Hey, there bookworm! I see you over there, going to your monthly book club meetup, reading to your kiddos at bedtime, and nerding out over when George R.R. Martin will actually release his last book in the Game of Thrones series. While November 1st is National Family Literacy Day, the rest of November is dedicated to National Family Literacy Month. This month is your jam! How will you celebrate? Will you check out your local library storytime? You could hit up one of the fifty-two Little Free Libraries in Columbus and either take a book or leave the gift of one. Maybe you’ve been multitasking and listening to audiobooks while doing chores? As for me, I decided to highlight some of my family’s favorite children’s books for ages birth to preschool as my way of celebrating National Family Literacy Month.
Favorite Children’s Books for Ages Birth to Preschool
- The Sandra Boynton book series: I’m pretty sure I know almost all of Boynton’s books by heart, and my daughter does too. I remember reading this series as a nanny in Chicago, and I was sure to put them on our baby registry. The illustrations are adorable, and the songs and rhymes are funny. Their interactiveness makes them so fun to read with your kids! I have many bedtime story memories of giggling with my little girl over these books.
- My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss: Back when my daughter was starting to get to know the difference between anger and frustration or happy tears and sad tears, we got this book. It helped her describe how she was feeling before she learned the proper words for it. We still read it as she goes through new experiences and emotions.
- There’s a Squirrel in My Tummy by Theresa J. Gaser: Speaking of feelings, this book has been quite helpful when navigating how to teach our little one about “Stranger Danger” as she’s getting older and more independent. I like how it discusses trusting your gut as an acceptable tool and what to do about it if you find yourself in a questionable situation.
- Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle: “A princess is a place in your heart,” is the message of this book. My rough and tumble girl loves relating to the girl on the pages who wears her dresses while splashing in mud puddles.
- Space Dog by Mini Grey: We love silly in our family, and this book does not disappoint. As a parent, I like that I can read the main storyline on nights we’re running behind on bedtime. I can also go into more detail reading the speech bubbles and assorted mini comic-stripesque side stories. My daughter loves the quirky and imaginative world the illustrations paint. She giggles at the play-on-words used to describe the food-based universe the story is set in.
- Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems: The message is simple but its impact was great! The comical banter between Piggie and Gerald is the perfect reminder to my daughter to make light of it when you’re stuck waiting. We love this book because well, I love any book that can teach a good lesson through a story! But the whole series is great too!
- Looking for a Moose by Phillis Root: This book is just straight up cute. My daughter loved it from the first read and was absolutely thrilled when she realized that there were clues among the illustrations as we explore the swamp and hillside looking for those elusive moose.
- Tuesday by David Wiesner: This was one of my husband’s favorite books growing up and our daughter regularly asks for it now too. It’s a picture book, and the two of them have a ball creating different stories surrounding the fantastic illustrations. If your littles are into picture books, Journey by Aaron Becker and The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat are two others I’d suggest.
- I Love You So… by Marianne Richmond: My daughter would ask to read this book every night for a solid year when she was around eighteen months old. And I adored reading it to hear. The last page still makes me tear up!
- National Geographic Little Kids magazine: We got our little one this subscription when she was about two and a half. She gets jump-up-and-down excited when it arrives in the mail and insists that we read it right away. I like how it focuses on one or two species and has accompanying videos on their website. We even have a running collection going of the animal playing cards that come with each issue. This would be a great gift to give!
What are some of your favorite books to read together with your kids? No matter what they are, I hope you grab a good story, wrangle your family, and sit down together to enjoy the gift of literature this month and every month.