As a teacher, I can’t emphasize how important the ability and desire to read are to the success of my students. As a parent, I desperately want to instill a love of reading in my little ones. Thank goodness there are so many awesome authors and illustrators out there making children’s books that are fun for both kids and adults. While we try to change up our reading list regularly, Everest tends to request his favorite books over and over (much to the chagrin of his papa, I think, but no disappointment to me, the girl who can quote Zoolander and pretty much any Wes Anderson or Disney movie because she has happily watched them all countless times). Here are some of the authors we have been digging this summer.
Sandra Boynton: We have been loving all things Boynton the last few months. We started with The Going to Bed Book and Moo, Baa, La La La! and E found them absolutely hilarious, so we have accumulated several more board books over the last month or so. Boynton’s writing is filled with silly rhymes and fun drawings, and we always have a good laugh reading her work together.
Mercer Mayer: I had my fingers crossed that Everest would get into the Little Critter series just as I had when I was young. Thankfully, my hopes did not go unfulfilled. We have several books about Little Critter and his family and found The New Baby particularly useful in the weeks before and after Dahlia’s birth.
Emily Winfield Martin: I would have bought her books simply because they are eye candy, but her stories are just as dreamy as her illustrations. The artwork in Dream Animals and Day Dreamers is whimsical and vintage-esque, with a classic fairytale vibe. I love the romantic, pretty images and Everest can’t get enough of the extraordinary creatures and adventures she incorporates into her stories. We are sticking with her board books for now, because Everest has torn up all of the “real” books we’ve tested out, but as soon as his little fingers are a little more careful I am sure we will be picking up the rest of her collection.
Rebecca Whitford: Doug’s mom brought Little Yoga and Sleepy Little Yoga with her when she came to stay after Dahlia was born. I love yoga, and we use breathing techniques to calm Everest down when he is upset or gets hurt, so these books have been a treat for us all. Everest loves imitating the animals in the book with his mama and I am thrilled to incorporate a little movement, focus, and relaxation into his day. Win-win!
Joan Holub: I snatched up This Little President the moment I saw it on the shelf. Thank goodness Everest likes the book because his history teacher mama just couldn’t resist. I love the combination of learning and adorable drawings. The books help introduce toddlers to historical figures while keeping things light and fun. We’ve also picked up This Little Explorer, about explorers, pioneers, and adventurers and I am so excited to see that she also has a board book, This Little Trailblazer, that highlights the achievement of women. I will be picking that one up soon, for sure!
Bonus tip: In addition to making sure your kids see their parents reading for pleasure, I have found that throwing in reading time throughout the day has helped to get Everest excited about books. While we still have “designated reading time” before quiet time (nap) and bedtime, I noticed that when we were only reading before sleep, E eventually started to associate books with having to go to bed and would try to get out of reading. Now that we read books whenever and wherever, he is constantly bringing books to me to read and I can usually find him reading to himself several times a day as well. Hooray!
Have any books that your little ones love or that you remember enjoying as a kid? Tell us below in comments!
Jenna is a writer, educator, wife, and mama living in Colorado with her husband and two children. She founded American Ingenue as a personal blog in 2008 after losing her mother to breast cancer, using the forum as a reminder to live life to the fullest. Jenna loves cooking, dreaming, and adventuring with her family. She has been inspired to share her experiences with others as she navigates this crazy life and strives to have "it all."