I don’t know about you, but some kids books make me want to burn them after the third reading. Then there are the books I love but my kids are bored with. Finding books we both love is a parenting feat of biblical proportions, so here’s a list of books I would enjoy reading with my kids every single day if that’s what they want. (And no, I’m not getting paid for this, in case you were wondering.)
Moomin and the Moonlight Adventure by Tove Jansson
Most Americans will not have heard of this one because my sister picked up an English language version of it on a recent trip to Sweden. Yep, Sweden. Moomin is a big deal there. He is a little white troll that reminds me of a hippo. His favorite companion is named SnorkMaiden which makes me laugh every time I say her name aloud. My kids love the pictures! I don’t know about the rest of the series, or if you’ll ever find them in an American bookstore (I haven’t seen them so far), but this one is adorable. This is a short book, too. Good for bedtime reading.
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
I might be biased about this one. I read it as a third or fourth grader, and I’ve read it several times since. It’s a decently long chapter book appropriate for reading aloud. Chester Cricket sneaks into a picnic basket near his home in Connecticut and ends up in Times Square making beautiful music for commuters on the subway. I love the entire story from beginning to end. My middle kiddo doesn’t have a long enough attention span, but my oldest will listen a long time to this one.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
If you think the author’s name looks familiar, you’re probably a fan of The Office. Yes, it’s that B.J. Novak aka Ryan the Temp. This one is just fun. It makes you say ridiculous things because “those are the rules.” My oldest loves it and begs me to read it all the time. And I do because you know what? I need a laugh at the end of the day, and his giggles never cease to get me giggling.
Extraordinary Jane and Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison
These books are absolutely gorgeous to look at, the stories are simple and calm for evening reading, and every time I read them I notice something new that makes me laugh. My oldest loved Extraordinary Jane, and now my middle child is obsessed with Bernice. Harrison recently published a new book called My Friend Maggie, and I’m sure that will be on our shelf soon along with these two.
Journey by Aaron Becker
I say “read” loosely on this one because Journey has no words. It’s one of the most beautiful picture books I’ve ever seen, and I love it because my kids get to tell me what is happening on the pages. When you open it you’ll immediately know why it won a Caldecott. Journey is part of a trilogy, and I can’t wait to pick up the other two books.
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Oh, Paddington. I laugh so very hard at these stories. I also love putting on a fake British accent, and Paddington gives me opportunities to use Cockney, middle-class, and posh versions that make my kids giggle. As long as Paddington’s antics don’t inspire my oldest to imitate them, I’ll be reading these stories at least once a year.
Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
I love all the Frances books, but Bedtime For Frances is my favorite. The excuses she comes up with to get out of bed sound like me as a child, and I consistently giggle harder than my kids. My oldest loves to yell “What do you want, Giant?” like a banshee, which sort of defeats the purpose of calming down for bedtime, but I allow it because it is hilarious.
What are your favorite kids books? I can always use recommendations!