to read to my youngest. 2 birds!!!

    • Fenny says:

      Mum always bought her grandchildren book tokens for their birthdays and took them on a special expedition to find their birthday book.

      Both of them are HUGE readers, even in their teens. It’s rare to see them at home without a book in their hands.

  42. Danielle says:

    Pete the Cat! You can go on the website and download the audio so they can hear it in song format and you don’t have to read, it’s awesome! http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/feature/petethecat/

    Crappy Baby may be too young, but the entire Magic Tree House series is awesome. My 5-yr-old loves listening to them, and my 7-yr-old can read them on her own (or even to her brother – double awesome!).

    • Fran says:

      Pete the cat is great for young kids. They love the repetition.

    • Jessica F says:

      Yes! Pete the Cat is the favorite around here too. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons has made my 2.5 year old obsessed with subtraction and he’s totally starting to get it. He takes any group of objects around the house: plastic dinosaurs, wooden bees, marbles, blocks, cookies, etc. and makes one “pop off and roll away.” Cookies are the best because they “roll away” into his mouth. He then yells out the number sentence. “Pop! Oh no! One of the blocks popped off and rolled away! How many blocks are left? Three! Four minus one equals three!” And, it all started with those groovy buttons!

    • Jessica says:

      We are HUGE Pete the Cat fan’s! Here’s a word of caution though: Don’t let your kids watch it on-line or they will want to watch it on-line every single time & you will hear about it a bigillion times a day even if you’ve already palyed it 6 times in a row… Just sayin.

    • Samantha says:

      I just discovered the Magic Tree House Series today! I’m looking forward to reading them to my almost 5 years old.

    • Lezlie says:

      Oh, yes! The Magic Tree House! My kids started loving them when they were 3 and 5. They have age-appropriate adventure, teach you about different time periods, and encourage imagination. It was another of our library CD starts. The plots get a bit repetitive for the adults if you read a lot of them in a row, but the kids love it!

      The advantage to choosing chapter books at this age is that you can read “a chapter each night” and not spend forever reading. It’s become our new routine.

  43. Robin says:

    Why? by Lindsay Camp. “World’s most annoying question saves planet.” We all LOVE it, not just the kids (ages 3 and 7)!

  44. NinaN says:

    I read Goodnight Moon about 5 jillion times a day. He demands it but I’m never sure if he is really paying attention. So today I slipped in a Goodnight Banana. He was paying attention….

    • Lezlie says:

      Goodnight Gorilla is a wordless book along these lines. (It has a banana on each page, which is what made me think of it.) They can “read” it to themselves!

  45. Heather says:

    Sooo many books so little time!!! Robert the Rose Horse was my husband’s favorite as a kid. I have loved reading the Sandra Boyton books and now my 3 yo is loving her CDs. “Singing in the shower” is his curent favorite. I have a small collection of kids books about odd animals. But that could be because hubby and I are both biologists. So if the book has a tenrec (Tenrec’s Twigs… great book) or a coackroach (Crickwing by Jannel Cannon… awesome book) or something else odd it’s got to be in our house.

  46. Ashlee Jackson says:

    The Hairy Maclary series rock. My eldest is only 3.5, so we’re still only in the picture-books with-not-too-many-words on each page stage!

    And this blog post is so ridiculously true! You hit the nail right on the head again, hahaha!

  47. Emily says:

    My newly-2-yo is obsessed with anything Dr. Seuss (especially Fox in Socks, which is downright sadistic), this very cute book called The Interrupting Chicken, and one about dressing up as famous women instead of princesses (she can say the word perfectly normally, but for that one she says, ” Read uh GEEEE-IN, read uh GEEEE-IN” in a chant instead of just “again” and also it kind of has a southern accent – weird kid).

    • Michelle says:

      Interrupting Chicken is awesome!

    • Amanda says:

      My Name is Not Isabella! That book is awesome, the little girl spends all day pretending to be all these amazing historical women and ends up pretending to be her Mom. It will totally make you cry. My kiddo is only 9 months old and I already read that to her.

  48. rachel says:

    the most falling apart books in our collection are “chewy louie”, “mouse paint”, “trashy town”, “officer buckle and gloria”, “the little red hen makes a pizza”, “the three little wolves and the big bad pig”, “aaaaarrrrggggghhhh! spider!”, and… gosh, so many more. (i taught preschool, too, so it’s kind of like a disease.) “the napping house”, and anything by kevin henkes or cynthia rylant. OH, which brings me to the “mr. putter and tabby” books. ALL are hysterical, but my favorite is “mr. putter and tabby pick the pears”. since you know cats, you’ll appreciate tabby’s little quirks.

    • rachel says:

      oh, and early elementary years are great time to debut the mrs. piggle wiggle books! (along with everything ever written by beverly cleary.)

      • amber says:

        Yes, I almost grabbed a Beverly Cleary book at the library last week but we had such a pile already. Soon. Soon.

        • Murphy says:

          They are much wordier than I remembered. My five year old was bored, but my eight year old looooooves all the Mouse and the Motorcycle books.

          We love the author Deborah Underwood and the author Bonny Becker (especially A Visitor for Bear).

    • SleepyMom says:

      We too love the Mr. Putter and Tabby books. Got them for my preschooler but also read one to my daughter’s class in 1st grade and they loved it too.

  49. SD Murray says:

    My Father’s Dragon (and the other 2 in the series), Hildy and the Cuckoo Clock, all Beverly Cleary books (The Mouse and the Motorcycle even has a cute movie that you can share after you have read the book a few dozen times.), these are all great story books for younger kids. Once they get a little older (k-3), Bruce Coville’s The Monster’s Ring and the other Magic Shop series are truly magical. Older elementary to middle schoolers and parents will love the My Teacher is an Alien seiries by Coville — they are entertaining and have a wonderful way of showing acceptance by seeing things through the eyes of each person from book to book.

  50. Jennifer says:

    Amber, if you’re looking for books that won’t bore you to tears, check out http://Noodlenuts.com. It’s a picture book review and recommendation site, critically acclaimed, and specifically dedicated to helping parents find unique, interesting kids books.

  51. Jamie says:

    with a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old, we are somewhere between #4 and 5 right now… his favorite this past week has been Pumpkin Soup :)

  52. Sarah says:

    “But No Elephants” by Jerry Smath and “Popcorn: a Frank Asch Bear story” are some of my favorites that I infected my kids with, oh and the velveteen rabbit, and alice and wonderland, and the little prince, and anything Dr. Suess. I am actually loving the “Cat in the Hat” series books (the one’s with his picture on it) because my 5 year old is able to read them now (with help on words great than 5 letters :-)) it is SO SO much fun now that he is reading, I get SO excited when he reads to me, it totally makes me day. Of course the three year old wants to get in on it so he “reads” to me too, he has these color crayon books (that came with stickers and a coloring book) which just say “red cherries, red tomato, red apple” and so on, so he “reads” them to me by looking at the pictures.

  53. Love it! My almost-two year old is stuck in a major rut with Nighy Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson and any minute now she’s going to twig that I read a slightly different (shorter) version the 42nd time I read it….

  54. Steph says:

    Personally, as a child, I loved Robert Munsch books (we even did mini plays at school for them), and the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer. There were probably a lot of others, as I am an addict to reading books – always have been :”)

    • Beth says:

      My mother bought my 3 year old daughter a board book version of The Paperback Princess a couple of years ago. It’s a big favorite. I loved it as a kid, but the best part is the caption on the back. It says “some of the children’s books are about girls”. It cracks my husband and I up every time!

      My other favorite for my girls is another one of my favorites as a kid, The Man Who Cooked For Himself. I Also lucky my mother still had our copy because it went out of print.

  55. Jen says:

    Our crappy boys are a bit younger (4 and 20 months), so we still read a lot of board books. We really love Sandra Boyton and Karen Katz books. When we aren’t reading about trucks or construction equipment with our oldest, we love to read Knuffle Bunny, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and anything by Kevin Henkes.

  56. Sarah F says:

    We just heard Big Mean Mike about abig mean dog with abig mean car but cute littke bunnies keep showing up.

  57. Kelly Nelson says:

    Tot is obsessed with construction equipment, so we read Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site a lot. We’re also fans of Click Clack Moo, and The Hiccupottomus.

  58. Katia says:

    My 3 year old (almost 4) enjoys the Geronimo Stilton series. They’re probably written for older kids, but very entertaining. For parents as well. Definitely not one of the books I dread him picking off the shelf… (does anyone else have books like that?)

  59. Gaylin says:

    My favourite little person book is Harold and the Purple Crayon.

    Love it!!!!

    Also Seuss rocks.

  60. Erin says:

    My son loves Sandra Boynton. Moo baa la la la Is a favourite. I personally prefer Not the Hippopotamus.

  61. Caroline says:

    yep, both of mine have been through all 6 stages, and are both book worms now at 3 and 6.

    Dr Seuss books are a winner in this house – I was mean and made 6yo read Fox in Socks to me last week as when it was reading time he picked the easiest book on the shelf and giggled. Back-fired as he enjoyed the challenge and asked to read me it again last night lol

  62. April says:

    My 4-year-old is in love with the abridged Wizard of Oz illustrated by Charles Santore.

    My almost-2-year-old is obsessed with a 4-page softbook about Elmo taking a bath.

    Well… at least one of those was a good recommendation.

  63. Angela says:

    I have older kids so I will add to your list:

    7.) Demonstration- When they learn to read and want to read everything to you, while you sit still and listen. (No multitasking allowed)

    8.) Suggestion- After they discover a book they really love and you HAVE to read it too…on your own time! They ask you every day what part you are at and spoil any sort of suspense by telling you what happens! (This is why I have had to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson and more recently Twilight :( )

  64. Andrea says:

    I LOVED Roald Dahl as a child! I also loved Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Shel Silverstein. And, bc I’m a huge nerd, I loved The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit. My son is only 14 months right now so we read Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You pretty much every day. I hope when he’s older I can introduce him to my favorites.

  65. trish says:

    The Frog and Toad series (there are 4 books, each with 5 stories) by Arnold Lobel is THE BEST…I love the stories and the kids do too! The stories are all about friendship and life. Some share very useful life lessons about things like willpower, avoiding procrastination, and the dangers of being boastful…but the messages are pretty subtle…love them.

  66. Brenda says:

    My two boys love “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch, “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, they can’t get enough, plus my mother read them to me as a child as well. I think of them as family tradition.

  67. Molly says:

    My girls are younger than your boys, but the current favorites are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider. A close second is a fisher price Little People book called Animal Friends, or something like that. My two year old calls it Friendly Animal Book, so that’s what I know it as. :o)

  68. Emily says:

    A favorite around here is I Love You Through & Through.

  69. Cheri says:

    The kids love Monster at the End of This Book. It was one that I had when I was little too. We make a big deal about turning pages (Me: No! No! Don’t turn the page, I’m scared! or WHAT do you think you are doing? I just told you not to turn the page! Do you WANT to see a monster?). Of course we are required to use the Grover voice. For Another Monster at the End of This Book (a newer version), we must use the Grover and Elmo voices.

    • Greeblygreebly says:

      This was an all time favorite with my younger siblings and my kids. I used to teach preschool and never met a kid who didn’t love The Monster at the End of this Book. It usually had them in hysterics by the end. (In a good way.) Great introduction to humor.

    • Linnea Linton says:

      LOVE!

    • Jen says:

      The Monster at the End of This Book is the best!!! All three of my kids LOVED it and I recall loving it when I was a kid! Also, all three absolutely loved Wacky Wednesday and my 11 year old will volunteer to read it to my 5 year old because she still wants to experience it!

    • Anna says:

      Agree! This book is one of the best, and was a personal favorite as a kid. As a parent though, my throat really starts to hurt after performing with the Grover voice a dozen times!

    • Stefanie says:

      You all must try the Monster At the End of This Book iPad/iphone app if you have access. It is truly interactive and amazing! They also have Another Monster at the End of this Book as an app too. It was one of my favorites as a child and now it comes alive on the screen.

    • SD Murray says:

      awesome book!

  70. Elizabeth says:

    I enjoyed reading and re-reading and re-reading all they Boynton books (especially “Your Personal Penguin” as I love penguins), they were easy to memorize and repeat in the dark and fun! Mercer Meyer books are good as well because you look for the (hidden) spider and mouse on every page – great hunting skills for toddlers! :)

  71. Kathy says:

    Mo Willems is an awesome author. The three year olds I used to teach LOVED it when we would exaggerate the characters’ “conversation.”

    I have a 1 year old right now, so our books involve touch & feel, “That’s not my puppy/train/snowman/etc”, and simple non-fiction books (ie. babies on the move, smile, sleep–these books we got from the pediatrician to help her become familiar with faces and expressions).

  72. Cameo says:

    Right now my son is loving SkippyJon Jones and the pigeon books by Mo Willams. We read a lot of SkippyJon Jones, I wish I had a better Spanish accent to go with the books…

  73. Rob Barrett says:

    My two year old son is obsessed with Ezra Jack Keats. In fact, every one of the Ezra Jack Keats books we read (and we’ve read nearly all of them) is referred to as “[Blank] by Ezra Jack Keats!” Every time it has snowed this winter, my son cries out “The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats!” When the snow melts, he laments, “I don’t want the Melting Day, I want the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats!”

  74. Melissa says:

    Off to the library we go today to return our huge stack of books for new ones. :)

  75. Jen says:

    My 4 year old loves “Trashy Town” with a passion right now. And my 8-year old is loving the science books by Basher.

  76. Christie says:

    Right now, my son is obsessed with my daughter’s collection of Pinkilicious books. :)

  77. Lisa says:

    The Toot and Puddle books are lovely! And the Frog and Toad books. My daughter dug out a bunch of my old Serendipity and Berenstein (sp?) Bear stories the last time we visited my folks, which meant a substantial part of 1 suitcase was books!

    • Zoe says:

      Serendipity books are the best! Try Boot and Shoe (Toot and Puddle always remind me of this book). My 3 yr old laughed her bum off at the pee pee tree and it has very lovely art and words.

  78. Nick says:

    “This Little Chick”, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, and “I Love You Stinky Face” are cool with my 2 yr old daughter right now. My bigger kids love the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus books that followed. Audio books (Percy Jackson) from the library have led to quieter bed times and car trips.

  79. Laurie says:

    When my boys were little, they loved anything by Dr. Seuss. Another particular favorite was I LOVE YOU STINKYFACE by Lisa McCourt.

    Now that they’re older, we have discovered the Captain Underpants series and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. (I think I like them more than my boys do lol)

    Anything that gets them to be quiet and read, though, is a winner in my book!

  80. Ashley says:

    Have a look here for some book ideas:http://m.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/may/12/best-childrens-books-two-four-years

    They have links to other ages at the bottom.

    As a child I was in love with the Ramona books by Beverly Clearly and the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  81. Marcy Heinrich says:

    My 20 month currently loves “Pout, Pout Fish” and “Little Blue Truck”.

  82. megan says:

    My favorite kid book is King Bidgood in the Bathtub- cute story but.the pictures are amazing! And since you have boys I’m going to recommend Walter the Farting Dog if you don’t already have it. My boys think its hilarious and we even have the stuffed farting dog which is endless amusement for them. Lol

  83. Melissa Marote says:

    We’ve read Goodnight Moon a million times and then one day we stumbled across “Good Night, Keith Moon” in a Japanese book store in Little Tokyo, L.A. Despite my objection, my husband started reading it to our 3-year-old daughter, and now it one of her favorites. In fact, the last time she threw up, she talked about being in “a pile of sick.”

  84. Jenn says:

    Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary books are awesome! We are in the addiction stage, and right now I really wish we had more of her books with the cats in them.

    • Jenn says:

      I guess I should say our son has been enjoying her books for about a year now and he is 22 months. But I don’t see them growing old for awhile :)

  85. Mai says:

    Oh, Amber, we’ve gone through all the six stages. Hooray for us! We usually read books that are available locally and that’s in our native dialect, Tagalog. I’m in the Philippines. Right now, we’re reading an English book “Sun” written by Steve Tomecek. I have to be imaginative with my voice and all because it’s not a story book. It’s a National Geographic book! For kids ages 4-8. It’s a fun science book and has great illustration from Carla Golembe.

    • Erin says:

      That whole line of books – Jump into Science – from National Geographic is fantastic. We have all of them, which include “Dirt”, “earthquakes” and “Volcano.” My five year old is obsessed with them all and we like them
      Because they are age appropriate with knowledge but we learn random things as well. (Age appropriate a big deal when one’s 4 year old becomes obsessed with natural disasters and can’t stop discussing Mount St. Helens.

      • mai says:

        I must get the other books in the series, then. The book was given to us as a gift. I must find the dirt, volcano and earthquake books in the local bookshop or online. Thanks for the info Erin. :)

  86. Ms Burrows says:

    Currently my youngest (almost 2) is all about Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! We have to read it all the time.

    My 3 year old was obsessed with potty books. I have no idea why, but OMG, I have never been so ready to throw a book away! She’ been potty trained for a while. Thankfully, that obsession has died down. Now it’s anything big sisters read.

    8 year old is mostly into non-fiction (sharks, dinosaurs, etc) but she will permit Magic Treehouse and Pokemon for some reason.

    10 year old likes scary stuff and fantasy. I think she read every Goosebumps book in existence. Right now she’s reading Seekers and Little House in the Big Woods.

  87. Jill says:

    Some of our current favorites are Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood (there are a few others that go with it), anything Pete the Cat by James Dean and Eric Litwin, and Chester by Melania Watt. (my 4-year-old LOVES Chester)

  88. Skye says:

    Any Jon J. Muth book is wonderful. He writes the stories and does the beautiful watercolor illustrations. Zen Shorts, Zen Ties and Zen Ghosts are all adapted from traditional Buddhist stories retold for children. The Three Questions and Stone Soup are also retellings of Buddhist tales with different characters than the Zen books. I love them so much I got Stillwater tattooed on my back. That’s book love.

  89. Kathleen says:

    Right now we are loving – ‘Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons’ by James Dean and Eric Litwin. Also ‘One’ by Kathryn Otoshi. and of course ‘where the wild things are’. (oh and ‘monster in my closet’)

    • Aimee says:

      Pete the Cat is a favorite at my house, too! Eric Litwin came to my son’s school and now we own and read all the Pete books nightly. I have to sing the song just like Mr. Eric!

  90. Jessica S. says:

    “Little Blue Truck” is a favorite around here (4-yo and 18-mo). And “One Duck Stuck” (18-mo and evyerone else, too). Hm, I’m sensing a theme, here…

    Oh, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” (and the others in the series)

    My 4-year-old really loves “Skippyjonjones” (the Mars one), but I’m kind of hating it every time he hands it to me. I can’t do the Spanish accent worth a darn.

    And the 6-year-old is REALLY into the Magic Treehouse series, if you’re looking for early reader chapter books. We’ve also picked up a few Roald Dahl (working on “The BFG” right now).

  91. Sophie says:

    In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox, Alexander’s Outing by Pamela Allen – they’re all fantastic picture books! For slightly older readers, but still with pictures, anything by Chris van Allsburg or Shaun Tan.

  92. Charly says:

    When my boys were younger they loved The Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik, anything written by Roald Dahl especially Matilda, and Click Clack Moo Cows That Type.

  93. Jenni says:

    Knuffle Bunny is still my favorite kiddo book. Both of my boys went heavy duty on the #2 Destruction phrase on our hardback copy. I got upset for the first page our crappy boy ripped, but I just kept taping the pictures back together, and now when our crappy baby rips one, it makes me smile. It is going to be the most Frankesteined book by the time our family is complete, but it will be the most treasured, too, because it will always remind me of our sweet destructive guys.

