I’m a book-nerd. Big surprise. I’m raising my kids to be book-nerds too. While in the womb and from the second they entered the outside world, I’ve been reading to my little minions. It’s a way that I am able to connect with my clan while calming us all down, whether as cranky infants, crazy toddlers, hormonal elementary kiddos or a stressed mommy, reading always brings our blood pressure down and a smile to our faces.
We head to the library once every week to return our books and pick out new ones to explore. I’ve loved sharing with my clan classical favorites like The Velveteen Rabbit, Charlotte’s Web, The Little Critter series, Goodnight Moon and some other classic reads, but with three kids, all different personalities and ages (sort of) I’ve read my share of good and also some really bad. Though the bad seem to out number the good, the good ones are so damn good that I end up forgetting about all the bad ones.
With summer upon us and its long days and energetic youth, I wanted to share my list of the “really good ones” that you should be reading to your kids right now, no matter their age.
Is There Really a Human Race? By Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
Those who have read my posting material before know that I’m a big believer in relishing what you have and not pining for what other’s may have (a.k.a keeping up with the Joneses). Is There Really a Human Race goes along with this thinking, teaching little ones through word play on “human race” that living isn’t about racing one another it’s about being our own very best which means that in the end we all win the “race”.
I’m Gonna Like Me – Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem By Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
Another by the genius duet . Reminding little ones of all shapes and sizes (along with their mommies who also come in all shapes and sizes) that we should love ourselves no matter what. Telling us to embrace our assumed faults, that we should like ourselves when we are good and bad or our when our ideas are different and our feelings are mad. As long as you like yourself, you’ve already won the popularity contest.
An Awesome Book, a little book about dreaming big. By Dallas Clayton
I’m obsessed with this book, it’s illustrations and the delightful way Clayton uses words to touch your heart and blow your mind. Telling our babies, big and small, that dreaming big is always the way to go. But rather than dreaming about superficial things like “matching silverware” and fancy cars, keep dreaming about the crazy and creative that make each of us and the world uniquely amazing. My kids love the pictures that match the dreams told through the words of Clayton. A story for little ones to grow up making big dreams and a reminder for us grownups to never stop dreaming. Check out an online version of the book here!
I’m always trying to push healthy foods on my kids. I have a tendency to make them choose a physical activity over a stagnant one (unless it’s cuddling with their mommy and a good book). So when I can find books that get the wheels of the minds of my minions when it comes to actually eating healthy foods, I want to find the addresses of these authors and drive to their homes to thank them in person while gifting them with lots and lots of home-baked goods.
The Avocado Baby By John Burningham
This one got my eldest to try an avocado something that would need a hypnotist to actually be achieved. I’m in love with this green little piece of heaven. I eat an avocado every day. I sneak avocado into my kiddo’s smoothies. I triumphed in having one of my clan members (the little girl of course) liking my favorite green fruit.
The Gulps By Rosemary Wells
A favorite cartoon of my eldest is Max and Ruby, so of course we would seek out all books written by the creator Rosemary Wells. In finding Wells we found the Gulps family. This book makes me laugh while scaring the shit out of my kids. It makes my little ones (and myself) think twice about what goes into our mouths and how much television we might be watching. I often find myself saying things like “Would the Gulps eat that?”
I’m convinced that every parent chooses one book over and over to read to their little one(s) because they personally love that book more than their child. A choice that speaks to their own child at heart while nourishing their adult daily reality. The soul nurturing reads that I always choose are Big Words for Little People (again by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell) and Love You forever By Robert Munsch.
BWLP is one that celebrates the messy of life with the use of big words that sometimes stump our little ones. It gives light on the words we mommies and daddies use to describe some every day situations that we sometimes wish weren’t actually happening but also shed some light on some words that make our life complete like LOVE and FAMILY.
Love You Forever tears at my heart because I too watch my little ones sleep while wishing they would stay small. I read this book to my kiddos to let them know how much their mommy loves them and that other mommies love their kids that much too … no matter how many birthdays will pass. I also have a hidden agenda of making sure that I have my butt covered when I am old and gray and they wake up in my arms as I carry them to my empty nest home to rock them in my arms – this way they won’t think that it’s weird 🙂
Father’s Day Bonus: MY Father the Dog By Elizabeth Bluemle
This one makes my minions and I laugh because though our daddy doesn’t resemble a dog in looks he sure fits the bill in this book as being a dog disguised as a human. We love him and always scratch his head and rub his belly. This is the perfect gift for daddies on Father’s Day to share with their kiddos for some laughs and quality “sit in the lap with a book” time.
Please share your must reads in the comment section!! I’m always looking for more good reads!