My nephews will be 9 months and 2 years old this holiday season, so I've been talking to my kids about what books would make great gifts for them. We talked about what their favorite read aloud books were during those early years, and they've enjoyed pulling them off the bookshelves to re-read together. Now that my 6-year-olds can read, they're reading the books alone and to each other–so fun!
Corduroy by Don Freeman is a sweet story of a department store bear looking for a home. This was one of my son's favorites, read hundreds of times at bedtime. Sometimes it's nice to have a sweet, slow story to calm down with at the end of a busy preschooler's day. There are several sequels, but we've always appreciated the original the most.
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina is not only one of my kids' favorite stories, it was a huge hit in my 1st grade classroom, and it was one of my own favorites growing up. My mom loved reading this to my sisters and I, and all kids love the silly monkeys and how they harass the peddler. It's especially fun for kids to act out the monkey parts, shaking their fingers and stomping their feet.
We love all of Jan Brett's books, but The Mitten is definitely our favorite. Not only is it a sweet story about a boy and his grandmother, it's also a humorous tale of how all the animals want to fit into the cozy mitten, which stretches and stretches until it can't fit any more! The margins of the book have clues that get kids predicting what will happen next, and the art is just beautiful. Once you fall in love with Jan Brett, you'll also enjoy The Hat.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone is our favorite version of this often-retold classic. Galdone's illustrations are distinct, and he has an entire series of classics (another favorite of ours is The Gingerbread Boy). It's fun to read aloud the Billy Goats as three different voices, plus the kids love seeing the troll bested at the end.
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews has been around since the '60s, but its bold colors and shapes are still enchanting kids. It's the perfect book to read aloud with early counters and then early readers. Most kids are familiar with Crews' Freight Train and Truck (both Caldecott Award Winners), but we've always enjoyed the rhyming verses and creative use of black dots.
Looking for more book suggestions? More of our favorites:
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