I am an avid reader, and my love for books is one I dream
about passing on to my little girl. Already, I have the chapter books we will
one day read together picked out—Charlotte’s
Web and James and The GiantPeach—just waiting for her to be old enough to enjoy.
In the meantime, however, we
still make story time a big part of our daily routine. Every night before bed,
and every day before naps, we snuggle up in the rocking chair together to read
a book or two before snoozing. I have been doing this with her since she was
born, and so far she still seems to love our little tradition, rarely getting
bored or fussing as we read.
There are definitely a few books on our shelves that get
more attention than any others. We have and love the classics, like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Giving Tree and Where the Wild Things Are. They are always on steady rotation in our reading
list. But these five books are the favorites I would buy again and again for every
new-momma-to-be if I could:
I Love You Stinky Face, By
Lisa McCourt: I had never even heard of this book before it was suggested
by a friend. As soon as I read it for
the first time, though, I knew it would become a favorite. It is a sweet tale
about a little boy who tests his mother’s love by asking if she would still
feel the same if he were to become any number of scary creatures from a
stinky skunk to a swamp monster. She passes the tests by telling him all the
ways in which she would still show her love, no matter what he may one day
I could read it to my daughter again and again...
Chrysanthemum, By Kevin
Henkes: A story about a girl with a name as beautiful and winsome as she
is, Chrysanthemum loves her moniker until the day that school begins. It is
there that she is teased for the first time about not only the length of her
name (it scarcely fits on her name tag) but also the fact that she is named
after a flower (at least Victoria is named after her grandmother). The mean
girls unite and almost break little Chrysanthemum’s heart, until a very cool
teacher with a long name of her own comes around and teaches all the girls a
lesson they need to learn. I think one of my favorite parts of this book might
be that it has its own quirky epilogue that ties the whole story together in a
nice little bow at the end.
I Wished for You, By Marianne
Richmond: I have now read a ton of children’s books on adoption, but this
is by far my favorite. Every member of the adoption arrangement is mentioned with
love and respect throughout the pages of this story, but it still remains just
generic enough that the words could probably resonate for any family built
after lots of wishing.
You Are My I Love You, By
Maryann Cusimano Love and Satomi Ichikawa: This sweet board book literally
brought me to tears the first time I read it. Every page will melt your heart
and leave you squeezing your little one that much tighter.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go, By
Dr. Seuss: I happen to believe that no children’s book collection is
complete without a little Dr. Seuss, and while there are so many good options
to choose from (The Sneetches and The Cat in the Hat are also favorites),
I just love the message behind this one. I could read it to my daughter again
and again, talking about the great balancing act of life and the many
opportunities that await her.