I know you know that I know how important reading to kids is. I’ve written a handful of posts about my thoughts on reading to kids, but I haven’t given you a list of great kid’s books. Below are the books that I read every day to my son, Joel, who is 17 months old. He sits on my lap and is so excited every day to read these books, and we usually read all in the first list in one sitting.

dinosaur roar sticklandthere’s a wocket in my pocket dr. seuss

If you haven’t been reading to your kids but you want to start now, give them time to build up endurance. Pretty soon they’ll be able to sit for 30 or 40 minutes and listen to you read, and they’ll beg you to keep going. Here are some great titles to start with:

  • There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
  • 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle
  • Five Ugly Monsters by Tedd Arnold
  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
  • Precious Water by Brigitte Weninger and Anne Moller
  • Dinosaur Roar! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland
  • A Dragon in a Wagon by Jane Belk Moncure
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (we read this one before bed)

And here are some others we read frequently.

  • Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  • Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
  • Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer
  • Does a Cow Say Boo? by Judy Hindley
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I also read him other books from the library. At first I was getting tons of books at the library and only reading each one to him once, but then I learned that reading the same books over and over to children is much better for their learning and development. So now I read the same books every day and throw in random ones to try and find new favorites. My son is 17 months old, and he loves these books. Older children will love them too.

The most important thing is to READ, READ, READ. Do it every day, or as close to every day as possible. Reading together with your children is a wonderful and much needed break for them to rest and relax their bodies and exercise their minds.

And here are some past posts about reading:

Reading with Toddlers

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Reading TO Children

Reading WITH Children

Reading BY Children

Learn to Read to Learn to Read to Learn

Read, Read, Read!!!


1 The Mommy August 14, 2008 at 6:24 am

I love to read to my little ones too. My family has some wonderful memories of my reading aloud to my two older children. Some books were so riveting, that my husband came and sat with us to listen too! Snuggling in our big bed, everyone in their own loungy space in the living room, or gathered around our kitchen table or outside on the porch, our family loves to read together!

2 Baba August 14, 2008 at 8:55 am

Thankfully all of us are avid readers. The wee ones see all of us reading all the time and now have their own library of book they bring out to one of 4 of us adults or one of the two teens to read to them. It’s so exiciting watching their interest in reading rise and to see them repeat words and short phrases.

3 Expat Mom August 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I`ve been reading to my boys (1 and 2) since they were born. Some favorites around these parts:
– Anything with Franklin in it
– Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
– One Fish, Two Fish
– Horton Hears a Who (talk about LOOOONG, Mama gets tired before the kids!)
– Puppies for Sale
– I Spy books (not really reading, but keeps them entertained for hours)

4 Jena August 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm

When I was a first-year teacher I had 10th and 12th grade English classes, college prep and general courses, and by 3/4 of the way through the year, I realized I was toeing the line and about to lose my general class seniors for the rest of the year. And then came the pregnancy rumors, and I started to think, “I don’t want to teach their kids; they’ll hate reading!” and eventually this led to my developing a unit about the importance of reading to your kids. We talked about what makes listening to books enjoyable to kids, how to change your voice for character dialogue, and even spent several days reading to second graders. It was a good unit, and I was looking forward to developing it. But then they took my seniors away and gave me 8th graders, and I never got to tweak it to that “great unit” I knew it could be. *sigh* Sometimes I miss teaching.

5 Cee August 24, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I have written down this list, and will certainly be making a trip to Barnes and Nobel. I have two nephews 4, and 3. And a Newborn niece….. My sis would love to have these books im sure…. Thanks for the list!

6 Heather A August 25, 2008 at 10:59 am

I have a four month old boy, and it is amazing how much he loves to listen to my voice when I read to him! His eyes open really wide and he just stares at me. I love watching him learn things for the first time, and reading a perfect way to do that! He already likes to help me turn the pages (although I’m not sure that’s on purpose)!

7 Amy Ritter August 26, 2008 at 10:00 am

We have recently discovered how much our 2 years old loves to be read too, & now are making regular trips to the library. One of our all time favorite books is the Lady with the Alligator Purse. It is a must have and good fun for everyone.

8 Elizabeth M. August 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I totally agree with you about reading all the time. I have the books very accessible and the kids drag book after book after book over to me all day long. We extend the reading fun by making crafts/foods, etc. that tie into some of our favorites. Reading is the best!

9 Stephanie Shumway August 28, 2008 at 6:25 pm

The only way to get my kids to sit still is to read to them. Not even TV is as entrancing. I love love love Sandra Boynton books. Also, my son really likes the book called “No, David” by David Shannon. I think it’s really kind of sad, but the art is awesome and the kids think it’s funny. Check it out.

10 Amy August 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I hated to read when I was little because I had a really hard time with it, until my 3rd grade teacher introduced me to “the frog and toad” series, and then I took off with it. And still love it!

One of my very favorite children’s books is called “The dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d definitely recomend it- for any ages!

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