    And we are just started chapter books with our 3.5 year old. We have read a few chapters each of Wind in the Willows, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and (my childhood fave) Charlotte’s Web.

  94. Jessica says:

    It must be a book blogging week. I talked about importance of reading this week on my blog. We love the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes. There are tons of them and the kids won’t mind if I read a different one because they are all about Alfie. And there are no songs or anything so my son can’t complain about how I keep changing the tune. Everyone is a critic.

  95. Molly says:

    We are still in the destruction phase, but the favorite at the moment is Do Cows Meow?, which of course, has most of the animals faces ripped off.

  96. Melissa says:

    hilarious for kids with a goofy sense of humor – The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

  97. Heather says:

    My boys (same ages as yours) love love love the Mercy Watson books. Funny enough and officially a chapter book for the big guy, but still with fantastic pictures for the little guy.

  98. Beth says:

    This is SO ridiculously accurate it’s crazy! L-O-V-E your posts!

  99. Ms Burrows says:

    With all of my kids I’ve enjoyed reading the Sandra Boynton books probably the most. “Pajama Time” and “Barnyard Dance” are among my favorite.

    My kids like the Skippy Jon Jones books too. I think they are funny. My accent is awful, lol, but my kids don’t know any better.

  100. Lisa says:

    The Slant Book (hardback is better)

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Slant-Book-Peter-Newell/dp/0804805326/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1362780509&sr=8-1

    (You may want to practice the pronunciation before you read it to the kids the first time, but this book is great all the way from baby through grade school.)

  101. Emma says:

    Has The Gruffalo made it big in the US? It’s a solid fave along with a few others from the same author, Julia Donaldson, here in the UK.

    A fun pick for some English education is The Queen’s Knickers.

    Going on a We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, but that is pretty fun so it hasn’t worn too thin either, but you can do a lot with it and make it more interactive, think those are the best for not getting too sick of.

  102. Rachel says:

    I’ve only got a 5 month old, so we’re still in dr. seuss’s ABC and counting books, etc…I can remember books I liked as a kid though–anything by Roald Dahl is a winner, my favorite was The BFG; I liked Boxcar Children, Amelia Bedelia, and the beatrix Potter stories; if you still do picture books, there’s a poetry one called The dragons are singing tonight that my cousins totally loved when they were little kids. So many good books!

  103. Hillary says:

    We’ve read this one enough that my 4 year old daughter loves to read it to me now – “Annie’s Chair” by Deborah Niland… every night! It’s a library book and I can see us buying it soon… :)

  104. Audry says:

    We love or I should say my crappy baby loves the interactive Bigsby books from hallmark. It was the first book he actually would sit through and listen too. It was huge. There are 4 books and I know most of the phrases to get bigsby to talk with out the book. He also loves Thomas the train and I want to get him more lama lama books and skippy jones I just have to find them at half price books!

  105. Laurie says:

    We LOVE (ok, maybe addicted to) Junie B Jones … and I have boys your age! She Rocks!!!! I think she grows up and writes a “crappy blog” I am pretty sure ;)

    • Amanda says:

      I taught 1st grade and alllll my kids loved Junie B, boys as much as girls! If you ever make it through all of them, try the Roscoe Riley books by Katherine Applegate. Similar read with a male lead…healthy dose of chuckles. The first one is call Roscoe Riley Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs

      • Laurie says:

        Ok… Now I can NOT wait to read Roscoe Riley…if he’s anything like Junie… SO EXCITED ..yes, because we have read EVERY JBJ book ever!!! lol

        • Vanessa says:

          Am I the only one who can’t stand JBJ? She’s mean and rude and her grasp of the english language is appalling. My 1st graders don’t speak like that. We bought a couple when mine were going into kindi, but I had to keep editing and then my daughters learned to read we didn’t want them reading it. My twins are almost 7 now and really into the American Girl books. They seem to be well written and weave in a lot of history. We read Charlotte’s Web together and enjoyed it. There’s one part where a boy grabs his shotgun before getting on the school bus, and that kind of threw us off, but otherwise it is a great book! My 2 year old son is obsessed with the Little Engine That Could, Are You my Mother?, and Go Dog Go.

  106. karen says:

    At our house the current favourite is a Thomas the tank engine book, but my 2yo doesn’t have the patience to listen to all the boring pages so he keeps flipping back to the one with all the trains on it and naming them.
    Got to agree with recommendations for mo willems and Dr Seuss, also has crappy boy discovered captain underpants yet? he will love them, your whole family will!

  107. Morgan says:

    We’re reading classic Winnie the Pooh right now. I don’t care much for the shows but the book is wonderful!

  108. Erin G. says:

    I didn’t read all the comments but any book by John Lithgow is amazing… bonus point if it comes with the cd…because the cd is 1 million times better than reading/singing the book yourself.

  109. Katheryn says:

    My 4 year old adores the book “Press Here” by Herve Tullet. It is very very clever. My older kids love “The Ture Story of the 3 Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka. Again very clever and funny for adults too.

  110. Lisa Lutes says:

    I avoid #4 by doing a ‘sleeping song’ after I’m tired of reading books. That way if I’m into it (and the books are short) I can read as many as I want and if I’ve been waiting for bedtime since 8 am I can get away with reading a single short book and then offer up the song.

  111. Meredith says:

    Right now my daughter is obsessed with:

    Dr. Seuss – specifically Green Eggs and Ham (which I wrote a blog post about. http://www.frommeredithtomommy.com/2013/02/green-eggs-and-ham-mealtime-with.html)

    And the lowbrow, Budweiser of children’s books…cheap-o picture books with the Disney princesses sharing manners, how they dress for the ball, why they love spring, how they dance, their magical moments….etc, etc, etc.

    Somehow we have accumulated what seems like HUNDREDS of these from the dollar bins at Target, gifts from well-meaning friends, the dollar store, the fairy that gives little girls an innate understanding of the princess corporation. I am presented with a new one every 5.4 seconds to read. No matter how much I try to suggest books with a little more substance, I am rejected because Cinderella is SO PRETTY.

    And I was a teacher. I’m off to hang my head in shame.

    • amber says:

      Oh boy, I know exactly what you mean about the lowbrow Budweiser of children’s books. Those books always “get lost” by hitchhiking in a bag headed to the donation place.

      • Meredith says:

        That’s a smart idea, I’ve hidden books before when I got tired of the same one over and over. Maybe I could arrange for a few princesses to head under the couch for a while. She “reads” them herself now, and I love how excited she is, but there has GOT to be something she’ll latch onto that I can love too.

    • Laura says:

      Meredith, I am so right there with you. Every time we get a book order from my son’s preschool, I point out all the lovely classic stories and he IMMEDIATELY pounces on “Bubbleguppies” or “Lightening McQueen and the Easter Bunny” or some such commercialized crap. Sigh.

      One book I am happy he latched onto, though, was “Darth Vader and Son” by Jeffery Brown. We recite that one in the car all the time–usually I have to do the Vader voice while my three year old is Luke, but it’s even better when he does Vader. :)

  112. Jen says:

    I’ve been pulling old books out of my parent’s garage recently. We just finished Charlotte’s Web which was a big hit, also Wind in the Willows, and the Wizard of Oz went over pretty well (my daughter is 4 1/2). The next one is probably going to be Bunnicula!

    • amber says:

      Charlotte’s Web would be a great one for Crappy Boy, thanks!

      • Samantha says:

        My almost 5 year old really enjoyed Charlotte’s Web recently.

      • Melissa says:

        My five year old son LOVED “Charlotte’s Web” this year. Don’t forget E.B. White’s “Trumpet of the Swan” as well–fantastic for that age. We’re finishing up ALL the “Little House on the Prairie Books” which are his current obsession (and which has morphed into his imaginative play; he’ll order his sister, “you be Laura and work on your sewing and I’ll be Pa and go out with my gun and catch some deer that are old and going to die anyway and then when we come back you’ll help me prepare the meat for the smokehouse”…on the list of conversations you never expected to hear in your lifetime).

        My blog has lots of other recs. If you haven’t done the My Father’s Dragon trilogy, it’s one of my all-time favorite read-aloud chapter books: http://whattoreadtoyourkids.com/2012/05/04/my-fathers-dragon-fantasy/

  113. tam says:

    just last night I picked up a copy of one of the “Grug” books. no one ever seems to remember them from our childhood, except for me. or maybe I was the only one lucky enough to be exposed to Grug?!

    • Bee says:

      Grug was huge when I was growing up! Maybe that’s an Australian thing? He’s recently made a resurgence here in the book shops :)

    • Lee E says:

      We have lots of these & kids love em! Grug goes to the Beach is our favourite :)

    • Kerrie says:

      My kids 3 and 1 love Grug! Definitely an Aussie thing, Aussie author. We nearly have the entire collection and I have to read at least one of them a few times a day. Grug at the beach is a def favourite as well as Grug goes to hospital.
      Is making a resurgence, I have picked up most of our copies from BigW :) and you can get a set with a soft Grug toy. I loved them when I was a kid.

  114. leslie says:

    This librarian thanks you for promoting books for children the “right” way. : ) Yes let them, eat, drool on, cuddle and love books so they will become life long learners and lovers of books and stories for life.
    Just keep some board books in with the toys to be handled any way and any time baby wants and keep your super nice, sentimental ones on a high shelf for one on one sharing.

    Thanks again, and as for favorites…it changes ALL the time but I do have an extra soft spot for Sendak and Seuss.

  115. Brenda says:

    My two boys love “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch, “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, they can’t get enough, plus my mother read them to me as a child as well. I think of them as family tradition.

  116. Kim says:

    Horton hears a who and Horton hatches an egg are HUGE hits at our house!

  117. Rachel S says:

    My daughter loves the Mickey Mouse encyclopedia/learning set from my husband’s childhood. If I never have to read them again I’d be over joyed! My son is in love with Thomas and the shark car and Curious George Christmas. I have hidden books I can’t stand….with the reply oh it will show up.

  118. Rebski says:

    Anything Donaldson, peace at last, the tiger who came to tea, giraffes can’t dance, peepo, the jolly postman, we’re going on a bear hunt, the lighthouse keeper’s lunch, Winnie the witch, meg and mog. All loved by our nearly 3 yo and good enough to stop me getting bored when reading for the trillionth time. Worst books are those that come from a tv show like bob the builder. It just doesn’t translate from a show to a book and is like reading a play-too much dialogue!

  119. Amanda says:

    I could write a novel about all the kids books we love over here! I used to teach 1st grade plus now have a 4 yo and a 2 yo…so, ya know, I’m pretty much an expert. ;) That said my favorite hidden gem to introduce people to is The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend. It’s about a wily cat who sets out to build the perfect nest…to attract a chicken…who will lay eggs…for his omelet. But he gets a whole lot more than he bargains for. It’s awfully sweet…and if your kids love accents, it’s a good ‘un. I also always look at the Caldecott lists each year and check out the winner and honor books. My son’s favorites of thos this year have been Creepy Carrots, Green, and This is Not My Hat. One Cool Friend is awesome too!

    • amber says:

      Yes, the Caldecott list is such a great resource. I’ve been reserving the books at the library, going backwards in time on the list. Found so many great ones this way.

    • Christina says:

      Creepy Carrots was great. My 8, 6, and 4 year old all whined when I told them we had to take it back to the library.

  120. Katie says:

    My six year old was stuck on a Magic Tree House rut. They’re great, except he can read them completely on his own, so he reads them on his own at night when he’s supposed to be sleeping. We just started Geronimo Stilton, and I’m hoping to stay away from me reading him any more MTH books. I’d like to read him more classics, like Charlotte’s Web, and the Mouse and the Motorcycle series. My three year old doesn’t care what we read, but he does like Dr. Seuss, and anything with construction.

  121. Tina Buxbaum says:

    Walter the farting dog books are a hit with my little guy. Perfect for boys. Also Skippy John Jones and anything by Mercer Mayer.

  122. Mindy-J says:

    I love all the Todd Parr books and, luckily, my two year old is quite fond of them as well so I get to read them over, and over, and over haha. It’s Okay To Be Different is our favourite right now. I actually just bought her three more for her birthday but they are not the board books that we’re used to so I hide them between story times just in case she reverts back to stage 2 (which still happens once in a while).

  123. Alex says:

    My two year old loves “Little Bunny Follows His Nose”, complete with scratch and sniff stickers, oh yes! He also loves all the Mr. books (Mr. Silly, Mr. Grumpy, etc…).

    • amber says:

      Scratch & sniff stickers? Score. We had a holiday scratch & sniff book and the kids have over sniffed it. They LOVED that book.

  124. Anything By Audrey Wood and Don Wood, stories are supper sweet and fun for Adults to read but the Art work is AMAZING!!
    King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub is a favorite!

    • Christina says:

      Audrey and Don Wood are awesome! We LOVE King Bidgood! My 4 year old especially likes The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear.

      • Jenna says:

        Yes! I was completely ravenous about books growing up and loved these, in particular those written by Audrey and illustrated by Don. Lovely stories with gorgeous illustrations. (King Bidgood, Heckedy Peg – a teeny bit scary with the witch, The Big Hungry Bear, The Napping House, Piggies and Quick as a Cricket are all memorable).

        I bet your boys would love the Little Critter series as much as my brother did. Jan Brett’s winter wonderland books like The Mitten are beautifully written and illustrated, too.
        Probably one of my fave bedtime books of all time, though, is Can’t you sleep, Little Bear? So presh.

  125. Laura says:

    I forget the author’s name, but we’re big fans of a series of books called Mr. Putter and Tabby. They’re hilarious and the illustrations are fantastic too. I don’t mind reading those ones over and over :)

  126. Julie says:

    It might be a girl thing, because my boys (13 and 16) didn’t care for them, but I adored all the Frances the Badger (Russell and Lillian Hoban) Books and the Dorrie the witch (Patricia Coombs) books. Finally had a girl in January so I’ll be able to test, in a year or so, if it’s a gender thing.

  127. Rachael says:

    What about the George and Martha books by James Marshall? They actually have some wry adult-appreciated humor in kid-friendly form.

  128. Rachel Blackett says:

    My daughter use to love a book called Itsy-Bitsy Animals. She was obsessed. Then it was the Spot books. Then whenever we went to my in laws it was Wheels on the bus. Now she loves her Childrens Bible.

    I got a book called 10 little hermit crabs out from library once for her and loved it myself. Been looking for it since lol

  129. Karena says:

    I have to say I really loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books as a child and I’m getting my oldest (4 years old) into the Magic Treehouse series and my youngest (2 years old) loves the That’s Not My (fill in the blank, Monkey, Penguin, Lion, etc.). And Dr. Seuss never is wrong. =)

    I want to read the series that Rise of the Guardians is based from as well as some of the classics like Peter Pan and the like (I run an online Classic book club, I can’t help delving into those).

  130. Kelly says:

    My boys adore the “Bad Kitty” books. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath is a favorite. The poofball kitty when dried still makes my boys crack up!

  131. jen says:

    Richard Scarrry’s Henny’s lost Egg….you get to follow the path of the rolling egg until TaDa!! The egg hatches and you pet the fuzzy yellow chick at the end…both my boys LOVE this book!
    My faves are The Little Critter series from Mercer Mayer…actually anything Mercer Mayer is awesome! Oh, and you cannot forget Jack Kent’s Just Only John…hilarious!

  132. Kimberly says:

    Wow. Read through all the comments and only in the last few did anyone even mention Sandra Boynton. She is a must read! Especially “Pajama Time” (with rhythm and shouting as appropriate), “But Not the Hippopotamus”, “The Belly Button Book” (even more fun when you know the tune to the song the hippos sing, which is on one of her albums), “Hippos Go Berserk”, and “Red Hat, Green Hat” (not too many words in that one, but the pictures are giggle inducing in a little one.

    Also, her albums are great. The music is actually good, not overly simplistic “kid stuff” that so many people produce.

    A few other favorites in the board book age range: “Sheep in a Shop” by Nancy Shaw, “Tumble Bumble” by Felicia Bond, and our all time favorite “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney. That one is a great father and son book in our house.

    I could go on for ages with chapter books when you get to that stage, but one collection I didn’t see mentioned are the Mary Poppins books.

  133. marie says:

    yep. my son always giggles at bad kitty. especially because he looks a lot like our very bad kitty!

  134. Brandy P says:

    If you don’t mind longer books read over many nights, my kids LOVED Bunnicula. I was dubbed “the best present picker outer ever!” for giving a friend’s daughter the first three books bound together for her birthday.

    Skeleton Hiccups is great for some silliness.

    A Beasty Story for a not so scary story :)

  135. Sara says:

    Dr. Seuss is a favorite in our house. My older son (4.5 yo) seems to be more of a non-fiction guy already. He loves his Lego magazines, and books about astronauts and outer space and rocket ships and such. That said, we’re also on book 5 in the Chronicles of Narnia which he has thoroughly enjoyed so far. We also went through “House at Pooh Corner” several times in a row with him. One HUGE favorite from the library not too long ago was “Moo Cow Kaboom” by Thurston Hurd. Basically a cow gets kidnapped by a space cowboy to be taken to another galaxy for the intergalactic rodeo. It’s really funny! And “The Cow Loves Cookies” by Karma Wilson was another big hit. We’ve also enjoyed the cow books by Doreen Cronin and the Duck books by Jackie Urbanovich.

    My younger son (almost 2) likes any book with animals, and anything that allows him to practice talking, so lots of the “first words” type books. Other favorites are the spot books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear Brown Bear, and some Winnie the Pooh board books.

  136. emma sheppard says:

    We were given all of the underpants books (dinosaurs love underpants etc) for my little man’s 1st birthday, they are quite good fun to read even though they are probably more suited to older children than him. Anything by Julia Donaldson is a good shout we are currently addicted to Tabby McTatt and even have it on cd for the car.

  137. Angel says:

    On my business page I asked 2 weeks ago for some of my customers to give me their kids favorite books and we compiled a little list! Both of my kids (1.5 and 3.5years) are obsessed with the Llama Llama books. Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Home with Mama, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Time to Share etc etc :) You can read a few of them for free on http://www.wegivebooks.com too! That’s where we originally found them and them I bought all the Llama Llama books for the kids for Christmas.

  138. meganleiann says:

    A Bad Case of the Stripes and Oliver are the only two favorites I haven’t seen listed.
    On a sadistic note- we’ve reserved Fox in Sox for guests. Whenever we have new dinner guests we ask them to read the boys a “super special” bedtime story. We’re creating lots of good memories over here. :)

  139. Anne says:

    But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton. However, you must read it backwards, as in start on the last page and read each word in reverse order. Hippopotamus the not but. My kids have loved this :)

    • Sheindal says:

      Must try that! Though I have to say I prefer her Moo, Baa, La La La! I remember reading it to my baby sister when I was 8…

  140. Jessica says:

    Loved this post!

    My son loves BabyLit’s Pride and Prejudice
    counting book (memorized because we read it so often and luckily the cleverest, cutest book ever)

    Other favorites are Otis the tractor, Monster at the End of the Book, Make Way for Ducklings, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

  141. Sara Campbell says:

    Harry and the Terrible Whatsit
    The astonishing secret of Awesome Man
    Tree Circus

    Sorry if repeats, I didn’t real all 900 comments!

