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Inspire Me! Children’s Books That Only Get Better

September 25, 2012

One book I will gladly read to Emmett on a nightly basis: A Lot of Otters

By Gretchen Stern

Anyone with young kids knows the drill – it’s time for bed, you settle yourself comfortably into the rocking chair, prepped and ready for some quality snuggling and an exciting bedtime story.  But when you send the little tike off to choose that evening’s book, you find he returns with the story you read the night before…and the night before that…and the night before that…

Though we may want to hide these books in the depths of the basement or “inadvertently” utilize them as kindling on a chilly evening, we concede to revisit the tale yet again and keep our fingers crossed that this current obsession does not last long.

Every once in a while, however, we are blessed to discover a book or two that doesn’t bore us to the core when read it for the umpteenth time in one week.  We may even enjoy the repetition of this engaging tale.  I have an arsenal of such books from my own childhood, but as a new mom, I’m starting to build an affinity for newer books that fit this bill.

Recently, I came across a funny, albeit edgy, article on books a dad doesn’t mind reading to his child repeatedly, and I found myself excited to scope out the books he recommended.

The more my son grows, the more books we will accumulate and read. I want to hear from all of you as to what you’d recommend for the long haul.

What board books, picture books, and easy readers do you find enjoyable even after endless recitations?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasha permalink
    September 25, 2012 8:35 pm

    “Runaway Bunny” is still one of our favorites. I could read that every night and not get bored with it. I also love “Bear Snores On” – that is one I could read over and over but now the kids are sick of it. So then I suggest “Bear Wants More” or “Bear Feels Scared.” 🙂

    • September 26, 2012 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Kasha! Emmett and I read “Runaway Bunny” quite a but too, though “Goodnight Moon” is even more common in our house. I believe we have “Bear Snores On” in our CLiF library – I’m glad to know it and the others in its series are a hit!

  2. Abby O'Brien permalink
    September 25, 2012 8:39 pm

    Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw and Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle!!

    • September 26, 2012 2:10 pm

      I’ve heard good things about “Sheep in a Jeep”. And with Emmett in a vehicle-obsessive phase, both those books sound perfect for him. Thanks for the suggestions, Abby!

  3. Karen permalink
    September 25, 2012 9:02 pm

    Oooooh, you are not kidding! That repetition thing can be painful. The only two types of books that I can tolerate over and over are: 1) Books that I can sing instead of read. Painful for everyone else, but fun for me. I Ilike Sandra Boynton and those Bear books Kasha mentioned above are great.
    2) Very short stories. My daughter chose for her birthday a collection of classic fairy tales illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. This would not have been my pick BUT then I realized that they were each only two pages long. Perfect if you have to read them over and over.

    Thanks for the Otter tip. By the way, what is the name of the edgy article? Would love to hear those recommendations as well.

    • September 26, 2012 2:18 pm

      Karen, isn’t it amazing how we can sing to our kids, and, though every other adult in listening distance may cringe, the singing always seems to bring delight to the kids’ faces?! I wouldn’t say I like to sing, but I do love sing-songy books with creative rhymes, like “Giraffes Can’t Dance” and “Moo Baa La La La”, our favorite of Sandra Boynton’s many great books. Thanks for the feedback!

      The article I mentioned is by the blogger “Message With a Bottle”. It’s a witty, cynical look at parent-dom, which is not always appropriate material for the CLiF blog, but I find it quite entertaining! You can connect to his blog article by clicking the word “article” in my blog post. Let me know what you think.

  4. Miciah Bay Gault permalink
    September 25, 2012 9:41 pm

    I can read “Frog and Toad” books over and over and over without getting bored. I know they’re meant as early readers, but my two year old loves them, and we can read just one very short story or the whole book, whatever we have time for.

    • September 26, 2012 2:20 pm

      Miciah, I always loved “Frog and Toad” growing up but would have assumed it was too long for Emmett. I’m glad to hear Teddy enjoys the stories. Perhaps Emmett will too! Thanks for your input!

  5. September 25, 2012 10:07 pm

    We love “The Giant Jam Sandwich” and “The Snail and the Whale”. They have such cute rhymes and the stories are a little bit quirky – totally enjoyable to read night after night. I can recite “The Giant Jam Sandwich” from memory now…as can some of my other Mom friends who I’ve gifted the book to. That’s handy when you find yourself away from home and without a favorite book!

    • September 26, 2012 2:22 pm

      Great point! And what better recommendation than a book that you not only can recite from memory but that you CHOOSE to recite from memory when you don’t have it with you! I’m going to see if I can check that put from the library today! Thanks, Sarah!

  6. September 26, 2012 2:31 pm

    Thanks for all of the great suggestions, everyone! We are headed to the library on this gray, cloudy day, and I am eager to check out some of these intriguing reads. When we find a few new favorites, we’ll get a copy for our own home library.

    Happy Reading!

  7. Miciah Bay Gault permalink
    September 26, 2012 2:50 pm

    Gretchen, any way you could compile a list of all the suggestions here and post it somewhere in its entirety?

    • September 26, 2012 3:00 pm

      Miciah, you read our minds! We were just conspiring to do that! I’ll add the suggestions we received on our Facebook page too! Stay tuned!

  8. Therese Quigley permalink
    September 29, 2012 4:52 pm

    We love “My little sister ate one hare,” a very silly counting book, and “My lucky day,” about a fox who prepares a piglet for the roasting pan.

    • October 10, 2012 2:47 pm

      We’ll have to check out “My Little Sister Ate One Hare”! Thanks for the suggestion! Duncan actually uses “My Lucky Day” in his storytelling presentations! I had the opportunity to watch him tell/read this story during the Year of the Book kick-off event in Johnson. The kids loved it!

  9. Jennifer permalink
    October 12, 2012 3:52 pm

    My 18 year old daughter still talks about our nights reading books before bedtime. “Are you my Mother?” and “Go, Dog, Go!” were favorites. I read these using different voices for the characters. My daughter reads these books to children using the same voices I did when I read them to her. “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”, “I love you Stinky-face” and “Goodnight Moon” were also very popular. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I kept these books so she can share them with her children someday.

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