Book People

We’re book people around here. We like books. We love good stories. We read. Jeff reads mostly for study; he’s pursuing his CCNA, and most of his time is spent with his nose in a book. I read for fun. Urban fantasy, historical romances, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and really anything with a good compelling story, good dialog, and likable characters will pull me in.

So, developing literacy is important to me. I want Fiona to like books.

Do you know what the single biggest predictor of reading enjoyment is?

It’s whether parents read for pleasure in front of their children. So much of parenting is just setting the example that you want your children to follow. Want children that read? Read to them and in front  of them. Want children that eat right? You first! Want children who are polite? Maybe a few nice words are in order.

Given my own love of reading, it’s hardly any surprise that we read every day. Naturally, we’ve developed a few tried and true favorites. These are the stories that I’ve read so often that I have them memorized and find myself watching her face as I recite them, instead of watching the page. When she catches me at this she points at the page and reminds me that, “The words there!”

With all that in mind, I’ve been a little surprised that I haven’t posted any of the books that we enjoy, yet. So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorites:

Way Up High, In a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

This is a wonderful exploration of a South American Tree and the possible inhabitants of it. The story takes you up the tree, greeting each animal, and back down to Daddy and a collection of stuffed animals and bedtime. One of our favorites for winding down to bed.

I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Frith

This is one of my favorites for language development and teaching reading. Over time she is starting to remember the pattern of all the different words and concepts that make up this fun little book. We take turns with different parts of different lines and it’s helping her develop some sight words.

Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

A wonderfully illustrated prayer (not Christian) for good in a daughters life.  Fiona loves the pictures in this one.

It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Saddler

This one is a wonderfully funny little story about a bunny who is tired of his life as a bunny. He tries joining other animal families, but each time finds something about it that he doesn’t like. This one appeals to me because it lends itself to dramatic reading.


and, last, but probably the most beautifully illustrated,

The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

This is probably one of my very favorite children’s stories. It is a wonderfully written tale about a boy who sets off to find a magic sailing ship.  His adventures are worth reading and I refuse to spoil them by saying another word.

Now, those are our favorites, what are yours?


8 thoughts on “Book People

  1. I agree that reading to your children is so important. We have lots of types of reading materials around our house that the kids enjoy. From magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and books. My kids love to go to the bathroom and take something along. I remember when my daughters would take a book (they couldn’t read yet) and they would recite the story we had read to them before, or make-up their own version. Each time my youngest read the same book she came up with a different story. She has always had an amazing imagination.

  2. I’m not sure how… but I don’t think we’ve read ANY of those! We love the Fancy Nancy series around here, it’s super fun and not bad for expanding a little one’s vocabulary either. Olivia books by Ian Falconer, Eloise by Kay Thompson… I guess we like stories about little girls with attitude!

  3. I don’t much remember being read to as a child by my parents, but as a little little one I went to library story time and listened to Corduroy the Bear, Ricki Ticki Tavi, The Magic Paintbrush, Her Seven Brothers, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, and Ricki Ticki Tembo No Sa Rembo Chari Bar Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo.

  4. I totally forgot to mention “Once upon a twice” by Denise Doyen. It’s one of my favorites because the use of words is so fantastic, as is the play with words. It starts, “Once upon a twice, in the middle of the Nice, the moon was on the rice, and the mice were scoutaprowl.”

Talk to me, Baby!

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