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!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year in Review: A countdown of our most-read books of 2013!

We've read a LOT of fabulous books this year, and I love seeing what stories become my kids' new favorites as they grow and their interests change.  While we discovered some of these books this past year, others are long-time favorites that simply made their way into our top 13 of '13.  So here they are, our most-read books of 2013.  I've included my son and daughter's individual top 3, though the rest are in no real particular order.  I'd love to know what books would make your list!

Wishing you and all of our readers everywhere a happy, peaceful, love-filled year ahead!  Happy New Year!

~ Lauren

Our Top 13 Books of 2013:

My 6 year old son's top 3:

1. The Calvin and Hobbes Collection:  My son has completely fallen in love with Calvin and Hobbes this year, spending hours curled up in his favorite chair giggling over the pair's silly antics.  My husband received this set as a gift several years ago, and we never imagined it would be so thoroughly read and loved.

2.  The National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia:  After taking this book out from the library and seeing how much my son loved it, we knew we'd have to one day get our own copy.  He is a total sponge when it comes to learning facts about animals, and the photographs and information in this book are amazing. We ordered it shortly before heading on our summer vacation to Maine, and my son has spent hours reading it ever since.  A truly great book for any animal lover.

3.  The Magic Treehouse series:  We turned to this incredible series when my son seemed ready to start reading some longer chapter books.  I had the pleasure of reading the first few with him, but they soon became "Daddy books" that he and my husband read together before bed at night.  It took a few months, but they managed to read almost all of the books in the series:  49 of 50, to be exact.  Book #50 just came out a few months ago, and it's been all but impossible to track down in a library ever since.  Filled with great historical tidbits about famous places and people, these will certainly be some of my son's most memorable childhood books.

My 3 year old daughter's top 3:

4.  Extra Yarn:  For some reason, my daughter became obsessed with this book when we brought it home from the library a few months back.  We read it each night at bedtime for weeks, and hope to soon add it to our home library.  Jon Klassen's artwork is gorgeous and the story is equally as enjoyable.

5.  Creepy Carrots:  Both of my children love this book, though my daughter is particularly smitten with it.  We had gotten it out of the library and renewed it several times, and eventually added it to our home library after giving it to her for her 3rd birthday.  Peter Brown won the Caldecott Honor for this silly, almost-scary-but-not-quite story about a bunny who is being haunted by the carrots he eats.

6.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:  This book was my daughter's bedtime favorite every night for what seemed like weeks back in the summer.  It's a classic that will always be loved in our house.

And rounding out the rest of our top 13...

7.  The Day the Crayons Quit:  Both my son and daughter (age 3) get such a kick out of this book.  It's silly, fun, and an all-around clever read that we all love.

8.  If I Built a House:  Chris Van Dusen is a huge favorite in our house, and we've loved reading this book and imagining what our own dream houses would look like.  If you aren't familiar with Van Dusen's work, go look him up right away!  It's simply fantastic.

9.  Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons:  What preschooler doesn't love Pete the Cat?  This book was on heavy rotation after we got it for Christmas last year, and has a been go-to favorite ever since.

10.  King Arthur's Very Great Grandson:  This book started out as one of my son's favorites, but has now made its home on my daughter's bedside book table.  It's clever, fun, and one of our favorite new finds of the past year.

11.  The Day the Babies Crawled Away:  My son thinks the title in itself is simply hilarious, and my daughter took to this book so much after borrowing it from the library that we have taken it out on loan from her aunt until further notice.  I love the silhouette style of the art in this book!

12.  Andrew Henry's Meadow:  This is such an incredible book and I'm so happy I now know it exists!  I gave it to my son for Christmas this year and know it will be one that we read and cherish for years to come.  A truly remarkable story.

13.  The Gruffalo:  This is, hands down, one of our favorite books in our house.  Both of my children absolutely love it, and I've lost track of how many times we've read it together.  The animated short film version is lovely, too!


Unknown said...

Love this list! I love seeing lists selected by kids- they so often are completely different from those selected by adults.

Lauren said...

Thanks so much, Jenny! I completely agree and love seeing what their favorite books are, too. Fortunately, I love many of their favorites as much as they do :)

Unknown said...

My child mostly likes the children's books related to Jungle tales and thus I am also. I agree with Jenny that the lists selected by children’s are totally different from the list generated by adults. It's basically depends on the thinking and choice of them which is more specific than the adult's. I always leave the books choice on the children rather than buying on myself.

Unknown said...

It is definitely great to see it when children gravitate to only one book. For something to grab a child's attention so much is truly amazing. This list is a great compilation of children's books. Pete the Cat is a great series, full of fun, fantasy, and whimsy.

Brett said...

My child hated reading until I bought him a book on Amazon entitled "The Doodleburghs" he loved each chapter so much that he now picks up any book he can find.

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