Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#5Faves: Books to Read with My Kids

I am a reader. I hope my kids love reading when they grow up as much as I do.

While only one of my kids is a reader at the moment, we still do lots and lots of reading around these parts. The best way to pass on my love of reading is by reading to my kids often. I don't do it nearly enough, but we try to sneak in some reading as often as we can. I'll usually suggest we read a book before we allow TV or videos to come on at our house.

While I'm not against TV, and I don't necessarily limit screentime, I simply insist on doing some reading before the TV lights up (after I'm up for the day, of course. Before I'm up, they can watch all the TV they want provided they don't make a bunch of screaming + crying = racket.)

Here are five of our favorite books that we read to the kids:

Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones by Claire Freedman
We got this book more than 5 years ago for our son when he was about 1 year old. Reading this book just before he was tucked into bed became a tradition. It is a rhyming book, but the rhymes are so sweet and simple that rather than riling up my kids, they calm them right down. My children all eagerly point out all the animals, moths and bugs which helps develop their speech and helps them learn new animals. The illustrations are delightful, with the nighttime colors lulling the kids to sleep.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
A classic of epic proportions. My children have watched the movie and are entranced whenever I put it on. Even my 6yo boy will ask to watch Anne of Green Gables on a rainy afternoon...though he covers his eyes when she twists her ankle in the woods with Diana because he thinks it is too spooky (how cute is that?!?!). I started reading it while they are in the room playing and not necessarily making them sit and listen. Even though it is way above their reading, and truthfully, above their comprehension level, I still enjoy reading it to them. It helps to enhance and enrich their vocabulary to hear such lusciously descriptive narratives and words they have never heard before. My son will ask what new words mean and he picks up some more formal speech patterns every now and then. I love the wholesome nature of the books, the characters, the love of learning and the "each day is fresh with no mistakes in it yet" attitude.

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
 Such a fun and imaginative read. My 2yo screams, "MOM, WHAT *IS* DAT?!" on every single page while we work our way through the little boy's imagined car invention. My 1yo likes looking at the pictures and shouting incoherently while trying to tear the pages from their binding. My 6yo gets all sorts of inspired and immediately asks for paper, crayons and markers so he can start designing his own car. Then the 2yo sits and draws for awhile too while the 1yo eats crayons (but not the asbestos crayons, I think hope). It is just such a fun book to get the kids excited about science and inventing. I find their little imaginations to be stimulated and their creative juices flow for hours after listening to me read it to them.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
 We received this book one year from some teacher friends along with a Snowman Decorating Kit. What a perfect gift for a small child! The book is adorably illustrated with hidden objects on many of the pages. The snowmen look like they have all kinds of fun at night and the book very cleverly "explains" why snowmen look so wonky and tired in the morning. My kids just love searching for the hidden objects and they have even more ideas about what other mischief snowmen get into at night.

This little gem has all the readings for each mass, the order of the mass, morning and evening prayers, reflections and devotionals. We get the adult version and use it to read Sunday's readings to the kids each evening all week long.

It's a lot of work to incorporate it into our evening routine, but we've found that the children get more out of Sunday mass if they have some idea of what to expect to hear each week. We spend the entire week doing the readings and taking to the kids about them. We ask what they remember about the various readings. We talk about what they mean, explain new vocabulary, and discuss liturgical seasons and feast days. Our kids are still young, but by starting this habit now hopefully they will carry it with them for many years.

And as a bonus for the adults...if we miss the readings due to the tiny tornadoes around our knees and ankles, we still know what is going on, what the priest is talking about and what we were supposed to have just heard.

Any books off the beaten path that you would recommend? We have quite a library going at home and would enjoy adding some of your faves to our collection.

Now it's time to go see Jenna, our hostess with the mostest, and check out some of the other bloggy favorites lists.

*NOTE:  These are NOT affiliate links. I was not asked to review these books, nor do I receive any compensation for recommending these books. I just happen to like these books. All opinions are my own.


  1. I've never heard of #1! It looks really cute- the illustration on the cover is really sweet. I may just have to pick that one up!

    My favorite, as a more-grown-up kid, was the Little House books. I have fond memories of reading a page to my mom, and then her reading the next page to me.

    1. Yes!! The Little House books <3 I loved those too. I think my daughter, Alice, will love them in a few years - she's very adventurous.

  2. Love this! I'm also going to check out #1!