  142. claire says:

    I’m loving this and all the recommendations :0) I really feel that it’s such an important activity for every child to be involved in. My 20mth old son loves Dear Zoo (we have the original and the touch and feel editions) and Farm 123 – both by Rod Campbell, and yes, he is always ahead of us telling us what is coming next! (And of course any book that is Thomas the tank engine related !!!)

  143. Fuchsia says:

    We are reading a lot of Robert Munsch these days. They are short enough to get through 3 at bedtime (because bedtime NEEDS three books apparently) but entertaining enough that the grown ups like them. All except “Love you forever” because Mummy can’t get thought it without crying. Not matter how many times I try! I just can’t get desensitized to that book.

  144. Caroline Webster says:

    I’m not sure if you can get these books in the US but my boys (5, 4 and 2) love every book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Some titles off the top of my head are..The Gruffalo, Zog, Stick Man, Superworm. She has written loads of books and every one is available in the wonderful format that is a board book :) they are very popular here in the UK and I have to read them every night to my boys.

  145. Allison says:

    Among many others already mentioned above, I would recommend “The Little House” — and no, it’s not by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s about a little house that used to live in the country but the city grows up around it… one of our favorites. And I have 3 boys.

    Of course, right now my husband just finished reading The Hobbit to the older two (ages 6 and 4) – I’m not sure how to follow such an endeavor!

  146. elisabeth says:

    The Rats of NIMH was a favorite series of mine growing up. Same with Little House on the Prairie, and at Christmas time,the Best Christmas Pagent Ever. All chapter books, but awesome.

    And my mom read us all the nancy drew & hardy boys books!

  147. DandysGirl says:

    Oh, so many to choose from but for two rowdy boys, you should try the “Soup” series by Robert Peck about the friendship in the 1920s between a boy named Robert and his mischievousness friend named Soup. Maybe also the Fudge books by Judy Bloom.

    • Eileen says:

      I second the Fudge series recommendation! I loved those as a girl, and my 5-year-old son has really enjoyed the audiobook versions. They are read by the author, which is a huge plus! Another current favorite, and also available as audiobooks, is the “Gooney Bird Greene” series by Lois Lowry.

      • Denise says:

        We love the Fudge books too- but parents beware- Superfudge clearly states that Santa isn’t real. Save it for when the kids are older!

  148. Jess says:

    My husband is a huge nerd (and I love him for it) and he has read The Hobbit to our 4.5 year old and now is reading him the Fellowship of the Rings and he is LOVING it he actually fights going to sleep so he can hear more. Also we didnt finish it because was too into the lord of the rings books but started and loved the The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick even our 2 year old liked it because there is a lot of cool pictures. For picture books we love NO David books they even make bored books too!

  149. Jaimie says:

    I’n amazed that no one has mentioned Oliver Jeffers yet. He’s far and away my favourite children’s author. Start with Lost and Found. You won’t be sorry.

    • Jennifer says:

      I fully endorse this comment. Have been scrolling through to see if anyone else would mention him. Though, I have to admit that Stuck and The Incredible Book Eating Boy are my favorites!

      Also, Amber, I think both your boys will love The Little Mole Who Knew That It Was None Of His Business. It’s a book about poop. Finally, Crappy Boy is probably about the right age for The Phantom Toolbooth…not as scary as it sounds. A novel about word- and grammar-play.

      Thanks for the awesome post; I’m in another window reserving library books as I scroll through!

  150. Madeleine says:

    How about The Twits by Roald Dahl – lots of yukkiness and dirt that small kids love. (Haven’t read it in a long time, though).

  151. pepperice says:

    We love “The dog who could dig” right now. It’s about a dog who can’t find his bone so he digs up increasingly unlikely things, it’s great. And DS is obsessed with Stick Man by the author of The Gruffalo.

    Although, he’s also in the major obsession phase over those little tiny board books which come in a square 2×2 inch box of 6, and are aimed at about one year olds. Someone bought him a truckload for Christmas and he is enthralled by them. They are deathly boring! Luckily they only have four pages each.

  152. Sara says:

    The gruffalo, my kids love that book SO much..and if I don’t do the voice? They yell at me lol. I think I know that story off by heart now.

  153. Lee E says:

    Maybe just an Australian thing but we read the print thin on Pamela Allen’s book “Who Sank the Boat” when my daughters were small. We loved Belinda, & all the Mr McGee books, also by Pamela Allen… she has fantastic illustrations! The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton has inspired hundreds of backyard games around our big tree too. Backbeard by Matt McElligot was a chance library find & it was brilliant!! http://matthewmcelligott.com/backbeard/index.php

  154. Stephanie B says:

    My girls are totally into Pete the Cat. And the bonus is that when I’m tired of re-reading the book for the millionth time, the author is kind enough to have a YouTube of a library reading, with music. I get to do dishes, the girls get their book read to them and get their groove on, too.

  155. Erin says:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-Cone-Coot-Other-Birds/dp/0819304433 Ice Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds is my favorite picture book. I love The Twits by Rald Dahl and Socks by Beverly Clearly to read aloud.

  156. Becky F says:

    The Chocolate Touch & How to Eat Fried Worms! I just read them to my kiddos and it was awesome!

  157. Corrie says:

    Dr Suess and in particular The Little Bug That Went Kachoo. Also a funny book, Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear, great laugh for adults too. A Blue Day Book for Kids is great when they have had a bad day and The Diary of a Wombat and Wombat Stew have been favourites with all my kids. It’s all in the funny voices I find and my kids respond to humour, so no long serious ones here.

  158. Kristy says:

    We love anything by Mo Willems… the Pigeon series is awesome, and so is Elephant and Piggie. This is where the voices are hard for us… hubby and I read them each differently, and the 4yo is very specific about how it should be said.

    Sandra Boynton is awesome too, but if you’re looking for more story-like books, we also like Dr. Seuss and “The Hello, Goodbye Window.” Of course, anything by Roald Dahl is considered literary gold in my book!

  159. Mel says:

    Please, my oldest could kick a board book’s butt. He’d chew/slobber on the spines until he could peel those away, then he’d take off one board page at a time. He grew out of it at around two and learned to read at three.

  160. Erin says:

    Two of my favorites are “The Juggling Pug” by Sean Bryan and “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen. Both are short (which is really important sometimes), but fun to read and funny for the kids and adults. I also really like “Sun Bread” by Elisa Kleven, which is a great whimsical book with beautiful illustrations.

  161. mlegreenberg says:

    I always loved “Sideways Stories From Wayside School”. Each chapter is about a different kid in the class so while they tie together enough for an older child, a younger one can still enjoy following along as it just seems like funny stories about different kids. And the chapters are a nice short length so if you just want to read one a night it works or you can do several when you have more time. There is also a second book…name was something like “More Stories from Wayside” I think. They were funny and cute.

  162. Sue says:

    My 9 year old is currently reading the Bunnicula series. He’s on the 4th of 6. It’s told through the eyes of a family dog. His family brought home a bunny which the family cat thinks is a vampire who preys on vegetables leaving them white. Very cute.

  163. Alison says:

    Maurice Sendak (In the Night Kitchen is delightfully weird), Dr. Seuss (they are all pretty much great), Richard Scarry (love these more for the drawings than the stories), Pippi Longstocking, Eloise (all of them), and of course Shel Silverstein!

  164. Amanda N says:

    Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw (I think that’s who wrote it) there is also Sheep in a Shop, …in a Ship etc. I love Jan Brett’s illustrations. She has many good books: The Hat, The Mitten, Trouble with Trolls. Ann Dewdney has written a series of fun books about a little Llama: Llama Llama Red Pajamas. We also enjoy some Rold Dahl. ‘Stink The Stinker’ is Judy Moody’s little brother and has his own fun series of books. All kindergarten & 1st grade kids need to read Junie B Jones series. Can you tell we love to read too!

  165. Baguette usually has about 8 books in rotation at any time, but the lineup changes. Thank goodness.

    She had a stage that I don’t see here: isolation. For several months, she refused to let us read to her. She would pull the book–and herself–away and sit on her own, turning the pages and narrating in babble.

  166. Jo says:

    The Elephant and the Bad Baby is a favorite for us. You might need to order it from AmazonUK.

  167. Sara says:

    If you are looking for chapter books, what about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? Nice that each chapter is its own story. For picture books, anything by Jan Brett.

  168. Holly says:

    My boys both love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It’s a chapter book, so I was wary of reading it to a 5 and 3 year old, but we finished it in less than a week. All about cars and putting them together and of course flying cars. And Legos. And life-size helicopters made out of Legos. So basically everything boys love.

  169. Fenny says:

    As an experiment, Mum taught me to read (to see if she could) when I was 2. As soon as I could read books for myself, I hated being read to. Story time at nursery and school was painful to me and it was extremely rare for me to ever put up with Mum or Dad reading to me in bed. About the only book I can remember having read to me at home was “The Discontented Pony” (Dad called it “The DIsconnected Pony”), about a carousel pony who wanted to be real.

    Not being read to didn’t diminish my love of books, it just cut out some of the stages for Mum & Dad. I think the worst stage for Mum was when I was too small to go to the library on my own. We’d come home and I’d read my 6 books, then demand to go back and get more. I must have been 7 or 8 before we were allowed to go without parental accompaniment.

    • Sheindal says:

      You may not see this, but of interest, did your mum follow any specific method to teach you at that age? I was reading by 4, my mum had trained as a primary school teacher and I know I felt the same kind of boredom reading in class. My son is learning now at 3.5, but there’s no way he’s book ready yet!

      • Fenny says:

        No specific method, but she had always been interested in teaching reading. After I started school, she got a job as a remedial reading teacher for 5 – 7 year olds. She then went on to do an OU degree that covered a lot of courses in child development and then trained with the Dyslexia Association.

        I’m guessing we covered letter sounds first, but then she made a set of flashcards with words on. Started with things like “mummy” and “daddy” and went on from there. I know “piano” was in there at one stage. It was very much a game to me to read “my words”. I went to nursery at 3 1/2 and my first class teacher said I was fluent at that stage. When I went to infant school, I’d already read the entire Ladybird reading scheme (but they made me read it again in the first 2 weeks!). Then they just gave me the run of the books in the school.

        • Sheindal says:

          Thanks for the reply! My mum had a big poster sized piece of card and we stuck up words on little bits of cardboard as I learned them. Before I knew them I remember we kept them in a tobacco tin (no idea where she got that from, she never smoked!). You’ve inspired me to do more with my son, currently he does most at nursery, but I shall try and fit some more in at home too :-)

          • Fenny says:

            I hope it’s fun for both of you.

            When my nieces were tiny, one of their older cousins typed up a set of words for things around the house for them. They cut them out and stuck them on the appropriate object. So everywhere there were little labels saying “door”, “chair”, “mirror” etc.

            Back when Mum was teaching, she had to make most of her own resources. I remember her making a game at the time of the 1970 World Cup. It was the names of all the England squad and the club sides they played for, split into syllables – Mar-tin Pe-ters, Pe-ter Shil-ton, etc (Leicester City was a bit of a tough one to split). The kids had to collect the syllables to make up the entire name and club to win the points. We always got to preview the games at home (and I think that one still exists somewhere!).

  170. bend mom says:

    “999 Tadpoles” as well as “Visitor for Bear” are some of my favorites. Our two boys are big into any super hero books which drive me crazy, and another popular one is any “Ten little Monkey” books which I feel luke warm over:). Because my uncle is the son of Don Freeman, we always have Corduroy books around! For Christmas time, one of the sweetest one’s ever is “Bear Stays Up for Christmas”. Love the sentiment in that book.

  171. Kristin says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the Winnie The Pooh books, my daughter loves them. For car rides (or quite time at home) a British company made wonderful audio books a few years back of the two pooh books, with narrations by amazing British actors (Judie Dench, Stephen Frye).

    • Fenny says:

      My brother didn’t like our copy of Winnie the Pooh. The version we had had a picture on the front of Pooh thinking about the heffalump. My brother thought the elephant was sitting on Pooh’s head.

  172. bend mom says:

    Oh and our six year old boy is now really into “Where the Sidewalk Ends” poems which are great.

  173. Frances says:

    My almost 3 year old currently loves Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons, and Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go (or something like that).

  174. Michaela says:

    I did not read all the comments, so perhaps someone mentioned it already, but “Good NIght, Good Knight” was a favorite with us.

  175. Moose says:

    My 4 year old wants to read Walter the Farting Dog over and over.

  176. Dawn says:

    My favorite books, as a child, The Giving Tree, The Boxcar Children series and The Trumpet of The Swan.

  177. Karen says:

    Anything by Jon Scieszka is great but my kids love Cowboy and Octopus. “Knock Knock?” “Ain’t nobody there!”
    Also Ninja Cowboy Bear… awesome! And it’s a game! It’s like rock, paper, scissors but you use your whole body!

  178. Emily says:

    Mouse Count has been a consistent favorite with my kids and with the preschool classes I’ve taught over the years (side note? It looks like the dumbest book ever, but has somehow been a gigantic success every. single. time.). Make sure to do a “scary” snake voice and a high-pitched mouse voice, and you’ll be golden.

  179. Michelle says:

    We are currently reading Igraine the Brave for the zillionth time since my Mom got it for the boys this summer. I love it but I am so ready for somethinng new.

  180. Sarah E. says:

    We love “The Boss Baby” by Marla Frazee. Great pictures and a fun story. We’ve also been reading the Complete Curious George Collection with my 2 year-old daughter who loves to say, “George, don’t be curious” in her little girly voice. So cute!

  181. Kathleen says:

    When I was a girl I loved the “Madeline” books. Last Saturday we had a baby shower for my 33 yr. old daughter. My eldest gifted her with the collection of children’s books that we had accumu;ated in the 39 yrs. since she was born. I gave them to her when she was pregnant with my 16 yr. old grandson. The very first book I pulled out was “Blueberries For Sal”. Going through those books brought back so many memories of reading them to each of my children.When my son, was little he loved the “Tom & Pippo” series.

  182. Angela says:

    Currently it’s “There’s a Nightmare in my Closet” It belongs to the library. We have had it for 6 months. I’m scared to return it but always forget to buy our own copy. Maybe he will begin loving another book? Eventually. He also knows per our nighttime routine rules that he can pick two books and we read two bible stories (about three paragraphs each). He will try to barter with more books, but if I even think about only one book plus bible story…NOT happening :-)

  183. Bee says:

    Fantastic Australian books (if you can get them): By Alison Lester – “Magic Beach”, “The long journey home” and “Imagine”… Pretty much everything of hers! Pamela Allen is also great: “Grandpa and Thomas” and the “Mr McGee” books immediately spring to mind. I agree about Julia Donaldson, a recent favourite was Tabby McTatt (Meee, yoooou and the old guitar. How purrrrfectly happy we are). “Where is the green sheep” by Mem Fox is great for littler tots. I’m also a huge fan of Charlie & Lola by Lauren Child (“I will not ever never eat a tomato”) They’re loads of fun & a great older sibling role model!! Enjoy :)

  184. Ellen says:

    Mike Mulligan is a current favorite, along with the Wimpy Kid books, and the Magic Treehouse. My teenager (15 1/2), who now devours books (he has read all 7 Harry Potter books every summer for the past 4 years, started out with Captain Underpants, because he didn’t “like” to read… gateway book. All three kids love to read now, and watching my 6 year old kindergartener grasp the words is still amazing, even though it’s the third time I’m watching someone learn to read. Books are awesome, and so is your blog!

  185. Andrea Kelly says:

    Chicky chicky chook chook for your little guy (CRASH! BANG! WALLOP! WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT?!? is the best part!)

    The Giant Jam Sandwich
    Cloudy w/a Chance of Meatballs (the non movie version)
    Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – there’s a couple of these. I remember my 3rd grade teacher reading these to us. They’re fun and have great lessons.

    And of course, your book….say, now when does that come out? ;~>

  186. Kjester says:

    Dr Seuss “the sleep book “ and whoever wrote “don’t let the pigeon drive the bus” and all of their other books. Incredible.

  187. Lynn says:

    One of our favorite bedtime books, and was a regular for EVERY bedtime for awhile, is I love you Stinky Face.

  188. Tegan says:

    Oh yes! This is perfect! Completely describes my 2yr old! The fave book right now is ‘there’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake’ (Australian) One of my favorites as a child and now his… Every day he wants me to “read potomus” about 100 times!!

  189. Jenna says:

    The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss.

  190. Amanda says:

    An Australian favorite is Jackie French’s Diary of a Wombat. When I talk to teenage kids about their favorite books from childhood they ALL mention this book, and my 2 year old son currently loves it. Hairy Maclary books are also a big hit. They are popular in Australia too, but you can get some titles in the US. I can even read Hairy over and over again and not get tired of it! On a side note, a friend with no children yet was curious that my 2 year old son LOVES books so much and asked when I started reading to him. My answer….negative 8 months! I swear he knew Brown Brown, Brown Bear at birth. So there is that sweet step before the “Consumption” stage of a big belly and a daddy reading to it.

  191. Fran says:

    Dogger by Shirley Hughes

  192. Katelyn says:

    The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
    The Stinky Cheese Man
    My mom read these to us when we were kids. They are still just as awesome to read as an adult.

  193. Jill says:

    Pete the Cat series by Eric Litwin (specifically I Love My White Shoes). Catchy songs, too.

  194. Sharon Louise says:

    Read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” for 24 years straight to First Grade then parents helped put on a fantastic Narnia party. At home……”The Three Trees” and “Skippy Jon Jones”….especially when read by my grown up son with a great accent.

  195. Tiffany says:

    Mr Brown can moo!

  196. Karen says:

    My grandson’s current favorite is “I’ll Trade my Peanut-Butter Sandwich”. I have to read it to him three or four times in a row, two or three times a day. If I am tired of reading it, he will recite it to himself, except everything gets traded for a butt. “I’ll trade my peanut-butter sandwich for a BUTT. I’ll trade my Mr. Man Action Figure for a BUTT.”
    Four year old boys are so special.

  197. Daniella says:

    “I’m a Little Teapot” by Iza Tripani. Cute the first time. But you sing different words to the same tune on every page. 10 times in a row. Before bed time. My 16 month old walks into the room and says “Pot! Pot!” :)

    • amber says:

      So funny you mention that one, we got it from the library last week and it has been in bedtime rotation for 8 days straight. I hate it already! LOL

    • Peranting says:

      We have her Itsy Bitsy Spider. Who knew that song had so many verses?

  198. Shannon says:

    It was strange, as a baby my daughter was very careful with paper books. It was only ever board books that she tried to destroy.
    Some of my favorites: The Dot and The Line (A Romance in Lower Mathematics), The Dot, Ish, Press Here, and Seen Art?

  199. Ashley says:

    We love so many of the books that other people have mentioned! I’ll suggest one that you might not have heard of that is hard to find, but definitely worth seeking out for when the kids can sit through some longer stories (my daughter just turned 5 and we read 1 chapter a night). Catwitch by Lisa Tuttle/Una Woodruff. It had (good) witches, wizards, fairies; all of the things you really need to prepare your kid to be a dungeons and dragons playing weirdo when they grow up! ;)

  200. Amy says:

    Our favorites are The Owl who became the Moon by Jonathan London and Mama, Why? by Karma Wilson. Actually anything by Karma Wilson all the Bear books are cute and we love the rhyming!

  201. Fenny says:

    I don’t know if they are available in the US, but the “What a Mess” stories by Frank Muir are wonderful. They’re about an Afghan hound puppy, who has an elegant mother and a long kennel name, but is known as “What a Mess” because he’s always getting tangled up in something and dirty from playing in the garden.

