I bet you have them too. Those books that your kids beg to be read over and over again. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those books that you sigh and say, “Okay…just one more time and then it’s time for bed!” Except that really inside you are smiling because secretly you love reading these books.
They are lyrical and you find yourself changing voices, slowing and speeding up dialogue, and just plain enjoying yourself as you hear their giggles erupting.
Here is my guilty-pleasure picture book list.
The newest ~
Sleepover At Grandma’s House by Barbara Joosse
This is the newest addition to our collection from, you guessed it, grandma! I was a bit skeptical at first until I started reading lines like this
Well I’m going there this minute
to the Gramma who is in it
and the Doozie who is barking
and I’m bouncing bouncing bouncing
and I’m flipping off my shoesies
and I’m rolling down my socksies
and I’m sighing
and I’m singing
We love each other so.
and then end the book with lines like this…
At the tippy-end of our sleepover day
we like to finish up this way…
snuggled and together
on the pitter patter porch
on the ricky rocky swing.
“Ooooooh!” watch the lightning
“Ahhhhh!” hear the thunder
This we know –
the very best way to fall asleep
is inside a hug.
What’s not to love!!!
The classics ~
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
I know most mothers I have talked to are tired of reading this book. They grow weary of the repitition and the constant demand for it. But I can honestly say after six kids that I still love reading this book to the littles. It has been a household staple and the one audio book that has transitioned all of our children to their big kid beds.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
How many times have you heard yourself chanting this line under your breath when that is the kind of day you had? I can’t count the number of times I have lamented this line to my husband. As totally relatable books go, this one is the most relatablist. (Is that a word? Afraid not!) I like to read this one with a lot of 5 year old voice drama going on, which my kids totally appreciate. What more can I say?
The best before nap ~
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
This one is a quiet book that’s repitition is soothing to read right before a nap. And I love drawing out the sleep words like dozing and slumbering.
The best from a series ~
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Henkes is by far one of my favorite children’s authors and I love all his mouse series but Chrysanthemum is by far my favorite. There are three things I love about this book. The obvious is the moral tale of not being swayed by the opinion of others. I also love the use of big vocabulary used in such a charming unassuming way. All of my children have asked me what the different words mean and it creates a nice habit of allowing them to see that you don’t have to be afraid to ask about words that you don’t know. But my most favorite part is the repitition of the name Chyrsanthemum. There is something soothing and special about this that my children and I just love.
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoben
Who doesn’t love the Frances books? They are chock full of exactly the kind of problems that real kids experience and what one is more potent then not wanting to try something new at the dinner table? My kids love hearing me make up a tune to her songs that pop up during the stories and I must admit…I’m not very original! These are the same tunes I made up to them when I was a child reading them for the first time.
The favorite from when you were a kid ~
I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayor
I think I used to beg my mom for Mercer’s books continously as a child. That said, in hindsight maybe I just rememberd them being read so often because they are short and my mother was all about a short story before bed. Regardless, pouring over the pictures on ever page to find the spider and grasshopper was always a delight.
the obscure but delightful ~
Cheese, Peas, and Chocolate Pudding by Betty Van Witsen
This is one of those books I found cheap, cheap, cheap at a thrift store…like 25 cents cheap…and picked up on a whim. But it is my children’s absolutely most requested book for me to read! But I mean, really, who can resist chanting, “Cheese, peas, and chocolate pudding…cheese, peas, and chocolate pudding…every day the same ol thing…cheese, peas, and chocolate pudding.” Do you see how addictive that is? Okay, maybe that’s just me.
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