Some of my first memories are when my parents read bedtime stories to me. I remember begging them to read “just one more” before going to bed. Coming from a family that collects books, we never seemed to run out of new stories to read. For my family, books gave us an escape to a different world.
The other day I was looking through my memory box and came across some of my childhood books. As I looked at each cover, a sweet, nostalgic memory came to mind. I hope one day my children feel the same way about reading bedtime stories. Here are a few of my favorite books I will eventually pass down to my children:
The Giving Tree
By: Shel Silverstein
Best for: Ages 6-8
“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.”The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree taught me how important it is to acknowledge the sacrifices others make for you. The boy in The Giving Tree never thanked the tree for her sacrifices to make him happy. The Giving Tree also taught me that materialistic objects don’t always provoke happiness. Sometimes you may believe that if you get this one object, you’ll be happy, but what really matters is the people you surround yourself with and the relationships you develop.
Love You Forever
Written By: Robert Munsch
Illustrated By: Sheila McGraw
Best for: Ages 3-6
Love You Forever shows how much love a parent has for their child throughout all stages of life. It also emphasizes how no matter what age you are parents and their children need each other for support. As a young adult, I can attest to this. There are times where I know I need my parents for emotional support since they are the ones who know me the best.
By: Kevin Henkes
Best for: Ages 5-8
“She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed…”
I enjoyed Chrysanthemum because I could relate to having a unique and long name. Ever since I could remember, I really liked my name until I started elementary school. Everyone would constantly mispronounce my Italian last name, and often times it seemed like no one tried to pronounce it correctly. I went through this phase where I wished my last name was a common name. Chrysanthemum taught me I should take pride in my name because it is unique, which sets me apart.
The Kissing Hand
By: Audrey Penn
Best for: Ages 3-7
As an only child, I had separation anxiety when it came to school. I didn’t understand the concept of leaving my parents for most of the day and not seeing them until dinner. It felt like I was never going to see them again. My mom would read The Kissing Hand to me many nights before school because I could relate to Chester Raccoon not wanting to leave his family. The Kissing Hand eased my fears about leaving my parents and showed that their love was with me no matter where I went.
By: Barbara Cooney
Best for: Ages 5-8
Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius (who longed to travel the world, lived in a house by the sea, and did something to make the world more beautiful) is a timeless classic. The lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds to make the world a little more beautiful.
Miss Rumphius was my all-time favorite book to read. The illustrations reminded me of the small town in Rhode Island where I grew up for a small portion of my life. I am also convinced my love of traveling was inspired by Miss Rumphius. Growing up, I wanted to be just like her, traveling the world and making it a better place.
There are so many benefits to reading at an early age. With the help of Discover Books, you’ll be able to start a small library for your children full of books they will love. For more articles on children’s books click here. All of the children’s books mentioned above are available for purchase on our website www.DiscoverBooks.com.