    The illustrations are amazing. There’s a whole army of little creatures that live in the grass, who have a whole separate set of activities going on across the bottom of the pages. Mum bought them for me as a teenager, but I love them to pieces 30 years later.

  202. Erica says:

    right now we are really into a set of books that my mom bought them for Christmas. There’s a dinosaur, snake, bugs, mighty machines, and sharks book. They are educational with fun facts etc and are fun to read. The covers are lenticular not sure who published/wrote them.

    I heart Roald Dahl Esio Trot is one of my personal favorites.

    • Erica says:

      I should clarify. My 3 yr old is into the lenticular books. My 8 yr old is really into Magic Tree House and my 6 yr old loves Dr Seuss more than anything in the world right now. I checked out a bunch for her that I’d never heard of the last time I went to the library.

  203. Crystal says:

    My daughter seems kind of stuck in stage two (and that’s even with us holding the books), but she really loves Skippyjon Jones, Small Pig, and Giggle Giggle Quack.

  204. Please, please, please check out the book Press Here by Herve Tullet. It is seriously a brilliant book for kids and adults! LOVE IT! :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj81KC-Gm64

  205. Mandy says:

    Owly and Wormy series – graphic novels for kids!

    Monkey with a Toolbelt – seriously – anything with tools captivates my kid but this has fun pictures and good writing.

    I’m reading him the Mouse and the Motorcycle and he loves it! The good thing about chapter books is they can’t memorize them.

  206. Bahia says:

    Pickle Things was my all time favorite as a kid. I think it’s out of print, sadly. What’s not to love about a book where everything is made of pickles?

    • emily says:

      I have a copy of pickle things from my childhood, just found it in mum’s storage locker and shared it with my 2 boys, they loved it but of course whats funnier than everything pickles to a 5 and a 2 year old? butt things or fart things…sigh

  207. Julia C K says:

    Oliver Jeffers is a favourite author around here these days. The stories seem to follow the logic of a young child. “Stuck” is great, as are the boy series (To Catch a Star, the Way Back Home, Lost and Found, Up and Down).

  208. LAF says:

    Both my kids ages 3 and 6 enjoy the Pete the Cat books. My 6-year-old can read them to his little sister.

  209. Emerald says:

    Oh my, how to pick between all the awesome books for kids? I’d say no childhood is complete without The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Cat in the Hat, Goodnight Moon, and I’ll Love You Forever (which makes me cry when I read it) for the older reader (my daughter is ten) Harry Potter all the way. Not only has my daughter read them all multiple times but she also requested her own personal copies, even though we already have a set in the house. lol

  210. Autumn says:

    Animalia by Graeme Base is awesome. So fun to hunt through all the pictures to find everything that starts with the letter. My 2.5 year old daughter LOVES naming all the items. Everytime we read it we find more.

    http://www.amazon.com/Animalia-Picture-Puffins-Graeme-Base/dp/0140559965

    • tc says:

      The Water Hole by same author.

      We’ve been through three of them. In hardcover. No joke. Hours of pleasure.

  211. Sheindal says:

    Board books were not safe either from my now 3.5 yr old when he was about 1.5-2.5 years. I still have a pile of them (plus paperbacks that I stupidly trusted him with) that need hundreds of bits glueing back on when I get a spare day…(Though yes, you are right, if I ever get a spare day the likelihood of me spending it glueing fiddly bits of paper to the spine of a board book are slight.)

    My oldest’s at the stage where picture/word books like the Julia Donaldson ones are fun, but a bit too young in mental development terms, whereas many of the chapter books from the library are a bit too old in violence/concepts he hasn’t quite grasped/relationship terms yet as they are written more for 8 years olds plus etc to read to themselves. Have gone ahead anyway with the books for older readers, which his dad reads to him every night while I’m with his younger brother, but in the daytimes when I read to them together we read ones they both ‘get’. He didn’t really display the addiction stage though his younger brother does so a bit. We have a 3 story rule before nap/bedtime, though not if they are chapter books of course…mind you, it does sometimes creep up to 4 or 5.

    The younger one (27 months) is really into nursery rhymes at the moment (the other night when he wasn’t well I caught him performing a medley of them in his sleep!) and as well as all the standards we read childrens poetry too, for example “”Who’s that tickling my back?” said the wall.” and “Cats Sleep Anywhere” by Eleanor Farjeon and many others.

    Books I remember from long ago include the Meg and Mog series, Joyce Lankester Brisley’s Milly-Molly-Mandy books (very traditionally British!), the Ramona Quimby books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and for slightly older readers Joan Aiken’s, Susan Cooper’s and Alan Garner’s fantasy series. Oh I wish I had my books! I read voraciously as a child and read most of my mum’s adult books by the time I was 16, but have pretty much regressed to easy to digest chick lit and action/adventure type ones these days. No more Dostoevsky…All my childhood books have been in storage for about 15 years unfortunately since I finished uni as I have no room for over 2000(!) of them, but I’ve been collecting Roald Dahls from my local charity shops recently, so we might start on The Twits soon once the Winnie the Pooh series is done. He’s also recently read Flat Stanley.

    For when yours are older, my most favourite author ever, who died almost exactly 2 years ago and doesn’t get enough press in these Harry Potter days (her writing was far superior I think) is Diana Wynne Jones. You may have seen the Howl’s Moving Castle anime film and in Britain there was a television version of Archer’s Goon, she wrote for teenagers as well as younger children (though I haven’t ever seen any of her picture books) and adults too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Wynne_Jones_bibliography She started writing in the 70s so alot are out of print, but I occasionally come across them in charity shops or on the famous auction site…

    Oops, appear to have got a bit over-excited here, I’d better stop :-)

    • Tamsin says:

      Oh, I loved all the same authors growing up, especially Diana Wynne Jones and Alan Garner, but hadn’t remembered all the names/books. Thanks for the reminder!

      Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome were huge favourites from around age 7-8 I think. I wonder if they would seem dated now or not? I read a lot of them as first editions, from my father’s childhood. Wonder what happened to them…

  212. Juliana B says:

    A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland is a big favorite here (it is old and hard to find, but worth trying); Fresh Fish by John Kilaka (there is even a sort of hidden moral to the story); The Great Pie Robbery and other Stories by Richard Scarry (so many Scarry books have no narrative, this one does); I recently bought a bunch of Little Golden Books “Classic” stories: Scuffy the Tugboat, Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, Nurse Nancy, Little Mother, Wonders of Nature, The Little Red Caboose–they have good narrative, aren’t bad to read more than once, and the illustrations are fantastic. (Plus they are cheap books!) Caps for Sale is another classic; The McDuff stories (I admit, after 2+ years of them I’m a bit fatigued, but they are good for the first 50 reads); also: A 20th Century Treasury of Children’s Literature, which is a huge coffee table style book that includes a ton of great early 20th century kid-lit like Mike Mulligan, Make Way for Ducklings, Where the Wild Things Are, Amelia Bedelia, and a whole bunch of others that I’m forgetting right now. Full text, with pictures, all compiled in a nice hard back book. Oh, and I can’t forget the complete Thomas collection by Rev. Awdry–get the original stories with the original illustrations (the newer stories just aren’t as good as the originals). I don’t mind re-reading the Thomas stories, and they have the advantage of each story being relatively short, but there are lots to choose from.

    We also have the entire ChildCraft series (you can find them on ebay for a variety of prices)–the first and second volumes are classic nursery rhymes, limmericks, short stories by classic authors and other little ditties, complete with whimsical illustrations. The kids love them. The later volumes include folk and fairy tales, but my kids are a little young for them yet.

  213. Tricia says:

    My sons favorite, has been for about 2 years now, is I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll. He gets very upset if I mix up the voices for each monster and corrects me everytime. And forget about skipping a page….
    My daughters favorite is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. He’s one of my favorite authors too :)

  214. Jo says:

    Love it!

    I used stage 4 to my advantage when weaning at nap time. I laid down with a *pile* of books, invited the little one over to “read on the blanket”, and then just read and read until he zonked out. Voila – no more nursing to sleep.

  215. Meg M says:

    Harriet the Spy! And any of the other Roald Dahl books. I read and reread The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, lots of others :)

  216. Meg M says:

    Oh and Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang. Some of these might be too old yet but AWESOME!

  217. Karin P says:

    So true. We are in a “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” rut. And I’ve been chastised for saying “lie” instead of “lay” in the Very Hungry Caterpillar. And “a” instead of “the”. Tough crowd here.

  218. Mercedes says:

    Peter Rabbit! My father does an awesome acting out, and the kids get mad whenever anyone else tries to read it: “That’s not how Bonka does it.” Well, I’m not Bonka!!! My baby also loves The Eye Book right now.

  219. Julia says:

    Haha, love this. So true. We are on #4 – Accumulation right now with our 13 months old. Nice to see what lies ahead. Going to start practicing my voices now :)

  220. Allyson says:

    My daughter’s first solid food was a big bite of “Go Dog, Go!”
    As for book recommendations, anything by Mo Willems, anything by Maurice Sendak, and for chapter books, James and the Giant Peach and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.

  221. Erin says:

    We adore the magic treehouse!She used to call it Jack and Annie….we had them on CD so if we were to tired to read…..well it worked…but I like them because we could do one chapter a night and still feel a sense of accomplishment…and there is morals and problem solving skills and I am sure a whole bunch of other stuff

  222. Jennifer Fox-Moody says:

    Some of my favorites: “The Rainbow Fish”, “The Velveteen Rabbit”, “Aesop’s Fables”, “Stellaluna”, “The “Just So” Stories” by Kipling, “The Ralph Mouse Collection”, “Corduroy”, and “On the Night You Were Born”, among others…

  223. Femke says:

    Anything by Mem Fox, or the Magic Faraway books, or The Very Cranky Bear, or The Very Hungry Bear, more Roald Dahl. Oh, and Andy Griffith – Robot Riot, The Pencil of Doom. They were all favourites during reading time at school when I was teaching six year olds.

  224. Connie says:

    We love Mo Willems books, especially the pigeon books. I can’t read The Spooky Old Tree enough times for my 4 year old. And I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen are my personal favorites for their dark humor, much better for grownups than little kids.

  225. I hate the destroying phase!!

    For sweet storybooks, it’s hard to beat jamberry by Bruce degan.
    Don’t let the ugly pictures turn you off, they grow on you.

    I just read Henry Huggins with my four year old. Danny the champion of the world is absolutely awesome ( a chapter book.)

  226. KayGray says:

    We LOVE “Killer Gorilla” by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross – great book for voices (about mamma mouse who has lost her baby then gets chased all over the world by a “killer gorilla” who is very scary but at the end the gorilla was just trying to return her baby that he found – I felt some explanation was necessary given the title)

  227. Maureen says:

    I started reading my son the Harry Potter series when he was four – one chapter a night. We both loved it. It was a sad/proud day when volume 5 finally came out and he was ready to read it to himself.

  228. akorn says:

    I love love love all the Boynton books, and I’ve discovered Press Here by Herve Tullet as an amazing little kid book (interactive without any real gimmicks, but not much for a story).

  229. Ah, this is the perfect post for today ^_^ I’m a writer, usually adult fiction, but earlier, I was telling my niece a story and decided to write it down. She gave me some input, and now I’m writing a sweet little fairy tale without the annoying stereotypes that these stories usually try to teach kids. I’m going to illustrate it and laminate for her, and maybe she’ll even like it ;)

  230. jamie says:

    “That’s Disgusting!” is awesome.
    Seriously love just going to the library and browsing. We find many gems and most libraries have storytime and the librarian picks out fantastic books to read to the kids. And then they all fight over who gets to take it home.

  231. S says:

    Recommend author Dick King-Smith. He wrote the original ‘The Sheep-Pig’ (which ‘Babe’ the movie is inspired by) and several other animal-hero books, like the one about feral chickens in warfare with foxes. Ages 6+ I think although I didn’t find them until I was 8.

    Dianna Wynne Jones, and her stories around the magician Chrestomanci. ‘The Pinhoe Egg’ could be a starting point, but I’m not sure. The stories are mainly drama-based with lots of internal development, so perhaps an older age, say 7+.

    Tove Jansson, and her Moomintroll books. If kids like The Hobbit, they’ll probably like these dense fantastical stories.

    I like Animalia, and I think I might get it for my kid now. He may be over the destruction phase.

  232. Yvonne says:

    I just started chapter book with my 4.5 year old. We have read all the Frog and Toad and Little Bear books and now we are starting on a great series call The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osbourne (I believe). They’re little 10 chapter books and they’re great. I find myself reading extra chapters to him at night so that I can find out where the story is going!
    The little one (just 2) is nuts about Goodnight Moon and all the Gossie and Gertie books. Olivier Dunrae is a genius and the illustrations are super cute!

  233. Jen says:

    Quentin Blake.
    Famous in my childhood for brilliant illustrations to Roald Dahl, now famous in my sons life for his brilliant picture books.
    Current favourite: All Join In

    But… But…. I owned the book before becoming a parent. I love it. But…. My son likes to be read to, make comments, hear the songs again after lights out, he does not take up the preface invitation to “join in too”. I know one day this will change….

    .. I have to give this warning or you might hate me.
    Example extracts from songs:

    We’re sorting out the kitchen pans/bing bong ring tang bing bang….ow

    When Bernard kicks the dustbin, it really makes a din, / but the very best of all is when we all Join In!

    It gets louder.

    The illustrations are fantastic. The shell shocked parents face perfect.

    But not a bedtime book….

  234. S says:

    Oh and when your kids get older, please please please introduce them to The Great Brain books, by John D. Fitzgerald.

    And possibly Encyclopedia Brown stories.

  235. Christie says:

    My new favorite picture book: Diary of a Wombat!

  236. Erica says:

    I have a friend who gave me an amazing list of childrens books, we’re still working through it, years later. A terrific starting point!

    http://www.shakenmama.com/2010/01/kps-amazing-list-of-great-childrens.html

  237. Sir Toby Jingles Beastly Adventure is one of my favorites. Along with Where The Wild Things Are. (I think everyone has that because of the movie). And lastly Harold and the Purple Crayon. All three are very visually striking, I think that’s why I love them so much. Plus the stories are great!

  238. Allyson says:

    Oh, and “I Stink!” It’s a truly gross book, told from the point of view of a garbage truck. It is the height of humor if you’re into things like potty humor, which I willing to bet your Crappy kids are.

  239. Dora says:

    Yan Larri – “The Extraordinary Adventures of Karik and Valya” – amazing story, maybe for older kids, 7+ or so, but sooo cool!

  240. Amy says:

    Ermahgerd. As if I wasn’t all fangirl before, now you had to go and make an Anna Karenina reference! Love it.

    Right now I am pushing The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but I am looking forward to his being ready for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs!

  241. TC says:

    Here are a couple of hippy ones for you – “Whoever You Are” by Mem Fox and “All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon :) We also love “Press Here” by Herve Tullet, “Fiona Loves the Night” by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest, and “The Very Cranky Bear” by Nick Bland. Loving all these suggestions!

  242. Vania says:

    “If I Built a Car” by Chris Van Dusen and “Dr. Ted” by Andrea Beaty!!!

  243. erin says:

    Check out Tales of the kingdom. And the sequals . The author is Mains. Chapter books, but short chapters with 1-2 big gorgeous illustrations per chapter.

  244. Shannon says:

    We are still at the “consumption” phase right now. So fun!! And yes, he never wants to eat the sturdy board books! Nooooo, it has to be the nice paper ones! Our favorites and his (to eat) are the poetry collections by Shel Silverstein.

  245. Paige Reitz says:

    I don’t really have time to read 328 comments, however; as a lover of books from early childhood to the present, here are my two cents:
    Pippi Longstocking, Matilda, and Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing (and other Fudge books by Judy Blume) are all GREAT young kids chapter books. They don’t have a ton of pictures, but they’re great to read to little ones, and in fact, Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing was my favourite book at age 4 for a bedtime story! (And yes, it had to be read /exactly perfectly right/.) Also, Ramona books by Beverly Cleary! Also by Beverly Cleary, Socks, which is about a kitten. And “The Pain and the Great One” series by Judy Blume; picture books your boys would probably love.
    My sister loved the “Biscuit” books when she was little. :)
    Aesop’s Tales are always a great place to go! They’re often short (perfect for bedtime stories), and teach morals to boot!
    Precious Moments Bedtime Stories! It’s a book you can probably get off Amazon and it’s full of cute stories with morals and values taught throughout.
    Oh, I could probably go on and on, but I will stop there. :) Good luck!

    • Laura says:

      I love Judy Blume, she is one of my favorites. But I just wanted to warn you that SUPERFUDGE SPILLS THE SECRET OF WHO SANTA REALLY IS. Beware, I was reading this book aloud to my older daughter and had to skip some parts when I realized what they were about to say. So wait til they already know for that particular book :)

  246. Brandy J. says:

    Edwatd Fuddwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed and A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon – the first makes me tear up and the second is a fun lesson about being yourself.

  247. Leah says:

    My eldest son loves anything funny. The Bad Kitty, Splat the Cat and Silly Pigeon books are among our faves.

  248. Chanalle says:

    My five year old LOVES The Gruffalo! And I have to say it is one of my favorites as well. My sister bought my two year old The Story of the Little Mole Who went in Search of Whodunit for Christmas and it quickly became his favorite. He “reads” it on his own all the time.

  249. Rachel says:

    I have a 19 mo old. Current favorites are The Foot Book and The Monster at the End of this Book starring “go-guh”( Grover)

  250. Forester says:

    I will be honest I didn’t read all the previous posts so sorry if these are duplicates. No boys library is complete without “Poopendous the inside scoop for every type and use of poop”. We also enjoy the Gruffalo and we are enjoying rediscovering Where’s Waldo.

  251. Karleen says:

    Graeme Base (Animalia, The Water Hole, Uno’s Garden)- excellent stories, rich vocabulary, incredible illustrations with secrets hidden inside.

  252. trina saager says:

    This is a great thread! Even better than yesterday, and I really wish I’d been able to comment then because today when I was searching for a library book under my couch cushion I found a rubber chicken (among other things)! I love children’s books and have many favorites among those already mentioned but I just would like to add: Paddington Bear by Michael Bond, the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series, The Lemonade Trick by Scott Corbett (my grandmother who was my school librarian introduced me to this author and I loved the series) Piggie Pie! by Marge Palatini, and The Borrowers series by Mary Norton. These may all be old favorites, but I don’t think they had been mentioned yet in the comments and both I and my daughters (7 & 15 now!) have enjoyed sharing them. Oh, and “Click, clack, moo.” Cows that Type is fun and gets better as the series continues and the Duck gets more play. And now I’m going to have to look up the Gruffalo at my library since we seem to have missed that one.

  253. Julie H says:

    My 2 year old son is an avid “reader” – he’d like nothing more than for me to sit and read to him all day. (A blessing and a curse!) Thankfully he has gotten to the point where he will sit by himself for short periods of time and page through books by himself. He has all of my old books like the Mercer Mayer Little Critter books, Berenstain Bears series, classic Golden books; plus newer ones about Thomas bc he’s into trains, Goodnight Moon which he can actually recite by heart, and also One Little Blueberry he has memorized. He’s got literally an entire bookstand full of books, so many I can’t name them all. Another fav at the moment is an impulse buy from Ikea called Heroes of the Vegetable Patch which will tie in nicely to him helping me in the garden this year. :-) And if you haven’t seen them before, check out the books by Carl R Sams & Jean Stoick like First Snow in the Woods. The photography is absolutely beautiful and engaging. :-)

  254. cathy says:

    “Peter’s Painting” – BOTH my kids loved it, and I’m saving it for my grandchildren. ;-)

  255. This is absolutely hysterical. This is exactly right!!!

  256. Molly says:

    We love Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. My 2 & 5 year olds love to recite the whole thing and the big green toad in the book cracks them up every time. Also, The Monsters’ Monster, A Bear and His Boy, Go Away Big Green Monster & We All Went on Safari- a counting journey through Tanzania.

