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Read Good Books

This week, I want to talk about children’s books because there are many great ones at the moment. I’m really hoping you guys come forward with your recommendations, as well, and then we can get a list going of GREATEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME FOR SMALL CHILDREN TO READ and turn it into a book.

The Book of Children’s Books

Or something.

My Nana happens to be the master of children’s book buying, so MOST, if not ALL of the great books in our children’s library come from her.

(Thank you, Nana.)

They are in no particular order, and, yes, most of them ARE in fact written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers because HE IS THE BEST. AND HE IS SO HANDSOME, TOO, HOLY SHIT, THIS IS INNAPROPRIATE TO PUT IN BOLD IN A POST ABOUT BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, BUT JUST PRETEND I AM TYPING WITH OBSTINATE FINGERS, MR. JEFFERS, BUT WHOA WHOA WHOA HANDSOME ALERT…

Anyway, here are 11 Books to be Enjoyed by Children and Adult Children

1. 'Stuck by' by Oliver Jeffers

A Nana gift (of course), this book rings very true to my own experience of trying to fix things only to make them worse in the process, but beyond that, it’s preposterous. Please ignore the people on Amazon who are claiming that “Stuck will teach your child to throw people into trees.” I am pretty sure it will not do that.

2. 'Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems' by J Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

Another Nana book, I read Poem-Mobiles to Fable’s class last week and everyone LOVED it. Best reading-to-class-book EVER because it’s SO imaginative and beautiful to look at with lines like, “I am a very moving van…” and, well, PUN CENTRAL. Nice work, dudes.

3. The Baby Lit Books – (assorted authors)

I am newly obsessed with these literary board books after buying Bo and Revi 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Sense & Sensibility'. Not only do they make beautiful gifts for the lit-loving toddler in your life, they do a beautiful job exploring the prevalent themes in classic children’s literature, but like, Board Book style.

RELATED: On Raising Strong, Brave Girls

4. 'The Day the Crayons Quit' by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

And another Nana book, this one has been an every-night(er) in our house for the last few months. Beyond being funny and hugely entertaining, it’s also insightful and thought-provoking. (What does it feel like to be the favorite? Exhausting, right? What does it feel like to be untouched? Sad… ) It’s a perfect children’s book.

5. 'Mr. Tiger Goes Wild' by Peter Brown

I was sure I’d written about this gem before, but apparently not. It is about a tiger that decides to go naked and walk on all fours and NOBODY CAN BELIEVE IT because TIGERS ARE SUPPOSED TO WALK ON TWO FEET AND WEAR CLOTHES, which, well… huh. I love this book very much. It speaks to the balance of GOING WILD and knowing when to tame the beast within. It was (not surprisingly) a gift for Bo last Christmas, but it has become a favorite of all of ours. To wildness! And compromising our wildness when we must! (Both important.)

And speaking of Wildness…

6. 'Wild 'by Emily Hughes

'Wild' and 'Mr. Tiger Goes Wild' could be companion books. Wild is about respecting our differences while embracing our FREEDOM to be who we are. It is joyful and whimsical, beautifully illustrated – a book for children of all ages.

7. Stand Tall (and Have Fun!) Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow

Oh, how we love Molly Lou Melon. She is THE COOLEST. She dances to the beat of her own… drum made out of doll parts and recycled water bottles. Molly Lou is brave, quirky and imaginative, ever lost (and found) in her very own world of wonderful. Go, Molly!

8. The Bats Books (Bats on the Beach, Bats at the Library. Bats in the Band) by Brian Lies

I love these books – they’re beautifully written and illustrated (the details are beyond) and immediately calm me when I read them. They are the perfect “last book in the stack” before lights out – like lullabies for eyes and ears. Let’s get cozy, kids. Flick the nightlight. Pass the Bat Book… and the blanket.

9. Anything by Maira Kalman

Seriously. ANYTHING. All of her children’s books are stellar. All of her adult books are brilliant. EVERYTHING she does is whimsical and wise and full of REALness. Maira for President.

10. All books written by Mo Willems

I have never met a Mo Willems book that didn’t make me laugh, that didn’t make my children laugh, that didn’t make us all laugh together. Thank you, Mo. You are an absolute gem.

RELATED: Rebecca Woolf on Letting Them Fight

11. 'Hug Me' by Simona Ciraolo

Hug Me is about a cactus who needs a hug. Unfortunately he comes from a family of non-huggers. This book makes me sad for those who grow up in unfulfilled environments and happy for those who are able to seek and find their own happy place. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Real. Find your people, kids. They are out there. They are waiting.

12. 'Iggy Peck, Architect' and 'Rosie Revere, Engineer' by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

I have written about these books before, here, but I couldn’t build a Top Ten list without including them both because they are STILL, years later, on a weekly rotation in our house. They are spectacular books and my most purchased birthday present(s) ever for kids’ birthdays. If you do not own them, please do. Or check them out at a library near you.

That rhymed.

I chimed.

What about you guys? What are you loving + reading to your kids at the moment?

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