Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!
I'm so happy our friend Melinda introduced us to Kevin Henkes. We just love his books! My son has asked to read this story several times a day since we took it out of the library last week and it has quickly become a favorite. There are so many things I love about this book that I'm not sure where to start. Lilly is a sassy, precocious, red-cowboy-boot-wearing free-spirit of a mouse. She loves school, especially her teacher Mr. Slinger, and wants to be a teacher just like him when she grows up. Lilly writes stories and draws pictures of Mr. Slinger, and even stays after school to help him clap out erasers. You could say she's your classic wannabe teacher's pet. But when Lilly can't wait to show off her new purple plastic purse and her movie-star sunglasses to everyone in the class, she sees a different side of Mr. Slinger: the firm teacher (aka "big, fat, mean, Mr. Stealing teacher!") The tale that unfolds from here is one that I think everyone can relate to. Who hasn't, at some time in his or her life, acted upon impulse, only to deeply regret it later? There are so many great lessons to be learned from Lilly's decisions in this book (both good and bad), and I just love the way this story plays out. The illustrations are fantastic, too, especially Lilly's expressions. Be sure read the captions within the pictures, as well! Children of all ages will relate to Lilly and her feelings, and this must be a favorite book of elementary and preschool teachers everywhere. I find this particularly relevant to my son at the moment, who, at nearly three and a half, is definitely starting to push his limits with us a bit more. I wonder if part of the reason he loves this book so much right now is that he sees a bit of himself in Lilly. As parents, we're trying to help him see the importance of patience, forgiveness, good manners, and following rules, even when he doesn't want to. And, just like Lilly, he sometimes learns the hard way that he has to accept responsibility for his actions. (One of his favorite parts of the story is when Lilly tells Mr. Slinger she is "really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really sorry." He gets a big smile on his face every time we read it.) These are important lessons for all children, I think, and I just love the way Henkes expresses them within such a delightfully fun story. Definitely add this one to your must-read list. Like Lilly's movie-star sunglasses, this book is simply fabulous!
As anyone living in New England will tell you, this winter's weather has been particularly brutal. Consequently, my family and I have spent a lot of time cozied up on the couch reading stories and sipping hot cocoa, and have made many trips to our local library. I just love the feeling of discovering a wonderful new story, but often find it is not as easy as it might seem (though perhaps this is because I am usually chasing my 3 year old around the library or trying to keep my 6 month old from chewing on all of the books.) So begins my quest to find a great new book to read to my little ones every day for a year. And I don't mean just any good book. I mean one that I won't mind reading 10 times in a row. One that we'll read so often and love so much that we'll need to go out and get our own copy. My friends have shared their personal favorites with me and I am happy to do the same with you. Thanks for joining our journey!
Busy Mom Disclaimer:
Ideally, my great-book-a-day-for-a-year blog would have one amazing post for each calendar day and be all neat and tidy like that. But I know myself too well. And besides, I'm looking for the best of the best here. I don't want to settle on posting about a book that I don't love, simply to be able to add something new every day. So, my posts will simply be numbered 1 to 365. In the end, we'll still have a year's worth of good books (or so I hope!) Hopefully you'll find my list to be worth the wait. And please, by all means, if there is a book you love that you think should make the list, let me know. Just leave a comment telling me the title and author and I would love to check it out. I'll be sure to give credit where credit is due. Thank you!
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