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!
Today was one of those days where I looked out the window and could just feel winter approaching. The leaves were fluttering steadily down from the trees, which are just about bare now, and the sky was a chilly shade of gray. We've reached that point in the season where we need hats and mittens to play outside, and I feel the need to eat chocolate even more than usual. (That must mean winter is coming.) A steady rain was falling all afternoon, too, making me want to start a fire in the fireplace, make some hot chocolate, and curl up with a good book! I like winter -- in limited amounts, at least -- but I am not ready for it yet. In fact, there are many times when I feel like bears are really on to something by hibernating the cold weather away. What better book to feature then today, I thought, than one of our favorites, Bear Snores On. We already featured the second book in the Bear series, Bear Wants More, back on Day 1, but have been waiting to share this one until the weather seemed a bit more fitting. My mom gave us Bear Wants More as one of my son's first books before he was even born, and we loved it so much that we needed to get some of Karma Wilson's other Bear books, too. Bear Snores On is where we first meet our beloved Bear and his host of friends: Mouse, Hare, Gopher, Mole, Badger, Raven, and Wren. I absolutely love these characters and never get tired of reading this story. In fact, I read it so often to my son when he was two, that I can still recite the whole story from memory. "In a cave in the woods in his deep, dark lair, through the long cold winter sleeps a great brown bear. Cuddled in a heap with his eyes shut tight, he sleeps through the day, he sleeps through the night. The cold winds howl and the night sounds growl but the bear snores on." One by one, new friends begin to enter Bear's den seeking shelter from the winter storm raging outside. As they make themselves at home popping corn, brewing tea, and chit-chatting the evening away, Bear's den grows cozier and more lively until there is an all-out party going on! When Bear finally wakes up and sees all of the fun he has been missing, he is not a happy camper... but leave it to his woodland friends to save the day! Wilson's rhymes are flawless, fabulous, and so much fun to read, and Jane Chapman's illustrations could not be any cuter. I especially love the picture of the animals dancing around the fire in Bear's den while the storm rages outside. The whole scene just looks so cozy and inviting! This is another one of my favorite books to give as a baby gift, particularly the board book version. If you haven't discovered this fantastic series, look for Bear the next time you are at the library or your local book store. Bear Snores On is a perfect book to read with your little one during any kind of weather at any time of year.
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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