  257. Sarah says:

    The latest funny picture book find: “Not Your Typical Dragon” by Dan Bar-el. It’s hilarious, my 5 yr old loves it. Found it at Barnes and Noble, where I am lured every week for the “accumulation” phase. And the Starbucks coffee inside.

  258. Annie says:

    No Bill Peet love? We have Wump World, which is a great statement about environmentalism, and my son has asked to save aside some of his allowance to buy several more Bill Peet books. We get the “library editions” and they seem to be built a little more sturdy for repeated reading.

  259. Emily Ann says:

    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald!!

    • kelleyellen says:

      I loved all the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books!! I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to sit still and listen to more than just a short board book. There are so many I want to read to her, and with her.

  260. ErynBob says:

    So many books, so little time…

    7yo: Buddy Files (golden retriever solves mysteries), A to Z Mysteries (he’s memorized them all!), Time Warp Trio, Jack Russel Dog Detective, and we just started The Boxcar Children (which he read last year in graphic novel form, but these are the actual chapter books).

    3yo: Little Critter, Elephant & Piggie (we must act them out and God save you if you mess up your line!), and If You Were My Bunny (poems that morph into new lyrics to old lullaby tunes). He hasn’t asked for it in a while…I should move it to the front of the shelf. ;)

  261. Linnea Linton says:

    Just remembered – Jungle Drums by Graeme Base is excellent too!

  262. Callie says:

    All Julia Donaldson books: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, room on the Broom, Monkey Puzzle and Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book. I’ve heard her Zog is really good but have yet to read/buy it.

  263. Kirk Hargreaves says:

    The unabridged Richard Scarry’s “What do people do all day”. Unfortunately, only the abridged version is available for purchase so for some of the best stories (“Making Electricity from Coal”, “The Story of Water”, and “Mother’s Work is Never Done”) I have to pull out by 40+ year old copy. My boyz (3.5 and 5) love it.

    • amber says:

      We have that one, but ours is the abridged version – I had no idea it was “modernized” or whatever.

  264. Satyana Love Lotus says:

    My daughter loves reading! Some of our favourites are:

    The Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik

    Blueberries For Sal (author unknown due to some slight alterations performed on the cover by my 3 year old)

    Jillian Jiggs series by Phoebe Gilman

    The Trees Grin Beside Me by Michelle Macdonald

    Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems

    Rotten Ralph by some guy who’s name I forget

    Mister Got To Go and Arnie by Lois Simmie

    I tried to narrow it down… Tried and failed.

  265. Molly says:

    My baby cannot go to bed without reading “Pajama Time,” by Sandra Boynton

  266. Christina says:

    Hooray for Fish
    Llama Llama books but Llama Llama Mad at Mama is a favorite. :)

  267. beth says:

    Naked mole rat is my fav mo willems, though all are well-loved in our house and elephant and piggie can elicit serious giggle fits. Ferret Fun is our new favorite book – hilarious for my 5 year old, “We’re not rats!” Also love love love Those Darn Squirrels series by adam rubin.

    Audio version of the Magic Treehouse series are great great great for long car rides! And Spiderwick series is read by Mark Hamill!

  268. beth says:

    I do think that my all time favorite book is Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Not in the same funny vein as the others, but so lovely and great for my bird and nature loving kid at bedtime.

  269. Shaina Stinard says:

    Hahahaha! We are at stage #5 right now and I swear if I have to read ‘Llama Llama, Nighty-night’ or the “Sweatheart Fairies” (known as the “Fairy Book”) one more stinkin’ time!!!! They are gonna be “lost” very soon so I can move on! LOL ;) At least they are short and painful instead of long and painful. I take some of that back, because it is adorable to hear her basically read them to me :)

  270. Deb says:

    I have a five year old and a just-turned-three year old. Some of our current favorites are Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, the Ladybug Girl series by David Soman, the Knufflebunny series by Mo Willems, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra.

  271. Meg says:

    My husband and I have been enjoying reading Gordon Korman books to our 8 and 5 yo daughters. Some are very funny and others are more adventure stories. Great Cat by David McPhail was a book my siblings and I loved as kids and we’ve found copies for our own kids now. It has awesome pictures.

  272. Colleen Potvin says:

    My parents instilled a love of the written word in us from a young age. It was probably one of the most beneficial skills they could have given us. It guaranteed success at school, kept us educated in world events, provides hours of conversation and gives us a worthwhile hobby. I have a personal library in an eight by eight foot bookcase that contains my favourite books and all are re-read on a regular basis. I read two newspapers every day, magazines and visit the library every three weeks to borrow the requisite eight to ten books for my spare time. I am so impressed with all of the comments here. The recommendations are so full of information with authors names, etc. I am so glad to see that the printed word remains vitally important to younger generations. The future success of countless little minds is in good hands. Well done!

  273. SeriousCakes says:

    21 Balloons, Swiss Family Robinson, Bambi, and the Jungle Books. The original versions of the last 3 are amazing books, wonderful times reading those.

  274. Brenda says:

    We love to go to the library and get new books; usually about 15-20 (Our library card allows up to 50 at a time!) They even have milk crates you can checkout too.

    Some favorites lately are Goodnight Goodnight Constructions Site, Uh Oh Little Dragon and all the Splat the Cat books.

  275. Jess T. says:

    Here are some of my kids favs right now:
    -the baby that roared
    -I’d really like to eat a child
    -the day dinosaurs came with everything
    -boo boo (and all the other duckling books by Olivier D)
    -boy + bot
    -cooking with Henry and elliebelly
    -pig kahuna

  276. Joy says:

    I just got some great new titles for my book searching at the library! Great comments :)

    Ok, my son has so far devoured:
    –The Very Hungry Caterpillar (finger puppet edition)
    –Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boynton
    –Where’s Mommy Hiding? by Karen Katz (most of the flaps were already missing, since we bought it used for a dime . . . )
    –Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

    It’s funny that since I had my son i have come to believe what I had previously only scoffed at–that kids eat non-edible things, like books and dirt, and come back for more. I could never understand this when I had a compliant little girl. But now I just shrug my shoulders when Lukey comes back inside with a beard of mud or I catch him drinking out of puddles. Gotta LOVE little boys :)

    OK, try “The Runaway Dinner” by Allen Ahlberg, “Snip Snap! What Was That?” by Mara Bergman, “Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing” by Judi Barrett, “Milo’s Hat Trick” by Jon Agee, “The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head” by Jan Slepian, “Fluffy: Scourge of the Sea”, by Teresa Bateman, “Tickle the Duck” by Ethan Long, “One Monster After Another” by Mercer Mayer, and the “How Do Dinosaurs . . . ” series by jane Yolen. Happy Reading!

  277. Laura says:

    My 3 1/2 year old LOVES Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen, about a crocodile raised by ducks. Great story of good guys outsmarting bad guys with awesome illustrations. Also Katy No Pocket is a classic, by Emmy Payne, about a kangaroo with no pocket, looking for a way to carry her baby. And two more: My Little Sister hugged an Ape by Bill Grossman, funny and gross, in a way that will crack them up. And The Seven Silly Eaters. I can’t find the book so can’t tell you the author. This last one is kind of long but great.

  278. Lucy says:

    I always loved the Miss Piggle Wiggle books, but I think they apeal more to girls…I could be wrong though (it’s only been about 20 years since I read one).

  279. Cerian says:

    Miss 3 has been through all 6 stages and Miss 8 months is at stage #2! We love Mem Fox books in our house. Her books are a fixture on every child’s book shelf in Australia. I’m sure she is published in the US as well though. Miss 3′s gateway book was “10 little fingers and 10 little toes” by Mem Fox.

  280. Peranting says:

    fun to read (great rhythm, fun sounds):
    Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
    Jamberry by Bruce Degen
    Goodnight Train by June Sobel
    Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? and No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont
    anything by Sandra Boynton
    Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond
    Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In a Ball (Little Wombat books) by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge
    Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

    Other loves:
    How Does a Dinosaur…books by Jane Yolen
    little critter books by Mercer Meyer
    anything by Richard Scary
    Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman
    Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
    Bad Cat by Tracy-Lee McGuinness-Kelly
    Mike Mulligan by Virginia Lee Burton

  281. We haven’t arrived at some of those stages yet, but then my daughter is only two. Right now she rarely wants me to read to her (she wants to pretend to read by herself, or just look at the pictures and try to figure out what’s going on). Berenstain Bears are really big at the moment.

    She also reads a lot on the potty. Like that’s her favorite place to read and if I give her a pile of books she’ll sit there for an hour until her butt gets bright red and probably numb.

  282. em says:

    if you like roald dahl, look into ogden nash! i can’t wait for the boy to be a little gentler with our books so i can start reading to him from my childhood copy of “custard and company.” love love love quentin blake’s pictures!

  283. Callie says:

    I Love You Stinky Face, the Jesus Storybook Bible, and Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree are faves over here. (Sorry if any were already mentioned in the comments!

  284. Kristen says:

    Anything by Sandra Boynton ( except Doggies – mommy mysteriously “lost” that one ). My favorite was Hippos go Berserk. Also, we read the Karma Wilson books about Bear and friends until they fell apart (Bear Snores on, Bear Feels Sick, Bear Says Thanks, etc.)

  285. Julia says:

    one of my favorites growing up was “Noisy Nora,” among others listed already. I like reading “Monsters Eat Whiny Children” to my boys, 5 and 2.5, when they start to annoy me with their whining. My 5 year old loves the David series by David Shannon and frequently points out when the 2.5 year old is “being a David.” I love all things by Lane Smith. Not only “Stinky Cheese Man” but “The Happy Hockey Family” and “The Happy Hockey Family Move to the Country.” The 2.5 year old loves anything related to Thomas the Tank Engine, naturally. I’m excited about getting some of the other books mentioned in the comments!

  286. Inge says:

    Read all of Roald Dahl, if you loved George, The Twits are a good followup. But please don’t stop there. The rest of the works bin Astrid Lindgren are also very much worthwhile, for your sons now Karlson on the roof, and later, please read Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart. I still read all of them :)

  287. Tara says:

    I’ve got a million…
    - The Snail & the Whale by Julia Donaldson
    - What The Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
    - Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
    - Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson (yep, big JD fans in our house)
    - Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
    - A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip & Erin Stead
    - Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
    - Hairy McClary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
    - Me… Jane by Patrick McDonnell
    - Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
    To name a few…. :)

  288. Marianne says:

    How long is stage 2? We are STILL in stage 2 and she is now 19months old… ;-)

  289. Beth says:

    I third the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series, including If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Also, there’s an awesome one we get out in New Zealand called Willie the Wimp. Short and sweet but quite marvelous.
    Keep up the great work, momma-hero.

  290. jasmine says:

    My 3.5 year old is really into cook books right now. Cook books in tge car, the bedroom, cook books at the park, at daycare…

    • S says:

      Yeah, my kid was pretty odd. From his walking age, say 1yo, he’d keep bringing us the Quiche book – one of a series. Always the Quiche book. No other. At 2yo he’s grown out of that fascination.

  291. Jo says:

    Crappy Boy’s old enough for the Hobbit. Our favorite. All the Roald Dahl books are so good, though The Witches is quite scary. The How to Train Your Dragon books are fun. Dear Hound by Jill Murphy we read recently and it was lovely. Or Bunnicula, about a vampire bunny? :)

  292. Victoria says:

    I can’t remember how old the crappy kiddies are right now, but for youngerish kids, the Wild Washerwomen is amazing (it’s illustrated by Quentin Blake, and given the production choices you made when you started your shop I think you’ll appreciate the ideological undertones… and any book with a goat called Lysander is worth reading). On the Quentin Blake front we also love Angelica Sprocket’s pockets, but that’s for quite littlies. You mentioned the fabulous George’s Marvellous Medicine so obviously all of the rest of Roald Dahl. And then when they get a bit bigger and you start doing longer chapter books, check out Joan Aiken, especially the Wolves series and the Felix trilogy. Dark, thrilling, and extremely prolific. (I hardly ever comment, but yours is my favourite blog ever ever and I send it to everyone I know. Yay yay yay).

  293. Cassie says:

    My son is OBSESSED with the Polo series of books. They’re essentially graphic novels with no words, which is great cause he’ll tell you the story after a while. He particularly loves The Runaway Book. Spoiler: the moonman steals Polo’s book!

    • Cassie says:

      I forgot to add that Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel is amazing. It was one of my favorites as a child and now my son is equally into it. He loves the tear water tea story so much that he will only take tea with his owls. He’s actually quite strict about that.

  294. Cinnamon says:

    The Wonky Donkey is hilarious – read it frequently to my neices & nephews.
    Stuff I loved as a kidliwink: Any Beatrix Potter or Serendipity books (I have a Flutterby tattoo :D), Where the Wild Things Are, The Bunyip of Berkley’s Creek, any Grug or Noddy books, The Dragon of Mith, several poetry collections including A.A. Milne, C.J. Dennis & Henry Lawson. Lawd, I could go on & on :)
    Can’t wait for my 5 month old to get beyond the ‘consumption stage’ he is currently in so I can share more of these books with him :D

  295. Nicole M says:

    Hey mama, I didn’t have time to read all previous posts, so apologies if duplicate..I bought Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein for my boys age 7 & 5 and we all LOVE poetry reading before bed now. The great thing is that poems are short so you can read a lot of them and not feel like you did! Also Silverstein is perfect for boys and mama to both enjoy. Have fun and keep up the great work!

  296. Amber says:

    “The Monster at the End of this Book” was my absolute favorite growing up! It was the first book I bought my daughter :)

    • Allyson says:

      I LOVED that book as a child! I insisted my dad read it (my mom couldn’t get the voice right), and he always did it in this crazy Grover-esque voice and pretended to have trouble turning the pages. I bought him a new copy when I had my first baby.

  297. Kelli says:

    The kids’ book I have recently fallen in love with is _I Want My Hat Back_. It was literal-LOL funny and wholly unsentimental. I think you would dig it.

  298. Nicole says:

    Even though we have hundreds of books, like you, reading the same ones over and over was getting old. So, I picked up some of the Magic Tree House series for my almost four year old. I read a chapter (or two) a night. Also, we just started Charlottes Web. It’s nice to see him excited about what will happen in the next chapter.

  299. My kids are loving the earliest Ramona books. We also just finished Alice in Wonderland (which I’d never read before and that is one weird trippy book).

    Until recently my kids’ had their own book club where friends who read the book would come over to talk about it and there was also a craft and a snack. That was a lot of fun and I miss it. We read Stuart Little and The BFG and The Wizard of Oz and The Phantom Tollbooth (one of my all time favorites–my kids have heard that one several times and never tire of it either).

    Happy reading!

  300. ev says:

    This is soooooo true. Well done.
    For our son it was The Giant Jam Sandwich.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Giant-Sandwich-Sandpiper-Book/dp/0395442370

  301. Melody says:

    Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a great one. Also Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Amos & Boris. All fantastic!
    Anything by Bill Peet: Eli, Merle the High-Flying Squirrel, Fly Homer Fly, Caboose Who Got Loose, Big Bad Bruce, Cowardly Clyde, Ella, And and the Elephant…
    All these are fantastic and 100% guaranteed :)

  302. Melissa says:

    Great post! Check out my blog What to Read to Your Kids. I’m a book-obsessed mom with a background in children’s publishing and retail, and I write about new (and old!) children’s books. Each post centers on one book but then includes a related book list at the end for a variety of ages. You can even subscribe with your email address and get an email each time there’s a new post (ie. new book) to check out. http://www.whattoreadtoyourkids.com

    I hope you enjoy it half as much as I enjoy reading your blog, Amber!

  303. Heather says:

    Around here we read a lot of Skippyjon Jones, The 5 Little Monkeys (set of 4), Berenstain Bears, Richard Scarry, Curious George, and now my 4 yr. old is really into the Geronimo Stilton books his big brother brings home.

  304. Jessica B says:

    I haven’t read all the other comments yet as I have to run (but you can bet I will! I love children’s books!), but just a few that spring to mind: Harold and the Purple Crayon, My Father’s Dragon, The Diamond in the Window, Stuart Little, The BFG. I second Bill Peet

  305. Susan says:

    We’re still very much in stage 1 right now (I have a 7 month old). I keep hearing other moms talk about how their baby LOVES such and such book and I’m over here thinking my babe is the only one who loves to eat books. So thank you for the reassurance that eventually she will actually enjoy reading them.

    This was already one of my favorites, but earlier this week when I read ‘Is Your Mama a Llama’ my daughter was laughing at the different voices I used! My heart melted. Thankfully she doesn’t remember what voice goes with what animal yet. I also really like Silly Sally. Sorry if those were already mentioned, I didn’t make it through reading all of the previous comments.

  306. Sara Dalton says:

    We go through phases. She had completely memorized Good Night Moon and Paddington’s Opposites by 18 months. Now (at 3 years) it’s Fairytale Theatre presenting Mickey and Minnie in Rapunzel, Raggedy Ann and the Cookie Snatcher, Berenstien Bear’s New Baby (I’m pregnant) or Tillie Laid an Egg. The last one my favorite. Egg hunt on every page! Plus the author actually houses the chickens in the photos and you can spy on them via hencam.com. Pretty cool.

  307. Heidi says:

    “The Monster at the End of this Book”. And sorry if this is a repeat comment…I can’t read all of them. :)

    • Angie says:

      There is a super cute, interactive app for this book. I recommend it for those times when you can’t sit and read with the little ones.

  308. Awwww… I’ve got one in stage 6, and another in stage 4. I love it!

    I get all my books at second-hand stores, like Goodwill. Gotta love a 59-cent book! =)

  309. elizabeth says:

    Tough Boris by Mem Fox is MY current favorite. 25-m-o’s current fave is (so unfortunately for mommy) some transportation behemoth by Richard Scarry. Luckily, she’s still too little to notice when I turn SEVERAL pages at one time. When she wises up to me, I may have to sneak it into Goodwill bag while she’s napping….
    We also love “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems, and the Knuffle Bunny books by same.

  310. elizabeth says:

    P.S. Amber, I laughed out loud at these drawings, especially “Consumption”…could be my baby. Or anyone’s…so hilarious. Congrats on your book, by the way. Pls come to Mpls-St. Paul MN! You can visit your WI relatives and I’ll bring a truckload of mom-friends to see you and buy copies! And thank you for the sweet wooden toy patterns from Make Baby Stuff.com…I have made tons of birds for my little bird and a lovely multi-color wooden rainbow. It my foray back into crafts after baby….I had a crisis last November, “If I don’t make some things I’ll explode!” kind of thing…anyway, thank you!

  311. Safa A says:

    Love the book reading stages! The destruction phase is particularly painful – I felt like I could HEAR the books screaming. Although we don’t mind letting our bunny chew up old university textbooks (the crappy ones)…it feels oddly vindicating.

    We’re transitioning from picture books to chapter books with pictures for our two six-year-olds so I have some recommendations on both ends that would hopefully work for crappy baby and crappy boy.

