I love books and my father used to say that I, like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, “taught myself” to read. Of course, when I had kids I couldn’t wait to read to them! It was such a treat to take the boys to the library and pick out a stack of the latest picture books as well as finding copies of my old favorites to share.
They are older now and still like books and going to the library. My older son is proud of his geek cred and prefers graphic novels and reference books about things he likes (which is currently a resurgence in interest in Transformers!). But, give him a book that is in his sweet spot and he won't put it down. Both my husband and I loved Ready Player One when it came out a few years ago and we figured at age 13 he was old enough to like it, too. He read it in three days and now has an overwhelming interest in all things 80s!
My younger son is more like me and will read just about anything -- he tore through the whole Harry Potter series in just two weeks and is rereading them now after our recent vacation to Universal Studios.
Something we all still enjoy is when I read out loud to them (they claim that I could do that for a living if this doula thing doesn't work out) and some of our recent favorites have included Tom Sawyer, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and No More Dead Dogs.
But, as little guys, these books stick out as our favorites (so much so that they remain in the bookshelf for young visitors):
Leo Lionni books with their gorgeous illustrations are a favorite, and best of all is Frederick, starring a mouse poet who “gathers colors … for winter is gray.”
The Velveteen Rabbit, winner of the the 1971 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, is a treasured book from my own childhood that still makes magic.
And, of course, what list is complete without Goodnight Moon? The following words that end the book still make me tear up with their beautiful simplicity:
Goodnight noises everywhere
What are your favorite books for reading aloud?
PS Support your local booksellers! All books listed above are linked to independent and/or brick-and-mortar stores.