When we had our first child, I read to her all the time. From the time she was born until she could do it herself, I was reading to her pretty often. Five years later, when we had our second child, I just didn’t read to him very much. We had 3 more boys after him, and I still wasn’t reading to them. Maybe I was lazy. Maybe it was because they would never sit still. Getting and keeping the attention of four boys under four years old is like herding a bunch of cats.
A few months ago, one of them actually brought me a book to read. I started reading and the next thing I knew, they were all sitting still listening to the story. It was a miracle. After that, I started getting all my favorite books from when I was a kid. Pretty soon, they were actually excited about reading. Now, I read at least two books to them every night to get them to sleep. I love it. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. So here are my favorite books that we get to enjoy together.
10. Are You My Mother?
9. I Love You Stinky Face/I Miss You Stinky Face
I guess I’m cheating by putting two books in the same spot, but oh well. These books are great. There is a whole series of “Stinky Face” books. These two happen to be my favorite. The “I Miss You…” book is perfect for our family. With my wife’s constant travel, it really fits our life. In the book, the mom tells her son how nothing can stop her from returning home to see him. If she has to ride on planes, dragons, or balloons… whatever it takes.
8. Green Eggs & Ham
7. Little Rainbow Bible Stories (Set)
I think we were given this set of books when we had our first daughter. They were mostly Old Testament stories. Joseph and his brothers, Daniel and the lions, Jonah, Noah, David and Goliath, plus a prayer book and stories about Jesus. I thought they were perfect. They were short and easy for children to understand. My favorite is David vs Goliath. It’s a good opportunity to teach about standing up to bullies.
6. Are You Grumpy Santa?
Even Santa Clause can have a bad day. Do my kids identify with this book? I don’t know, but I sure do. Being a stay at home dad of 5 kids with a wife that travels, I have definitely had my fair share grumpy moments. Santa’s job is probably a little more stressful that mine, so it’s nice to see that he has to occasionally let off some steam too.
5. Kiss Me I’m Perfect
4. Monsters Love Underpants
This is just a funny book. It has a good rhythm and you can almost sing it to your kids. They of course love that. It’s also good to make monsters seem funny and not so scary. Maybe it’ll help the kids sleep peacefully and I won’t have to check for monsters in the closet or under the bed.
3. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
I love reading each page in a different voice. The kids think it’s hilarious. They point at everything and give their own commentary as we go along. I love when they stop me to point out little details that they notice in the artwork. I used to think this book was too long. Now I get disappointed when it ends.
2. Where The Wild Things Are
It’s short. It doesn’t seem to have much to it, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The kids love the artwork. I like to have them act it out for themselves too. They show me their terrible eyes and they’re pretty good at having a wild rumpus too.
On a side note, I didn’t care for the movie all that much. I thought the Wild Things looked fantastic and the idea that the kid came from a broken home was a really interesting direction. I just did’t feel like they pulled it off. It was too depressing for my taste.
1. There’s A Wocket In My Pocket
I made my mom read this to me all the time when I was a kid. It makes me very happy that my kids love it too. Not only that, I get to read to them from the same copy that my mom read to me. How cool is that? It’s so much fun and very special watching them enjoy the same things I enjoyed.
The characters in this book are probably my favorite Dr. Seuss Characters. Especially the Vug under the rug and the Zillow on the pillow. I still remember being scared of that Vug.