    Picture books: Zen Shorts (amazing, deep, endearing), Virginia Wolf, Monkey Business, Cat’s Pajamas (illustrations are aMAZEing – literally could be framed), Chester, anything by Oliver Jeffers, Elephant and Piggy, Frederic (Awesome. Plus, if you read it and simultaneously imagine (privately) that Frederic is a stoner, it’s hilarious! This happened spontaneously when my partner and I were reading it to our kids, and we were laughing hysterically by the end, and the kids had no idea why!

    Chapter books: Roald Dahl!! We LOVED the BFG – I highly recommend, especially if you (not a grandparent or neighbour) comes up with a hilarious voice for the giant because he is sooo funny. James and the Giant Peach was fun as well. Pippi Longstocking, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Wind in the Willows (very slow to start, but one you get into it, they’re hooked!).

  312. angela says:

    my 2 year old is currently loving Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora.

  313. Tori says:

    Any by Patricia Polacco. But hers are more for older elementary. I (I mean my kids) enjoy Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, The Napping House, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Little Mouse the Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear.

  314. Tiffany says:

    When my kids were littler, the favorites were:
    “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”
    “Pat the Bunny”
    “Chicka Chicka ABC”
    And any alphabet book.

    They all LOVED the “I Spy” books a year or so ago. My eldest has gone through a Hardy Boys phase, and has now fallen victim to the “Harry Potter” series. He’s nine, and just read all seven of them in six weeks. My daughters love “Magic Treehouse” books. My youngest loves anything with a car on the cover. Or a puppy.

  315. Kristin says:

    Your kids are a bit older than mine, but we love the Mo Willems books…especially Knuffle Bunny and the Pigeon books. We also love Mouse Mess (sorry, author not memorized), Goodnight Moon, the Big Red Barn…

    But when they are a little older, we’re going to read Charlotte’s Web, the Little House on the Prairie series, the Ramona Quimby books, the Superfudge books… And I do look forward to reading Harry Potter with them.

  316. Lisa says:

    Dragons love tacos.

    We can’t get enough of it! It uses a word we don’t like so we change it and the kids don’t know the difference.

  317. Jennifer says:

    My 22 month old LOVES “I love you Stinky Face.” It’s one of those we have to read over and over “Read Stinky Face, Mom!!”

  318. Denise says:

    Anything by Robert Munsch!
    My son (7) is currently obsessed with the Pigeon book by Mo Willems. (And Captain Underpants, which kills me a little because I was an English major. Oh well, reading is reading, right?)

  319. Andrea Dalhouse says:

    I’ve never commented even though I’ve been loving your blog for awhile now. But it’s cracking me up that I’m finally in my life getting through the reading Anna Karenina – Levin and Kitty just got married. And what? I find out here that Levin gets consumption. For some reason this is cracking me up, that I’m finding this out here.

  320. Lauren A. says:

    We all love ‘A Rhinoceros Wakes Me Up In The Morning’ – it was mine as a child. We didn’t even know our then 18-month old had moved to the memorization stage until my husband yawned and he finished the sentence for him. We never even feel the need to edit or skip pages we like it so much.

  321. Katy Chase says:

    Pete the Cat.
    Seriously the best book ever.
    This cat has an awesome attitude aboute life and the cadaver of the writing lends itself to #5 perfectly!

  322. stasi says:

    You will love “All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon. We are very much alike (you have to trust me on that one) and this book makes me cry every. single. time. It is about peace & love & shows nursing babies & families of all kinds & biking to the farmer’s market & a mission and when I briefly lived away from California it was like crack to me.

    The other picture book I had to buy after getting it from the library was “Art” by Patrick McDonnell, creator of the Mutts comic. It’s ridiculously clever, punny, and simple yet profound.

    Otherwise my kids are currently into Madeline, Curious George is always a favorite (the originals on both of these not the later hack stories), and I just read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to my 4.5 year old and she totally tripped out on it. It was awesome. That’s what I’ve got for classics. Oh and all the “How Do Dinosaurs” books, but those have probably been listed (unlike you I will not read all the comments…so maybe we are not so alike after all).

  323. Maia says:

    We are swimming in books at our house and they seem to love them all, but I think a few of our favorites are: Monkey with a Toolbelt, the Adventures of Polo, Where is the Cake, Wayside School series, Encyclopedia Brown, 10 Minutes to Bedtime, Piggie & Gerald, Moomintroll, just to name a few.

  324. -cloudy with a chance of meatballs
    -press here

    both good books ;)

  325. kbpihl says:

    My favorite is Millions of Cats and my husband’s is Ferdinand the Bull. Both winners. =P

  326. Melissa says:

    ELMO LOVES YOU!

    I ended up hating it. After a million times of reading it to my then two year old. He is now eight. He still can recite it…. So can I, without even seeing the book.

  327. Cynthia says:

    My favorite when I was little and still today is Tikki Tikki Tembo. Love the repeating verse and the beautiful illustrations.

  328. Paula says:

    Bed time books we read regularly : Madeline (even though he is a boy, he loves it), the runaway bunny, where the wild things are, all the Dr Seuss books. I am such a book junkie that I can’t wait until he is older and we can read chapter books like Watership Diwn and Call of the Wild. We still have several years to go though

  329. Sarah says:

    We love Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, and Mo Willems – my mom got “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” by Willems for Christmas for my kids (5 1/2, 3 1/2, and 19 months) and it’s hilarious. We love Dr. Seuss, too. My son, 5 1/2, is getting really good at reading those with the simpler words. There are books we find at Target with a “Level 1″ or whatever on them that my oldest is finding he can read too. My husband’s uncle also always manages to find books that are Caldecott Winners that end up being favorites. Personally, there are some days I get REALLY lazy and just sitting down while I’m brought book after book is the best – because I just get to SIT.

  330. Samantha says:

    My three year old daughter and I love the “Mr Putter and Tabby” books by Cynthia Rylant. Incredibly sweet, cute illustrations, and a great first intro to chapters.

  331. kelly r. says:

    How about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? I loved those as a kid. We also really liked The Mysterious Benedict Society, but that would probably be for a little bit older kids, maybe around ten or so.

    • Abadab says:

      Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is awesome! I still fantasize about finding stashes of money hidden all over the house!

      Warning – when reading this aloud, be aware that there is an entire chapter about a boy named Dick. And so you have to get over that. Which is hard, since every other word in that chapter is “Dick.” Difficult to read to 4th graders…

  332. Karen says:

    My boys and I are ALL addicted to books! Here are the books that worked for us that I would want every other family with boys to have:

    For younger kids:
    Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type
    How many Trucks can a Tow Truck Tow
    Double Trouble in Walla Walla
    Sheep Out To Eat

    As they get a little older:
    The entire “Little Britches” series by Ralph Moody (5 books?)
    Hatchet (and that whole series) by Gary Paulson
    ANYTHING at all by Jean Craighead George (My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, etc, etc, etc.) Yes, just read them all.
    Freddy the Pig (and others in this series) by Walter Brooks

    Just so you know. My boys have almost NO space for clothes in their closets….it’s all filled up with books (as is every other room in the house).

  333. Dawn Marie says:

    Millie Waits for the Mail makes us laugh every single time!!!

  334. Sarah says:

    I’m guessing a bit here with the age range, but based on the fact that you are currently reading Dahl, I would suggest:

    1) The rest of Dahl! BFG is a great one for younger kids. Chocolate Factory is a big hit around here.
    2) Jacob two-two and the hooded fang by Mordecai Richler. Simply awesome.
    3) Beverly Cleary’s The Henry Huggins series and the Ramona series.
    4) My father’s dragon.
    5) The just so stories.
    6) Charlotte’s Web.

  335. Julie says:

    Frank was a Monster who Wanted to Dance. It’s Awesome. You will love it. It’s the best book ever.

    We’re also fans of Gossie and Gertie.

  336. Susan says:

    Mo Willems. Best ever. He has two age groups right now. I think your boys are probably good with Don’t Let the pigeon ride the bus and the Pig and Elephant series. Others are the
    1.What do dinosaurs do..
    2.Shell Silverstein (though people would say it is good for older kids, my loved them at any age group and we have a rule, if you are 5 you get 5 poems, if you are 3 you get three poems, no matter how short or long they are)
    3. Older kid (though my 3yo loved them, too), Toad and Frog by ‘something’ Lobel

    That’s all I can think of right now. Now I am going to go back and look at all the 498 post and recs above. :)

  337. Mandy P says:

    My kids are enjoying Mary Poppins (we are on the 3rd book right now). They also like the old school Winnie the Pooh books as well as the super old school Stories of Peter Rabbit. In our near future we will be reading Little House on the Prairie and “The lighthouse Family” series (these were recommended by a friend).

  338. Bob says:

    I loved the Swallows and Amazons series as a kid, and eventually bought all 12 of them. However, loaning the set to my sisters youngsters was a mistake (she did warn me…) and I only got half of them back, and they weren’t in pristine condition any more either.

  339. Anna says:

    Anything by Bill Peet, especially “The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg” and the “Wingdingdilly”.
    Leo Lionni is fantastic. Must check out “Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse” and “Frederick”.

    Shel Silverstein’s first book of poetry “Don’t Bump the Glump”!!

  340. Kelly says:

    If you haven’t goften this one yet, you must:
    Stuck.

    It’s fantastic.

  341. Love it! My daughter is at stage two, just starting to learn to enjoy listening to a book read to her. Thanks!

  342. The furry one says:

    I really love the book Pussy willow, by Margaret Wise Brown.
    Also good are Goodnight Moon, and for Read-a-loud, I very much recommend The Freddy the pig stories By Walter R. Brooks.
    I love your blog.

  343. EchelonGirl7 says:

    Dr Suesses Sleep Book. Right before bedtime :)

  344. EchelonGirl7 says:

    Oh another really really good one is Called “Little Pea” By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace. Great for picky eaters. My kids love this book.

  345. Betty says:

    All the “Frog and Toad” books are wonderful. Funny and quirky. Sometimes a little melancholy or even a tiny bit scary. Leo Lionni books are great–especially “Fredrick” and “Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse.” “OFficer Buckle and Gloria” and “Benjamin McFadden and the Robot Babysitter” were big favorites. And “Benjamin mcFadden” has the added bonus of reading the babysitter in a robot voice, which Crappy Boy/Robot Boy will enjoy. Simms Taback’ book “Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” is beautiful.

  346. Angie says:

    “Stand Back,” said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas. I still have my copy from when I was a little girl and it is still the Best Book Ever Written!!!! I read it to my Sassy Pants and she loves it too.

  347. Mama Meerkat says:

    I get in so much trouble for not being able to replicate voices! And apparently everyone else who reads to her is better at it than I am, haha.

    My 4 year old’s current favorites are Press Here, Put Me in the Zoo, Bad Kitty, Not A Box, and My Many Colored Days.

  348. Erika says:

    Our current favorites are Mo Willems books, “The Duckling Gets a Cookie”, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”, etc

  349. Heidi says:

    I see lots that we like have been mentioned already, didn’t go through all 500 comments, but I’ll try to mention ones I didn’t see. We are a book-obsessed family. Some favorite picture books that we don’t tire of: Jamberry, Zagazoo, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (Richard Scarry). I’m sure there are others but we’re into the kids “learning to read aloud” stage and I read a chapter of a chapter book each night now. Favorite chapter book read-alouds: Trolls Go Home and series, ALL by Eleanor Estes (Pinky Pye, Ginger Pye, The Moffats), Little House series (Farmer Boy is sooo fun for boys, but my boys enjoyed all the others too), Clementine series (and I can’t say enough about these – they are DELIGHTFUL to read aloud!!!), Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, My Father’s Dragon, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of Oz, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Boxcar Children (original), Swiss Family Robinson, everything by Kate DiCamillo – (Mercy Watson ones are soooo funny! The rest are touching and somewhat serious), Indian in the Cupboard, All of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume’s books…. There are so many amazing books out there, and as they get older it just gets more and more fun to discover new ones and rediscover old favorites through your childrens’ eyes!

  350. Kate says:

    My 3 year old is into Berenstain Bears. I loved those books when I was a kid and I still find them endearing (although the stereotypes get to me a little bit, especially Mama Bear in her housecoat doing chores all day). But I like that there are LOTS of them so it is easy to steer him toward a different book if we are getting in a rut, since it is the same characters. And they have wholesome lessons, which I am trying to squeeze in as much as possible in between his obsession with knights fighting dragons, police officers chasing villains, etc. :)

  351. Jean says:

    Really great post….like you’ve been watching in our windows. Loved it! I have a recommendation, too. As a teacher, I read The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron. It’s particularly good for when you see a child acting a bit spoiled and could use a good book to appreciate what he has.

  352. Becca says:

    One of the perks of having kids is getting to revisit my favorite childhood books! I love anything by Eve Rice, especially “Goodnight, Goodnight” and “Sam Who Never Forgets.” I also like the Frances books by Russel Hoban, the Little Bear books by Else Holmbrook Minarek, and “Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet and Alan Ahlberg.

  353. Beverly says:

    Many of these are favorites with my 3.75 year old grand-daughter; but lately I pulled out some of my old favorites, and she loves “The Gingerbread Man”. Then in the newer books, a surprise to me was one that isn’t a biggest favorite at the library called “Scuttle’s Big Wish”. It’s a story about a mouse who was granted one wish and found it wasn’t so great after all for everything he touched to turn into cheese. My grand-daughter’s comment after hearing it read to her was “That’s a Great Book!”

  354. We’re reading Harry Potter to my daughter right now. She just turned five. She doesn’t really understand it but she doesn’t care, she loves it. Finally a book that I’m *happy* when she requests it. Seeing as I read it sixteen or so times on my own already.

  355. Pam Snedeker says:

    Walter the Farting Dog. Plus the sequels. For kicks, add the Latin version.

  356. Lisa says:

    Our favourite book is Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. Great author! Once your kids are a bit older, anything by Mélanie Watt. Scaredy Squirrel and the Chester Series are fantastic. Ohhhh one more: look for Bear in Underwear – super cute! Too bad I can’t remember the author – sorry! :)

  357. Amy b says:

    Holy! That’s a lot of comments! My 20 month old is obsessed with “the wicked big toddler”. Frankly, I can’t get enough of toddie myself. I don’t think you have to be from maine to appreciate the subtleties, but it probably helps. Also “truck duck”. Simply awesome. Love rod cod, he loves rig pig.

  358. heidi says:

    Moo Moo Brown Cow, Llama Llama, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Jesse Bear What Will You Wear. We tried to lose Moo Moo Brown Cow twice (people kept mailing it back to us) when my 17yo son was little. Now the 2 year old loves it… I make him(older son) listen to it everytime I read it to the little one. She also likes Curious George, so we get some variety with all those stories.

  359. Christina says:

    I scrolled through a few of the comments, but didn’t read most of them, so I’m sorry if I mention duplicates! Books that get read over and over around here are: Press Here by Herve Tullet; all of the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer; The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf; the Traction Man books by Mini Grey; Art & Max by David Wiesner; anything by Arnold Lobel, especially the Frog and Toad books; the Avatar graphic novels; Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (graphic novel); anything by William Joyce.
    My 8 year old son also loved reading The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black; The Witches and Matilda (and all the Roald Dahl books!); The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis; and most recently he’s started on the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull.

    I would also recommend the site notimeforflashcards . com. She does a lot of arts and crafts, but also has a ton of great books listed! I found a lot of books that I had never heard of through her.

  360. Amy says:

    My four year old boy loves non-fiction. He adores the books by Paul Showers (“What Happens to the Hamburger?” or something…) and the series with “wax to crayons” and “trees to paper”. He can tell you the whole process by which cocoa turns into chocolate!

  361. Michelle I. says:

    My all time favorite children’s book is Mouse Soup by Arnold Loble who also wrote the Frog and Toad books. I still have my original copy from when I was 3 years old. That poor book has been through alot…Lol!

  362. Stephanie says:

    Both of my daughters became obsessed with the same three books. Bony Legs by Joanna Cole
    Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
    Babushka Baba Yaga by Patricia Polacco

    All three are interesting twists on wicked witch type women who live alone in the woods.

    Hmm…. I wonder what this says about my kids

  363. Garzaster says:

    Both my girls love busy town books. They were books my husband and I grew up with. My 3 year old loves Junie B. Jones and Fantastic Mister Fox (each farmer must have their correct voice/accent!). Curious George is also a hit here.

  364. Lynette says:

    The Great Brain series and Encyclopedia Brown series are fun ones. Tiki Tiki Tembo is a must, and The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear is critical or they will grow up to be ax murderers. I memorised the last book on my list. My now-adult sons were greatly amused when THEY could turn the pages and I would sit across the room reciting the book. The two younger kids [no, I didn't learn, my kids range in ages from 4 to 26], not so much amusement, but they love it, too.

  365. Victoria K says:

    Did someone mention Lauren Child’s books? Clarice Bean, and Charlie and Lola? We still adore those, and never miss a chance to say “Bored? The chance would be fine thing!” How about Katie Morag Delivers the Mail? Great story about life on the island of Struay. Have fun! And no, I can’t believe you have time to read all the comments!

  366. Jessi says:

    I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so a couple of these may be duplicates:
    -Cars, Trucks and Things That Go! I buy that for every person I know having a baby. My brother and I went through 2 copies of it as kids.
    -Pretty much anything else Richard Scary
    -Mother Goose or other basic fairy tales (Billy Goats Gruff, Red Riding Hood, etc). They need to know the classics. But not the scary original versions. And all the nursery rhymes.
    - Amelia Bedelia
    - Wizard of Oz series
    - Lion, Witch, Wardrobe series
    - Little House on the Prairie series

  367. Sharon says:

    LOVE Go Dog Go and anything else associated with PD Eastman like Fish Out of Water and Are You My Mother?

    My 4 year old loves Alexander (No Good, Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day and Who Is Not (Do You Hear Me?) Going to Move), Henry & Mudge, Commander Toad and anything written by Tomie de Paola (especially Jamie O’Rourke). He also fondly remembers The Three Little Aliens we rented from the library, but you’ll have to watch out for the 3rd alien’s name and how you pronounce it.

    My older boy was calmer and could do longer books like My Father’s Dragon, Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh and Little House on the Prairie from age 4-6.

  368. kate l says:

    Our fav’s that we stumbles upon are any of “the bear” books… A Visitor for Bear (the original), A Birthday for Bear, Sniffles for Bear, and my favorite… Bedtime for Bear. That last one makes me giggle every time ;) but be careful, voices are dedinitely requires for this series!!
    My poor husband will never be able to read theae books to our girls!

  369. Maren says:

    My 3 year old is straight up OBSESSED with “I Wish That I Had Duck Feet” which is one of those lesser Seuss books that he wrote as Theo LeSieg. It’s not great but when he reads it to me from memory repeatedly I don’t want to stab myself in the eye at all, so it’s a win.

    Also, any of the many illustrated picture book versions of Jabberwocky.

  370. Lisa says:

    We are working on The Secret Garden right now and it’s a hit!
    Shorter faves here are Bah Choo! Animal Strike at the Zoo, I Wish I had Duck Feet, the Goodnight Our World Series ( We have one from each state they have visited, Canada and World. They are good keepsakes with great pictures.) also the Chester the Raccoon books are sweet.
    My daughter, 6, is really into old fairy/folk tales, especially Russian ones which can be kind of creepy! The Frog Princess is a good quest type one with a prince main character. Anything Ruth Sanderson!

