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Our Favorite Bedtime Stories

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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 Giant Peach—just waiting for her to be old enough to enjoy.

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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 morph into.

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.

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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.

What's your favorite children's book?

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