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!
Meet Rocket: a cute, cuddly, black and white dog who loves chasing leaves and napping under his favorite tree. As he settles in for a good nap one day, a little bird lands on a branch nearby and declares herself to be his teacher. He tries to argue that he is only there to sleep, but the persistent bird continues, encouraging Rocket to be her student. He ignores her at first, but he soon finds himself drawn in to the story she is reading aloud about a dog who has lost his favorite bone. Soon enough, Rocket is returning to the bird's classroom by the tree every morning, hoping to learn to read for himself. Together, Rocket and the little yellow bird sing out the sounds that letters make and piece them together, from the GRRRRRRRR of Mr. Barker's growl to the WHHOOSSHHHH of the wind. Then, it's on to words that describe the world around them, such as the R-E-D leaves and the cool, crisp weather of F-A-L-L. As the seasons turn, the little bird flies away for the winter, leaving her star student to keep spelling and reading on his own until she returns. "Don't forget!" she reminds him. "Words are built one letter at a time!" Rocket practices all winter, anxiously waiting for the return of spring and his teacher so that they may read together once more. How Rocket Learned to Read is a perfect book for any child who is venturing into the glorious world of reading independently. I just love the way Tad Hills brings Rocket and the adventure of reading to life: letter by letter, sound by sound, one word at a time. I love the way he engages Rocket with a story for the first time, going from uninterested, to curious, to captivated. I love how he realistically depicts learning to read as a journey that takes time, not something that one can learn to do overnight. And I love little details about the book, like Rocket's expressive face and the fact that the alphabet is described as wondrous, mighty, and gorgeous. My son just adores this book, too. He loves the cute little dog, of course, and definitely shares Rocket's curiosity about letters and reading. My son spells out words everywhere we go and asks what they spell -- in the store, in the car, with his foam letter in the bathtub -- and just loves spelling along with Rocket as we read. (He was so excited to know the name E-M-M-A the first time we read this.) He loves little things about this book, too, like the fact that a lilac bush is mentioned in the story. Every time we smell lilacs outside, he smiles and exclaims, "Lilacs! Just like in Rocket!" We have a great, interactive version of this book on our ipad, as well. How Rocket Learned to Read is a fabulous story that we are bound to read again and A-G-A-I-N.
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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