  371. Donna says:

    I’m glad it’s not just me negotiating to read less! They always pick loads but by bedtime I’m SO tired, and end up feeling terrible because surely book enthusiasm is a good thing and a good parent (ie not me!) would be happily indulging and encouraging this?! The deal in our house now is they pick a book each (there are 3 of them). I can still recite The Gruffalo word for word from memory lol as this was the stage 3 book for both my elder two! We then moved onto other books by Julia Donaldson, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book being a particularly good one. My 3 year old is in a dr Seuss phase, with his favourites being Horton Hears a Who and Fox in Socks, which he can recite HUGE chunks from!! So I guess we are at stage 5 :-)

  372. Raponsje says:

    I read George’s Marvelous Medicine when I was a child. I like Roald Dahl very much. I also had James and the Giant Peach, which I would read over and over again. We’ve just picked school for our children and they celebrate the Roald Dahl Day on the 13th of September.

  373. amy says:

    I second (or third, or eighth) the Bunnicula series.

    Also, I hate abusing caps lock, but Edward Eager is FABULOUS. Check out the first book in his magic series, Half Magic, and I guarantee once you finish it you’ll run straight back to the library for the other six.

    An author Crappy Boy can probably read himself is Molly Coxe. My six year old loves her book Hot Dog so much that for the last three cousin/friend birthdays he has insisted that it be included in the gift bag.

  374. Heather Q says:

    The memorization part is actually really convenient for me. When my almost 2 and almost 4 year old girls are annoying in the car, I just start reciting a favorite from memory. Our copy of Pout Pout Fish is falling apart, as well as several Dr. Seuss books.

  375. Angie says:

    I’ve just spent the last 24 hours reading your blog from start to finish (sure I’m not the first, know I won’t be the last)
    I’ve never laughed so hard at something on the internet and can’t wait to buy the book. I’m assuming it’ll be available in England too?

  376. Joanna says:

    I love to spread the word about The Pout-Pout Fish and The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade by Deborah Diesen.

  377. Sarah says:

    My two year old boy’s favorite is “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site”. Even the five year old boy likes it. The story and illustrations are fantastic!
    http://www.amazon.com/Goodnight-Construction-Sherri-Duskey-Rinker/dp/0811877825

  378. Angie says:

    The Dinosaur Verses series by Bob Shea, anything by Peter Brown, Little Hoot, Little Oink and Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

  379. Haley says:

    I teach prek-3 (that’s 3-4 year olds). And you are dead on. These are pre-reading skills, and signs that your children will like and enjoy books. Especially the repeating the same book and memorizing them bit. :)

  380. Haley says:

    OMG- just scanned the comments, and so many fun book recommendations! I didn’t read all of them, and I’m sure these are repeated, but some big hits year after year with my classes (many of these are well known, but I’m just adding them as I didn’t see them in my intial scan):
    Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Pete the Cat (personally, I only really like the first one, and think the others are kinda rips offs to make more money :/)

    New ones I like, but haven’t tried with the kiddos:
    We Are In a Book
    Press Here (it’s like an ap in a book)

  381. Tamsin says:

    Fluff the farting Fish by Michael Rosen proved a huge hit with my just-6 yr old. A fish wit musical farts?!
    The Charlie & Lola books have long been favourites, and of course Julia Donaldson books.
    The Elephant and the Bad Baby was one from my own childhood that I enjoyed introducing to him, and we are just starting on chapter books now, such as Roald Dahl. So many books ahead to share!
    Debi Gliori is a great Scottish author, and No Matter What is one of my all-time favourites, portraying a grumpy little fox whose mother will always love him, no matter what. A great one to read at the end of a frustrating day when you’ve had more than enough of your children, as it reminds you and them of the underlying and never-ending love between you (even when you are feeling utterly p1ssed off with them!).

  382. Judi Fox says:

    I love this post and I can’t wait to look up that book you mentioned at the end. My son is about a year old and he is doing pretty well at restraining himself from ripping any books. He loves the rhyming books like Barnyard Dance and Jungle Colors. He also likes Bill Peets – the Caboose who got loose – it is a longer book, but this is the one that we read him when he was in my tummy and I think he recognizes it. Thanks again for a GREAT post :)

  383. Lydia Davis says:

    we just listened to Recorded books version of Tale of Despereaux. We are in love with it! I would never just read the books to my kids now, because there is no way I could compete with the narrator. My kids are 6,5,2 and 7 months. Not sure how much loving the little ones did, but they listened. Which, means quiet car rides for me!

  384. Jessica says:

    My kids are two and three and they absolutely love The Rhymming Dust Bunnies, Big Time Olie and Boy And Bot. Lucky for me I love them too and think they are hilarious. Happy book hunting to you!

  385. Madeleine says:

    There’s an Alligator Under My Bed is my two year old son’s current obsession. Complete with stuffed alligator and he is constantly looking under the bed for the alligator. He has it memorized :-)

  386. jamie says:

    Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs!

    Beware maties… a stage 3 inducer.

  387. Elizabeth says:

    Eloise is great. Also, Drummer Hoff is good when you’re looking for short. Where the Wild Things Are (my house). We are also digging the National Geographic series for beginning readers, which has books like Bats and Ants. We are also very into the Magic School Bus books.

  388. Ali says:

    Awww, Amber, how do you find time to read all these comments? (I only read about 10.) You are so sweet! :) Ok, so books, huh? Don’t get me started! I love so many. How about the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series, the Bunnicula series, and the Ramona series? We listened to these on several long car trips and everyone from elementary school to adults loved them! Great memories!

  389. Amanda Pavlovich says:

    Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown.

    It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler (or any of the PJ Funnybunny books)

  390. Erin says:

    I My Fathers Dragon! It is a favorite of mine from childhood. It also has 2 sequels.

  391. Margaret says:

    Your Crappy Boy may be ready for Beverly Cleary’s books. My kids–AND my husband and I–have loved them ALL! Start with the Ramona books–it’s clear that Mrs. Cleary “gets” kids and their funny thought processes and random ways they can get into trouble. We read them all out loud to our kids; now as tweens they’re enjoying rereading them on their own.

  392. Nansi says:

    Hey,
    So many great books out there for kids.
    We love Stellaluna and Verdi by Janelle Cannon, beautiful illustrations and lovely messages about being yourself and acceptance.
    Also love the Scaredy Squirrel books by Mélanie Watt: Get out there, take a risk have a plan but be prepared to dive into the unknown!
    Tango about a baby penguin hatched to 2 papas is a popular read too.(All penguins are Tango in our house and we take delight in reading the “most banned” picture book in the US, on a regular basis.
    Pink and Say, Dear Mr. Faulkner and anything else by Patricia Polacco… wow, she tackles challenging issues in a super compassionate kid-friendly way.
    On the poop and potty theme: Everyone poops by Taro Gomi was the first book our son “read” aloud at age 2. We also have a soft spot for Walter the Farting Dog. And, while we’re talking about dogs: the Stanley books are awesome (Stanley’s Wild Ride gets a giggle everytime and the illustrations by Bill Slavin are fantastic). We are also really enjoying the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage: Magic and Evil but somehow less dark than Harry Potter. Perfect chap book for a 5 year old.
    Oh, and This is Not my Hat by Peter Klassen. Wonderful and slightly wicked.
    Lots of great picture books out there for older readers too. They are my fav teaching tool even in this age of digital everything. My current favourite is Erika’s Story… about love and sacrifice during WW2.
    Thanks for inspiring the sharing.
    Nansi

  393. Brittany Smith says:

    My kids love the Skippy John Jones books! My aunt keeps getting them for my crazies from kohls

  394. Judy says:

    Unlike you, I did not read through all of the many comments (sorry), so forgive me if I mentioned some that have already been named. Off the top of my head, a few of my favorite children’s book authors are Kevin Henkes, Lauren Child, Mo Willems, Marc Brown, and Doreen Cronin for consistently good books. My kids (and I) love the Magic Tree House and Ramona series. Some other books that may not be as widely mentioned, but we love in our house: Miss Rumphius (A little girl recounts the adventurous life and world travels of her elderly aunt and the simple way she fulfilled her goal of making the world more beautiful), The Quilt Maker’s Gift (A selfish king demands a quilt from a woman who makes the most beautiful quilts in the world, but she only gives them to the poor. She refuses — even after much persecution from the king — to give him one until he gives away all his riches. He learns the joy of giving.), My Outrageous Friend Charlie (A little girl thinks her friend is just the best at everything and discovers her own magic with the help of a gift he gives her.), When Dinosaurs Came with Everything (A boy and his mom run errands on a day when every store, restaurant and office is giving away live dinosaurs with each purchase. The mother is overwhelmed, the kid thinks it’s the coolest, and it’s cute and funny.), Mr. Zinger’s Hat (An elderly writer who lives in the neighborhood teaches a boy how to use his imagination and create his own fun with stories.), Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters (This book is funny and quirky, and I really enjoyed it. A boy is continually embarrassed by the hideous, grotesque sweaters his aunt knits for him and tries unsuccessfully to get rid of them until he finds someone who can appreciate her talent.), and Ted (by Tony DiTerlizzi. This is a great book about a boy whose dad never has time to play with him. The boy is lonely till an imaginary friend named Ted shows up at his door. The two of them get in a lot of trouble, and the father insists the imaginary friend isn’t real. The father forbids his son from mentioning Ted again, but the boy runs away to be with Ted. After a few surprises, the father finds his inner child — thanks to Ted — and he and the son enjoy a renewed relationship. It is funny and touching. Great book!)

  395. Christy-Ann says:

    We read a lot from the series “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That”, which are great the first 20 times. And “Poke-a-Dot Who’s In The Ocean?” never even makes it back to the bookshelf. It has replaced some grown-up photo art book as our coffee table book.

  396. Juls says:

    Thank you – this has helped fill our library bag for the next few weeks!

    Some favs in our house:
    Mouse Was Mad
    Little Blue and Little Yellow
    Giraffe and a Half
    The Magic Hat
    And all the Mr. books (Mr. Happy, Mr. Bump, Mr. Silly, etc……)

  397. Sabrina says:

    Anything by Sandra Boynton! But our favorite has to be “Snuggle Puppy (a love song)”. Her books are a great to put a little ditty to and the rhyming is great for little ears to remember and love! All age groups. We also loved the book “When Dinosaurs came with Everything!” There are so many great books out there I couldn’t say that we have a favorite but I must say that I completely agree with you 6 step process! I wish I had remembered that with my second one because I was really worried for a while in the destructive stage when she just would not stop destroying every book in sight, even the “indestructible” board books.

  398. Nicole says:

    “I Want My Hat Back” and “This is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen are our newest favorites. The humor is a little dark, but my older boys (6 & 4) and my husband think they are the absolute BEST children’s books in the history of the world.

    And I just don’t get the fondness for Love You Forever…. It’s creepy and wierd at the end…

  399. Jade says:

    Luckily my 4 year old likes pretty much anything I read to him, but his favorites are anything by Dr. Seuss, and both “Do Unto Otters” AND “The Scrambled States of America” by Laurie Keller. Some of my favorites to read to him include:
    “Agate” by Joy Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson
    “Because Brian Hugged His Mother” by David L. Rice
    “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” by Mem Fox
    “Stone Soup” by Jon J Muth
    “The Empty Pot” by Demi
    “Making The Moose Out Of Life” by Nicholas Oldland

    Thank you so much for this post! We, too, get in a “book rut” now and again. Going to the library with a child with a super-short attention span is a pain in the doopa, and with all of the children’s books out there, I don’t want to waste my time browsing through or ending up with crappy ones. Thanks to everyone who posted their book recommendations here! Now I have a list of great suggestions to take with me to the library :)

  400. Dodo says:

    I read all the comments and people have done a great job. I have just a few I’d like to add, though. Look for books illustrated by Susan Jeffers and Paul O. Zelinsky (retelling of classic fairy tales). Even if you don’t read the stories, the artwork is worth looking at and discussing. And some of the books illustrated by Stephen Kellogg as well.
    Don’t forget to introduce your kids to poetry. There are some great funny poetry books for kids that will introduce them gradually.
    Great audio books to look for (great way to pass the time on long trips) are any Shel Silverstein, Robert Munsch, and John R. Erickson (Hank the Cowdog Series) books read by the authors. Authors don’t always make the best readers for their own books, but these three are notable exceptions. Crazy & hilarious & Erickson even sings the cowboy songs. His voices for the different dogs and cowboys are hilarious!
    The one book I didn’t see mentioned at all that is a must-read in my opinion, whether you read-aloud or get the audio book, is “The Great Turkey Walk” by Kathleen Karr. This book is amazing on so many levels and I think my kids got more out of it every year we re-read it. I would say this is a book to read sometime after the “Little House on the Prairie” books as there are some sad and hard parts, but so worthwhile.
    Great kids books are my passion and I am very much enjoying introducing them to my grandkids.

  401. Amberwj says:

    All time childhood fave – Fergus and the Snow Deer, Yasuko Kimura, gorgeous and enchanting.

    My 3 1/2 yr olds Current faves –
    The Wishing Chair, Enid Blyton
    Olga the Brolga, Rod Clement

  402. Amy says:

    My two boys (nearly 7) adore the ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘Wishing Chair’ books by Enid Blyton. I first started reading these to them when they were really small, then they took a bit of a break and rediscovered them about a year ago.

    I managed to find the complete collection in one for no series and we’re in the process of reading them for about the 5th time. The boys are perfectly able to read them alone but they like having a chapter read to them before bed. Each chapter is only 3-4 pages so it is a perfect bite size for the pre-bed time.

    I highly recommend them.

  403. I do research on #3, kids learn better from this “addiction.” As a parent, knowing that has made it easier to read the same stories again and again.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2013/03/reading-the-same-book-over-and-over-helps-you-learn-faster-if-you%E2%80%99re-18-months-old

  404. Kristin says:

    Any of the Knuffle Bunny books are great – especially if your little one has a favorite toy they can’t live without.

  405. Laura says:

    The Bear Snores On….fantastic words that my 2 year old loves repeating the sounds of, like “the coals pip pop…they chew and they munch with a chew, chomp CRUNCH! But the bear snores on”… Etc. one of my favourites to read him too because the illustrations are divine!

  406. Laura Brown says:

    Current favorites (sorry, I don’t remember the authors): Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet, The King with Six Friends, the Lorax by Dr. Suess, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain (this one HAS to be read with the closest approximation to James Earl Jones’s voice possible, since they saw it on Reading Rainbow one time. Never mind that I’ve read it in MY voice 9,000 times, James Earl Jones clearly got it right on the first try).

    PS, we have had a new copy of Goodnight Moon for each child (we’re on the 4th now) because of stage 1 & 2. They’ve all been board books, but what can I say? My kids must just have a knack for destruction…

  407. Sarah says:

    I bet your boys would love The Stinky Cheese Man!

  408. Bekah says:

    Love this! We are currently experiencing stage 4 in our house. We can’t start reading until my son has stacked EVERY SINGLE BOOK he owns next to me. And then naturally we need to read them all in one sitting!

  409. Rivka says:

    Any of the Mr. Magee books, or anything else by Chris van Dusen. Awesome rhymes and cute pictures. And Mr Magee and his little dog Dee also have cameos in all of the non-Magee books we have, which was great fun for my 3 y.o. to discover.

  410. eve says:

    Current favorites of my two year old:
    Are You My Mother?
    Llama Llama Red Pajama aka “yama yama”
    Harry the Dirty Dog
    The Little Engine that Could (any book that features trains)

  411. Julie says:

    My little boy loves “My Truck is Stuck!” He is now 3 but we have been reading it for at least a year. My husband and I both now know it by heart. Our little boy will pick each night who he wants to read what and we laugh (and sigh in relief) when the other parent is choosen. But it is a really cute book.

  412. imamann says:

    sandra boynton. (i didn’t read through the comments so someone else may have already said it). they are silly and clever.
    we loved charlotte’s web and are currently reading the little house series so we can go to connor prarie in the spring and have context for what we experience. ( http://www.connerprairie.org/ )

    p.s. the next stage is learning to read, in which you sit and listen to your child say. Mat. Sat. Sam. Sat. Mat. Sat. And. Sam. Sat. Mat. Sat. On. Sam. It keeps going from there. it’s beautiful and torture all at the same time.

  413. kelleyellen says:

    I want to bookmark this post to remember all the great suggestions as my baby grows! She’s currently 21 months and we are at the Addiction stage. Current faves are “Pat the Puppy” (although she has ripped out most of the cool stuff, she still loves it, especially the wheel that turns to look at the baby pictures. Those are some creepy babies), “Pajama Time” (or most any Sandra Boyton), “Another Monster at the End of the Book” and an old Sesame Street book that I found at Goodwill where Big Bird is jealous of all the attention Ernie gets when he’s sick, so he pretends to be sick too (bad idea Big Bird).
    I am much looking forward to re-reading some of my old faves as she gets older “A Wrinkle in Time”, all the Anne of Green Gables books, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, so many!!

  414. 12tequilas says:

    Oh my, hundreds of comments and no one has mentioned the Olivia books by Ian Falconer? I will also second the bear and mouse books by Bonny Becker. My kids never tire of these. You have to read the Becker books with a British accent. Trust me.

  415. Jennifer says:

    No one will probably read this far into the comments but I have to share anyway. My daughter loves Dr. Seuss (of course) and instead of Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, she mixes them and will ask to read “Cat in the Ham.” LOVE when she does that! Of course, I’m never sure which one she wants when she says that so I have to hold both of them up for her to pick :)

  416. Kristen says:

    Ok I admit that I don’t read all the comments so if someone already suggested, my apologies ahead of time. I was a huge fan of Mrs. Pigglewiggle. There were several of them and they were all great. I highly recommend!

  417. mem says:

    the phantom toll booth. in fact my son is named milo but not after the character we just liked the name and it suits him. and a little younger book is the monster at the end of the book with grover. i’ve even heard they did a sequel with grover and elmo.

    • mem says:

      oh yes and my all time favorite book ever i’ve read it at least once a year since i was 7
      the last of the really great whangdoodles by julie andrews

  418. tara says:

    Hahah this is so true! My nephew had a book he loved so much my sister hid it under the couch because she didn’t want to read it anymore!

    I loved all the Boxcar Children books. And Black Beauty.

    Also Just So Stories. Those are so cool!

  419. Stevie says:

    We are in stage 4 right now, and I hate to tell him that I need a break, but after reading 14 in a row, I need a drink of water!

  420. Trisha W. says:

    If you’d like to try chapter books, my kids love the Magic Tree House series.

  421. Stephanie says:

    My girls LOVE books. Fortunately, we are enrolled in Imagination Library, so we get one book every month in the mail until the youngest is 5 years old. Our first book was The Little Engine That Could, and that has been read so many times that I’ve had to tape up many ripped pages.

  422. Everything that has anything to do with PBSKids. My daughter is crazy about DW on Arthur. Of course, she IS DW, so I’m not surprised. We have to read the books millions of times. Now that she is reading independently, we get to hear her read them millions of times to us. Not such a bad deal.

