I noticed something about our house the other day while I was putting away laundry. We have books or reading material in every single room of our house. We actually have book shelves in: our room, the baby's room, the kitchen, kid's room, and several on the landing upstairs. We have a big basket in the living room with kids books. We LOVE books. We are on our 4th copy of Goodnight Moon so sometimes we love our books to death.
Our TOP TEN favorite board books for children ages birth to two are:
* Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
* The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
* Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
* Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
* Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
* Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg
* Old, New, Red, Blue! (Cars book) by RH Disney
* The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
* The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
* Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert
okay...make that eleven...
* Mirror Me (Baby Einstein) by Julie Aigner-Clark
One of my children had three of these (Mirror Me, Goodnight Moon, and Old, New...) memorized before he turned two!
Our TOP TEN most read (and requested) books for children ages two to five are:
* Snip Snap What's That? by Mara Bergman and Nick Maland
* Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee
* Corduroy by Don Freeman
* The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
* The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman and Tim Raglin
* Meet My Staff by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast
* Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
* Birds (National Audubon Society First Field Guides) by Scott Weindensaul
* The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
* the books I made--see below
The boys love the books I made for them. I got blank books and used Sharpie markers to draw simple pictures. I put things in there personalized just for them: address, phone number, colors, favorite things, even our menu. I got a chunky board book instead of paper to make one for H since he loved the big boys books so much. They love to read about themselves. I think age 3 is the best age for this. They don't care if you can't draw! I didn't put any people in the books since I can't draw people or faces. I did draw a pretty sorry looking Bob the Builder in one though. If you want to avoid drawing altogether you could use stickers or now you can even take photos and have it made into a book online at Shutterfly or Snapfish.
This last year we branched out to beginning readers. I should make a top ten list of those because some are pretty bad. If you want to get started writing that would be a good place to start! Fresh material is badly needed in that genre. We did make a few of our own but I don't think they'll be published any time soon.
What we do to encourage reading:
* Keep books in all areas of the house
* Keep books where kids can reach them
* Read something every day
* Read to the kids
* Read in front of the kids
* Read in a house, with a mouse...just kidding, just seeing if you were paying attention
* Let each kid have their own books
* Make your own books
* Expect some books to get chew or ripped (hopefully not the ones YOU made!)
* Go to the library
* Record yourself reading books and let the kids listen to the CD at naptime
Please leave a comment and tell me your favorite kids book or books.