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!
"We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared." Come along with a father, his four children, and their faithful border collie as they set out for an afternoon of adventure in Michael Rosen's fabulous version of the classic We're Going On a Bear Hunt. My son has become quite fond of this story lately, and with good reason. It's delightfully fun to read, and we can't help but feel the excitement building with each turn of the page. Will they ever find a bear? Once they do, will they be able to outrun it? Will they shut their door in time?? The sound effects, of course, are my son's favorite part, and I always find my pace quickening along with the family's footsteps at the end of the book as they race towards home: "Back through the cave! Tip toe, tip toe! Back through the snowstorm! Hooo woooo, hoooo woooo! Back through the forest! Stumble trip, stumble trip! Back through the mud! Squelch squerch, squelch squerch! Back through the river! Splash splosh, splash splosh! Back through the grass! Swishy swashy, swishy swashy!" Never being one to go around, over or under things, my son also loves that the family has no choice but to boldly go through each obstacle they encounter. Why go around the mud when you can squelch right though it? Helen Oxenbury's illustrations are wonderful, and they do a great job of making the story come alive and feel exciting rather than scary. One of my favorite images is the one on the last page, with the bear slowly heading home along the beach, hanging his head in defeat as the sun sets over the water. As Rosen asks in his introduction, what is the bear thinking there? This book is sure to make your child laugh with delight and ask to read it again and again. I would prefer to stay snug under the covers, but perhaps after reading this story, your little adventurers will be asking to go out on a bear hunt of their own.
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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