  423. MamaO'Luke says:

    Books I’m really, really glad my kid loves:

    Bippolo Seed: AMAZING collection of “lost” Dr. Suess my 5yo and I have read constantly for 2 years. Hilarious, weird, and smart with subtle messages. You will be required to “do” voices:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bippolo-Other-Stories-Classic-Seuss/dp/0375864350/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363063394&sr=1-1&keywords=bippolo+seed

    Mario Makes A Move: A flying squirrel, perfecting his “moves,” with fantastically illustrated, slightly sarcastic critters. About what I’d guess a kid’s book by Wes Anderson would look like, if he made a kid’s book.. which would be great, actually. Nice message too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mario-Makes-Move-Jill-McElmurry/dp/0375868542/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363063593&sr=1-1&keywords=mario+makes+a+move

    Extraordinary Egg (and the other Leo Leoni’s) is fun and adorable and illustrations are wonderful:

    http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Egg-Leo-Lionni/dp/0679893857/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363063525&sr=1-4&keywords=leo+leoni

  424. Caity says:

    I grew up on Uncle Wiggly stories, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, along with Amelia Bedelia. Those are the ones I remember the most, and love love LOVED!

    My parents tell me that “Big Bird’s Copycat Day” was a big hit around here, too.

  425. Fiona says:

    Seek out Pamela Allen, an australian children’s author. Mr McGee, Mr McGee goes to see, Mr McGee and the bighting flee, The pear in the pear tree, The Lion in the Night.

  426. Rane says:

    Your boys are a bit older than mine, so you’ve probably a lady gone through the Mouse and the Motorcycle series. If not, it is hily recommended. Also, we love non-fiction books. The “About” series by the Sills is beautifully illustrated with realistic watercolor paintings and succinctly written. Great for early readers, too. Topics a biology bases such as animal groups: mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, etc’ or environment: About Deserts, About Mountains. You get the idea. Each spread talks about one aspect of the topic with one full size image. There is a lot more information in the last three pages. We have almost all of them now! My kids love them. We don’t go a day or two without reading at least one in the series.

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  428. Karen Hunter says:

    Our boys (4 and 2.5) have been loving “Bill and Pete” and “Tiki-Tiki-Tembo” recently. Over and over and over again. :)

  429. Michelle says:

    There are so many great ones out there! Currently, my boys (2 & 4) love Curious George and Llama Llama. My youngest lives any books with any flaps he can lift up or Seek & Find books. My oldest loves The Giving Tree and Goodnight, Goodnight Constuction Site.

  430. casey says:

    Wow so many amazing suggestions! My 3 1/2 year old is a fan of Arggg Spider! and Bad Kitty. The Little Island is my go-to bedtime book when she needs to chill out… and since I can’t escape those Disney whores, the princesses, I usually have to read her a story from one of those books, too. Now excuse me, I need to make a trip to the library….

  431. SleepyMom says:

    Awesome post and loving all the recs in the comments. I’ll try to not duplicate as many awesome books have already been mentioned.

    Books that appealed to both genders at a variety of ages:
    DANDELION by Don Freeman (forget Cordurory and get this)
    Fred and Ted books by P.D. Eastman (and more by his son)
    Shark vs Train by Barton & Litchtenheld
    Libray Lion by Knudsen
    SuperHero ABC by Bob McLeod

    Other Picture Books:
    Wolf’s Coming! by Joe Kulka (my son’s most favorite ever)
    Andrea Zimmerman books (Fire Engine Man, Digger Man)
    Helen Lester books
    Albert the Fix-it Man by Janet Lord
    Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett (get the tickle mitts too)

    Science book:
    See Inside How Things Work by Conrad Mason (Usborne Flap book)

    Great chapter books to read-aloud to kids and introduce the Fantasy genre:
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (lots of “but” puns will have the kids laughing: best for over age 6)
    The Wizard of Oz series by Frank L. Baum (read all 12, best if you get the ones with the original color illustrations age 5 and up)
    The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

    Shorter chapter books to read on their own:
    The Bailey School Kids series

    Board Books (not already mentioned I think):
    Big Dog Little Dog series by Dave Pilkey
    The Toolbox by Anne Rockwell (if you have a boy obsessed with hand tools only like mine was)
    Tails

    • SleepyMom says:

      And the Max and Ruby books by Rosemary Wells but maybe it’s because I have a Max and a Ruby replica at my house and it’s fun to see yourself in the characters. My son’s middle name is Maximillian so that makes them even better and they are such a god value if you get the 3 stories in one book on amazon.

  432. Tobi says:

    Ahh, I’m overwhelmed by all the amazing suggestions on here. The perfectionist in me wants to sit down, read every comment and make a list of all these books for the future. The tired part of me says no way. Regardless, I’m glad you wrote this post so that I can have a resource to return to with great recommendations.

    My 1.5 year old is obsessed with Bear Snores On right now, so good to know about the voices pretension stage. I’d better stop doing the voices for the different animals or else he’ll never be satisfied!

  433. Cassie says:

    The Mouse and the Motorcycle was a childhood favorite for me along with The Indian in the Cupboard and Little House on the Prairie. If your boys like Roald Dahl try The BFG, it’s great or The Incredible Mr. Fox. Happy reading!!

  434. Leigh Choueke says:

    My two favorites from way back in the day, Ms. Nelson is missing and there’s a monster at the end of this book. My son’s current faves, he’s almost 2, are Diary of a Wombat and Diary of a Baby Wombat. I like them too :)

  435. Amanda says:

    We love Laura Numeroff. If you give a _____ a _____ ANYTHING comes off the shelf, and my kids are happy. My son is currently in stage 3 with “Hand Hand Fingers Thumb.” He toddles around the house, clutching it, and saying “dum, dum!”

  436. teagansmomma says:

    Rikki Tikki Tembo was my all-time favorite growing up. I’m 31 and can still remember his name!

    http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Tikki-Tembo/Arlene-Mosel/B0312367481?id=5631279380450

  437. RaeAnne says:

    We’re enjoying Just So Stories right now. Kipling’s commentaries on his illustrations are hysterical sometimes!

  438. Cynthia says:

    One of our favourites right now is “Chester” by Melanie Watt. I’ve read it a billion times but I still like it. Soooo rare!!

  439. Erin says:

    Give Malcom at Midnight by W.H. Beck a try. It is a mystery chapter book my 5yo loved that is about a rat named Malcom, who becomes a class pet. Malcom meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) safe. When a pet iguana goes missing Malcom is suspect and he needs to solve the mystery to prove his innocence.

  440. Heather says:

    I am loving these comments, however I am also hyperventalating about the fact that I haven’t heard of 90% of these books and am convinced I am depriving my children (2.4 and 7 months) and they’ll be scarred forever. I have just made a list of about 38 books to buy tomorrow, and am up way past my bedtime.

  441. Hope says:

    I did not read all the comments. I will ummmm 50th the Mo Willems suggestion, as my boys both extremely adore them. And all 3 of my kids LOVE Bye Bye, Big Bad Bullybug! By Ed Emberley (even the 11 month old has carried it to me since she could walk). It may be the crazy voices I do, though, because Daddy is not allowed to read it.

  442. Kristin says:

    The Mitten, Corduroy, Curious George and The Little Critter books (Mercer Mayer)

  443. Debi says:

    The Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney are wonderful. My almost 2-year-old wants to read Llama Llama Red Pajama every night. Twice. :)

  444. Aceroo says:

    We loved books so much growing up; it feels like I have a thousand books I’m going to shove down my kids’ throats. In addition to the beloved aforementioned classics such as Roald Dahl everything and The Chronicles of Narnia, my brother and I loved: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville; The Boggart by Susan Cooper; Howliday Inn and Bunnicula by James Howe; Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (these are so excellent and ridiculous!!). I totally loved the Anne of Green Gables series and a series called Francis in the Fourth Grade, but I’m a girl and I don’t think my brother was as into those.

    • Elisabeth says:

      Bunnicula! I loved that book! Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater is another one I remember loving, but I remember nothing about it … hahaha

  445. Chelsea says:

    We’re in Sandra Boynton land around here with the 9 month old and can recite most of them from memory. My 6 year old nephew is really enjoying the Geronimo Stilton Kingdom of Fantasy series I got him. The books (at least the first one) have treasure maps, games, and lots of pictures to keep budding readers interested. It said COFFEE in big brown letters on the first page of the first chapter of the first book. I figured I couldn’t go wrong.

  446. Jen Ro says:

    My son’s favorites are Dinotrux and Revenge of the Dinotrux’s.. combines a boys favorite things Dinosaurs and Trucks.. how can this go wrong?! :-D And my favorite for cute but accurate ocean creatures books are anything from Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series.

    Didn’t have time to read all the comments so my apologies if these have been mentioned!

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  448. Elisabeth says:

    I lucked out with a self-teaching child … started reading at 3 and can now at 5 can successfully read his favorites to me while I nap…err listen …

    The worst books, by far, are those ones with the little sound buttons on the side to press at various parts of the story … God only knows what horrible fate will befall us if we accidently “read through” a sound button … Wall E might never come back to life (we can hope, right?)

  449. deneen says:

    as a kid, i was allowed 30mins of tv a week … lots and LOTS of extra time to read … there was nothing that i did not read!! ALL the Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys books, Pippi, The Swallowa and the Amazons … theose books that had the changable endings … magazines, fiction, non fiction, comics … EVERYTHING!! my sons favourite series w few years back was the Captain Underpants and my youngest loves Ronald Dahl and is a big SilverBirch fan … we’ve had all the Amelia Bedelia books …the Harry Potter books .. ahhhh such good memories!!

  450. Karen says:

    I tried to browse through to ensure I wasn’t duplicating but there were just so many great comments! So I skipped to here.

    Anyway, three great picture books that my son loves are:
    Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
    It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle
    What to Do if an Elephant Stands on your Foot by Michelle Robinson

    I’m Canadian and often find that, although titles are available in the US, they’re not as plentiful from some great Canadian children’s authors. For example, Love you Forever by Robert Munsch is only one of his great books. His stories are actually quite silly usually and our faves are Mortimer, Paper Bag Princess, Murmel, Murmel, Murmel, David’s Father, Thomas’ Snowsuit (you’d like this one I think) and I Have to Go!

    Also, the Scaredy Squirrel series and Chester by Melanie Watt

    Professor Wormbog in Search of the Zipperumpazoo is a great recent re-release of a Mercer Mayer title from the 70′s.

    Lastly, see if you can get your hands on Alligator Pie or Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee. He decided to “update” nursery rhymes and uses a lot of goofy sounding place names to make up rhymes but there are some sweet ones in with the silly. Great phonics practice learning how to read Moosenee and Temagami!

  451. Donna says:

    My children are now 31 and 29 and I have grandchildren ages 13 and 6. My children’s favorite book (all right, one of them) was Wombat Stew. Of course, it is now out of print, and because it was written by someone in either Australia or New Zealand, it is almost impossible to get it anymore. I tried and tried for #1 grandchild and as I recall I could get a copy for like $200 or some ridiculous amount. I actually considered checking it out of the library (which is how we read it the first time, we checked it out like one bazillion times) and then essentially stealing it. I would probably have done it too (nothing is too hard, or too unethical for #1 grandchild) but I couldn’t find a library that had it anymore. If I was rich I would fly to Australia, or New Zealand and steal a copy from one of their libraries, but I am not rich. In fact, if I was rich I could probably still buy a copy. Until then I will be chanting “wombat stew, wombat stew, yummy, yummy, gummy, gummy, wombat stew” or something like that. Maybe it was also my favorite book, it was a little different and just fun to read, at least the first 1 million times. So that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

    • Karen says:

      Have you checked Amazon.com recently for used copies? I had good luck with some of my faves as well and a first search shows your title showing up as low as $20 for used…could be a bit dog-eared but maybe worth it?

      • Donna says:

        Karen, thank you so much. I buy used books for me all the time from Amazon, why did I not think of this?????? Must be a combination of my 60+ year old brain, and taking care of my mama who had a stroke 4 months ago. I just got home after being gone for 4 days. It is hard to live with the role reversal, spending a lot of my time telling my mama what she can do and why.
        Thanks again for taking time to help me.

  452. Leah M. says:

    So I’m only 19 and without kids but I do babysit and a lot of the things you post about I’ve experienced in a small way.
    but I digress
    Books i loved as a kid. Mrs. piggle wiggle. now that I’m older I’m surprised how much I liked to read them, Berenstein bears,a series by susanna Gretz about teddy bears mainly the one where they go to the grocery store (“AND DOG FOOD!” hahha) of course there’s if you give a mouse a cookie. and as kids we were in love with robin hood and king arthur, unfortunately I do not remember the names of the books we read, probably part of the Sonlight reading list.
    and many many more which I am sure I have missed but I am very grateful to my mom for taking the time to read to me and make me read

  453. Michele says:

    Love the Gruffalo and other picture books by Julia Donaldson. Creative rhyming without being cheesy. Very clever stories.

  454. Kathy says:

    The Henry Huggins books (Beverly Cleary) are a surprise hit with my preschooler. Some of my own favorites are Birds (Kevin Henkes), The Curious Garden (Peter Brown), Extra Yarn (Mac Barnett), and the Giant Hug (Sandra Horning). They’re not necessarily life-changers, but they feel clever and fresh.

  455. Amber, I love that you read every comment. Unfortunately I did not have time to read all 672 comments before posting…Captain Underpants!
    If already recommended (though I’m sure you are probably already familiar) Please disregard.

  456. Kathy says:

    Oh, and I absolutely love The Giant Jam Sandwich (John Vernon Lord)!

  457. Moogette says:

    Novels:
    The Ramona books (Beverley Cleary) are pretty funny, also Bunnicula (James? Howe), The Twits (Roald Dahl), The Floods (Colin Thompson), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (for when they are a bit older), The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)
    Picture Books:
    Oliver Jeffers (any of them – he’s my all time favourite picture book writer), closely followed by Colin Thompson.

  458. Moogette says:

    Oh, Also – the Dinosaur rescue books – my daughter LOVED them… she is a bit of a tomboy and totally into boogers, mud and other grotty stuff, which is present in abundance in this series.

  459. Chrisy says:

    Late to the party and these have likely been mentioned already, but will throw my 2 cents in anyway. The Gruffalo and anything by Julia Donaldson. Downright clever and fun rollicking tales! Dr. Seuss, specifically The Sneetches and Too Many Daves…sure to get a good laugh when Oliver Boliver Butt or Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate are mentioned. Just don’t read it with a buzz or lack of sleep. Bear Snores On series is a winner. Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and his other stories, the Llama Llama series. Anything by Roald Dahl. My boys LOVE comic strip books particularly Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes which gives them mischievous ideas and I will likely regret later, but at least they are still reading.

  460. Carrie says:

    Once, my four-year-old was slowly turning the pages in a book long before it was bedtime. I asked what he was doing. His response? “Remembering the pages so you can’t skip any.” Damnit.

  461. Angel says:

    For the sheer pleasure of aloud reading: Quick as a Cricket. For spooky fun, and as a challenge to get into longer books: Bunnicula.

  462. I personally love “Little Blue Truck”…it’s awesome…lovely paintings…a wonderful moral…and becomes like a song to sing together when you read it with Mr. SmartyPants who has memorized every last word. When my son was 18 months my mother and I overheard him in the back seat of the car reciting THE ENTIRE BOOK for the first time. It’s a winner! (PS – we are down to 2 books at naptimes and 4 books at bedtime…and maybe ONE during the daylight hours. Sorry.)

  463. Emily says:

    I love this post! I actually wrote a children’s picture book called “The Book Monster” that was inspired by my own children eating thier books! You can check out “The Book Monster” on Amazon! In the meantime, I’m going to share this post on my author page! Thanks for being honest about the trials (and joys) of parenting! I read this blog when I’m feeling stressed and need a good laugh!

  464. Kendra Beutler says:

    My older (7 and 10) still love me to read to them, when they aren’t reading to themselves. Some of our all-time favorites that we still get out (because they are funny! we love the funny!):
    - Moosetache and the companion holiday book, Mooseltoe
    - The Princess and the Pizza
    - Farley Farts
    My favorite books growing up were the Berenstain Bears, but as a parent, I learned to hate them. They are just too darn long! :)

    Also, like many of you, loved all the Sandra Boynton books for babies. I kept all of our old copies and read them to any baby/toddler that comes to our house. And they always request them when they come back! (Blue Hat, Green Hat was our personal favorite. I can still hear my kids’ giggles when the silly turkey put the clothes on the wrong part of his body.)

  465. Kirsten says:

    The Booky trilogy was wonderful to read (a few years away for your boys), especially since it took place in my neighbourhood. As was Underground to Canada. Stella, Queen of the Snow and Along a Long Road are two lovely newer picture books. Those are just a few favourites that haven’t been mentioned yet.

  466. Ruth says:

    Anything by Sandra Boyton, the Don’t Let the Pigeon books by Mo Willem, and the Skippy John Jones books. (But watch out for the urge to use voices with Skippy John Jones; it’s impossible to resist!)

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  469. Krystal says:

    My kids love Diary of a Wombat. It is hysterical and heartwarming.

  470. Heathbar says:

    Babar and more Babar. I try not to read the first one, where the mom dies a la Bambi, but they love “Babar’s Mystery,” “Babar Goes to America” and “Babar and the Wully Wully”, which come after the world of Babar has been established. My three-year-old was bummed last weekend, when on a visit to the zoo realized the elephant was not Babar because “he’s not wearing his yellow hat.”

  471. Elizabeth says:

    My smalls are totally OBSESSED with Virginia Lee Burton’s books right now. Their favorite of all time is The Little House. My 3yo clamors for “Leetle Huss Stoway” at least 47 times each and every day.

    We also love “Where’s My Cow?” by Terry Pratchett, “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina, anything and everything by Mem Fox or Mary Murphy, “Hello, Baby” by Jenni Overend (our new baby is due next month), all of bell hook’s children’s books, “Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, and the three Seuss books with the Cat in the Hat in them (“The Cat in the Hat”, “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back”, and “I can read with my eyes shut”).

  472. BethanyH says:

    My problem is my 20 mo is stuck in stage 2 and 3 at the same time! I don’t want to have to put all the books out of his reach, but this kid can literallly grab even a BOARD BOOK and rip it in half! And I’m getting tired of the 2.5 yo handing me more and more books that need fixing!

  473. Sarah S. says:

    And then there are my kids, the private readers. They LOVE books, on their own. Don’t even think about reading one *to*them.

  474. Marija says:

    For younger kids, I found “mole sisters” perfect for bed time – the books are calm, slow. They are short, so even reading 300 of them doesn’t take long time (good when pressed for bedtime time).

    For slightly older, anything by Robert Munsch is perfect, especially read the way he is telling them.
    http://robertmunsch.com/book/stephanies-ponytail

    Usborne publisher has couple of collections of fairy tales in thick small books, they have long lasting power. Illustrated Fairy Tales (Illustrated Stories Series) is one example.

    My son was obsessed with Tintin comics for long time, we relied on local library for this. It is hard to read a comic, but that opened the new world to him.

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  476. TacoMagic says:

    The two favorites of the TacoHut are Llama Llama Red Pajama and Hank the Cowdog.

    Others of note:
    Mouse and the Motorcycle
    Trumpet of the Swan
    Cricket in Time’s Square (and all the sequels)
    Animalia

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  478. Katie K. says:

    Any of the Duck & Goose books by Tad Hills. Goodnight Moon. And Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton. :)

  479. Tristen Warner says:

    OMG yes!! We have a great book collection, and have avoided the non stop reading of one book step, but we’ve read a few of them so many times my sweetie and I have them memorized :D

  480. Mary Jane says:

    I LOVED “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,What do You See?”, “Each Peach Pear Plum” and “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales”. Andof course, the regular gingerbread man story..made my grammy read it every night for 3years. She even recorded herself reading it for me but I refused to listen to it. She HAD to actually read it to me in order to satisfy my addiction