Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!
Books on cd are my newest obsession. I keep a collection of some of our favorites in the console of my car, and listening to them makes any road trip infinitely more fun and enjoyable for all of us. Books on cd have also proven to be a lifesaver for me at bedtime, as I now have a fun, easy way to help my son wind down and relax while I put my daughter to bed. He'll lie on his bed with a favorite book and just snuggle up and listen to the story on cd while I put little E down in the next room. Then, I'll come in and we'll read a few stories together before I shut off the light and let him listen to another story. Up until recently, my husband or I would lie next to W while he fell asleep, telling him stories that we made up along the way. (We've come up with many new tales of Curious George and Thomas the Tank Engine over the years!) Now, we have happily added books on cd to our nighttime routine. I vividly remember listening to the Velveteen Rabbit as I fell asleep each night when I was a little girl. There is something so soothing about falling asleep to a story, isn't there? We were lucky to get a few of his favorite stories on cd this past Christmas, but his favorite at the moment (which he has listened to every night for two weeks now) is The Story Tree, a gorgeous anthology collection of traditional folk tales from around the world. There are seven stories in all, some of which we were happy to discover we already knew from other stories we have read. Monkey See, Monkey Do, a classic tale from India, is the storyline for the beloved Caps for Sale. The Blue Coat, a Jewish story, must be the basis for Simms Taback's Caldecott winning Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Other stories with which you are probably already familiar include The Little Red Hen (English) and the Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian). The three remaining tales that make up the Story Tree are The Magic Porridge Pot (German), The Sweetest Song (African-American), and my son's favorite, Little Lord Feather-Frock, a Russian story about a cunning fox, a not-so cunning rooster, and an out-witting duo of a cat and blackbird. I just love that this book calls attention to the culture or country of origin of each story along the way, and my son loves finding them all on a map. Fortunately, W loves snuggling up and having me read the stories to him just as much as he loves listening them on the cd, though I have to say, I quite enjoy listening to the fabulous narrator Hugh Lipton's lovely British accent. Sophie Fatus' colorful illustrations are playful and fun, as well, making this story as much fun to see as it is to hear. I have no doubt that The Story Tree will be read, listened to, and enjoyed many times over in our family in the months and years to come.
As anyone living in New England will tell you, this winter's weather has been particularly brutal. Consequently, my family and I have spent a lot of time cozied up on the couch reading stories and sipping hot cocoa, and have made many trips to our local library. I just love the feeling of discovering a wonderful new story, but often find it is not as easy as it might seem (though perhaps this is because I am usually chasing my 3 year old around the library or trying to keep my 6 month old from chewing on all of the books.) So begins my quest to find a great new book to read to my little ones every day for a year. And I don't mean just any good book. I mean one that I won't mind reading 10 times in a row. One that we'll read so often and love so much that we'll need to go out and get our own copy. My friends have shared their personal favorites with me and I am happy to do the same with you. Thanks for joining our journey!
Busy Mom Disclaimer:
Ideally, my great-book-a-day-for-a-year blog would have one amazing post for each calendar day and be all neat and tidy like that. But I know myself too well. And besides, I'm looking for the best of the best here. I don't want to settle on posting about a book that I don't love, simply to be able to add something new every day. So, my posts will simply be numbered 1 to 365. In the end, we'll still have a year's worth of good books (or so I hope!) Hopefully you'll find my list to be worth the wait. And please, by all means, if there is a book you love that you think should make the list, let me know. Just leave a comment telling me the title and author and I would love to check it out. I'll be sure to give credit where credit is due. Thank you!
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