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Books are so important — reading helps with early childhood literacy, but it’s also a wonderful way to connect with your child. And who doesn’t love a good book before they go to bed?
I have such vivid memories of my mother reading to me as a child. And now, as a mom myself, I get to read those same books to my own kids. Here are five that have truly held up over time.
1. "Goodnight, Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd
Is there any book more classic than "Goodnight Moon"? It was a staple of my childhood. I even read it to the little kids I babysat when I was 13. And now I read it to my own kids every night before bed. My son likes to find the mouse on every page.
2. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
The beautiful illustrations and the repetitive language are what make "Brown Bear" such a classic. It teaches kids their colors and animals, but they don’t even know that they’re learning. They’re too busy enjoying the rhythm and cadence of the book. My kids love to sing along with me as we read it at night.
3. "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd
“If you run away,” the mother bunny tells her child, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.” I love that message. I tell my kids how much I love them every day, so this one’s a natural carryover from my own childhood (when my mother told me everyday that she loved me).
4. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
“But he was still hungry!” My three-year-old never gets bored of this one. He loves saying it over and over, and I have to admit, so do I! I love how there are little hole punches in the book to show what the hungry caterpillar has eaten. My sons love sticking their fingers inside of them as we read.
5. "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss
Classic Dr. Seuss was big in my house growing up. My mother seemed to always have so much fun reading the rhymes and seeing my delight at the silly situations. These days, I love reading his fanciful rhymes to my own kids, who love the whimsical stories and illustrations just as much as I did as a child.