Looking for some books for your loved readers for Christmas? Here are some tried and true favorites that my family loves. Honestly, this was a hard post to write because we really love a lot of books that didn't make the list!
Numbers: 10 Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
The illustrations are beautiful. The meter and rhyme make it easy to read and remember. Plus, some versions have lady bugs built into the book to give an extra tactile boost.
Alphabet: ABCs by Dr. Seuss
Seuss silliness, rhyme, and helping to identify the letters and their sounds.
Colors: Colors by Pantone
Pantone is a leader in paints so they know colors. And guess what, there are a million shades of blue, which I wanted my kids to understand. We have spent HOURS with this book. With each page we talked about the color, but we talked about every picture. If there was an animal, for example, I also asked what animal it was and what sound it made. We also used it to learn letters to words. At the back of the book are several different pictures the children like to find/point out. The book has been worth its weight in gold.
Days of the Week: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Seriously, the genius of adding holes in the book as the caterpillar eats through the days of the week...
Interactive: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Moe Willems
I rather enjoy that the kids are having to tell that mischievous pigeon ‘no’ repeatedly. This is a fun book where the kids get to yell ‘no’ at a silly pigeon who wants to drive a bus so bad. There are other Pigeon books, but this is our favorite.
Funny: Any Elephant & Piggie book by Moe Willems
Honestly, we can’t pick one. They’re silly, easy for new readers to read, and involve some great characters. I need good Elephant and Piggie voices if anyone has ideas.
Rhyming: Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
What a gifted author and illustrator Ann was. I just adore her books. If you haven’t heard Ludacris rap this book, you must stop what you are doing (after you read this post of course) and look it up online.
For early reading: Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
My oldest has read this no less than 100 times. I am not kidding. Not. Kidding. At. All. I can say it in my sleep.
Christmas funny: The Grinch who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Christmas rhyme: Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
I want to study this book. The amazing story, the rhymes, and the meter… they are perfection. It’s no wonder it’s stood the test of time.
Christmas moral: Cami and Wyatt Share the Christmas Spirit by indie author Stacy C Bauer
Stacy is an educator, and she really does an outstanding job with this book. It’s my favorite book of hers so far!
Self-love: I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
My sister-in-law’s amazing self-confidence likely stems from this book that was her absolute favorite book growing up. So of course we got it for our kids.
Best book for character voices: Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
You’re probably going to say “Janet, you have too many Dr. Seuss books”. My mom loved his books, so I grew up on them and have an abundance in my home. However, this one is special because my elementary school library, Mrs. Huffines, read this book with the BEST voices. So, as such, I use her voices when reading this book.
Bedtime sweet: You Belong Here by MH Clark
This one is both sweet and soothing for bedtime. It makes a great gift, and it’s my husband’s favorite book ever. He orders it for new parent friends.
Bedtime sleep: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
I’m nodding off just thinking about this one. My husband and I both still have it memorized.
Chapter books: Any Junie B Jones book by Barbara Park
Do I need to even explain? The sass, the wit, and the messes she gets herself into!
Graphic novels: Dog Man and Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
This author gets kids and their humor. While I’m not a huge fan of these books myself, I am wise enough to know that if my children are encouraged to read anything that I will not look that gift horse in the mouth!
Christian: This I Know by indie author Clay Anderson
Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated. It’s based on the children’s song “Jesus loves me” and explores all the ways we know God loves us.
Inclusivity: Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll by indie author Jay Miletsky
This one stresses inclusion without being too obvious and therefore has a wide range of applications. Children in schools often have no idea it was written with “disability” in mind. The author has a daughter with cerebral palsy and wanted to publish a book that didn’t give her outrageous expectations or a super hero cape but taught others to value her as she is. It’s even now available at Target!
Mischief management: How to Cure a Mine Monster by indie author Brittany Plumeri
My 5yo son loves this book. The illustrations are adorable, and the text helps children think of ways to cope with the “Mine Monster”. Instead of saying “Mine! Mine! Mine!” jump up and down and turn around and say it’s fine, fine, fine!
Scaring off the bedtime bad guys: Bed Bugs & Monster Hugs by indie author Kady Oliker
This one has a clever twist on what exactly that monster under your bed is doing. Don’t worry, it’s not scary.
Sweetest: Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
This one can be sung, and it is just the sweetest book. It’s also relatively short and has lovable illustrations.
Classroom/teacher gift: Our Classroom is a Family by indie author Shannon Olsen
Shannon is a teacher, and this book was featured on an Amazon billboard in NYC. I gifted this to my kids' teachers at the beginning of the school year. I took a sneak peek (of course), and it's a great book!
Usborne: Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett
Usborne is a direct sales/MLM, so you may occasionally receive a party invite. Our favorite book from Usborne is Nibbles, a crazy little book eating creature that nibbles his way through the entirety of the book. While it’s impossible for a parent to know how to read the book because there is book text that he’s eating through, children will love it no matter what version of the book you read to them. There are now other Nibbles books available, and so far my children have loved them all.
Audio-book: Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling and read by Jim Dale
JK Rowling is brilliant! Jim Dale’s performance is brilliant! Even if you’ve read the books and/or watched the movies, I highly recommend listening. My kids enjoy it too, but perhaps not as much as their mom.
What books would you add? What are your family's favorites?
As part of a recent change in vision for my social media pages, I’m going to be Inspiring Young Readers. Here is my first blog post to help inspire your littlest young readers.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Tooth Fairy, and by now you’ve heard of my forthcoming book, The Toot Fairy. But have you heard of the Book Fairy? It’s a genius idea, and I just have to share it with you!
The idea is that the Book Fairy visits children to leave gifts of books on special occasions. The Book Fairy may leave the book wrapped on a nightstand with a small note, for example. Like most fun family traditions, it’s ultimately up to the creativity of the Book Fairy themselves…
Imagine you child is preparing for their first dental visit. They are nervous or not sure what to expect. Poof! The Book Fairy leaves a book just for them! They wake up to find their new book on their nightstand and eagerly run to you to read it with them. The note reads, “Sweet dear, I heard you have your first dentist appointment soon. I thought you might enjoy this book! Happy Reading, the Book Fairy.”
The Book Fairy might visit with a special book for holidays and birthdays, as well as to celebrate milestones. Here are some times the Book Fairy may want to visit:
Keep up with my adventures here. I'll be posting updates and fun projects for kids to do that relate to a recent children's book release. Sign up for emails on my Home page to get all the latest updates emailed to you, so you always know when new projects or updates are posted.