My Favorite Books…For Children

IMG_2558As I peered my head into the hallway, voices in British accents filled the space. It seemed magic was in the air of only I had eyes to see.  “Harry, Harry where are you? Are you going to potions class today?” Then another voice entered the conversation. “I’m Prince Caspian and I’ve come to save you from Darth Vadar!” As if the story weren’t interesting enough, Jane entered the room in a Spiderman costume!

Oh, how I love hearing how story shapes my children’s imagination and makes its way into our everyday lives! As they act out these characters in the stories we read, I can see little by little how they are being formed and shaped by the virtues these characters hold to. My desire is that as they keep reading and acting out a story, they will ask, ‘What hero can I be? What has God put me on this Earth to do? Who is in need that I can help?’

What if, as a result of feeding our children on great stories, they one day ask God to show them His path for their life?

Giving your children the gift of story is invaluable. You have an amazing opportunity to fill their minds with images and language that will form their souls. I want to give my children an eye to see literary beauty and it begins now. Whetting their appetite for the great works later means giving them books that will awaken a hunger to know and see truth their whole life. Fill your children’s life with great books and read, read, read.

If you don’t know what to read, here are just a few ideas.  Okay…..maybe lots of ideas. We have too many favorites!

A dear friend, Sarah Clarkson, wrote a book that gave me a larger vision for how story shapes souls. Please read her book, Caught Up in a Story – Fostering a Storyformed Life of Great Books and Imagination with Your Children.

Picture Books
The Little Engine that Could – Watty Piper
The Bear That Heard Crying – Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
Ask Mr. Bear – Marjorie Flack
Gingerbread Baby – Jan Brett
Goldilocks and the the Three Bears – Jan Brett
Billy and Blaze Series – C.W. Anderson
The Big Green Pocketbook – Candice Ransom
Dance Me A Story (Twelve Tales from the Classic Ballets) – Jane Rosenberg
The Bee Tree – Patricia Polacco
The Butterfly – Patrica Polacco
The Clown of God – Tomie de Paola
Miss Rumphius – Barbara Cooney
Roxaboxen – Barbara Cooney
My Mama Had a Dancing Heart – Libba Moore Grey
Meet the Orchestra – Ann Hayes
Make Way for Ducklings – Robert McCloskey
Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey
The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams
Oh the Places You’ll Go – Dr Seuss
A Little Golden Book Collection – Eloise Wilkin Stories
The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
All About Alfie – Shirley Hughes
All the Places to Love – Patricia MacLachlan
Fritz and the Beautiful Horses – Jan Brett
Magic School Bus Series –
Owl Moon – Jane Yolen
Johnny Appleseed – Steven Kellogg
Through Grandpa’s Eyes – Patricia MacLachlan
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin – Lloyd Moss
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea – Thomas Locker

Classic Literature – Chapter Books
The Chronicles of Narnia Series – C.S Lewis (Family Favorite)
Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Winnie the Pooh Series – A.A. Milne
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Aesop’s Fables
The Railway Children – E. Nesbit
The Five Children and It – E. Nesbit
The Wind and the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle
Little Women – Louis May Alcott
James Herriott’s Treasury for Children
Just David – Eleanor H. Porter
Pollyanna – Elenor H. Porter
Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
At the Back of the North Wind – George MacDonald
Heidi – Joanna Spyri
The Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

Chapter Books – Beginner Readers
Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
Encyclopedia Brown – Donald J. Sobol
Boxcar Children Series – Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Littles – John Peterson
Stepping Stones (Classic Chapter Books) (Heidi) – Published by Random House

Fiction (Chapter Books)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
In Grandma’s Attic  – Arleta Richardson
The Secret Seven and Famous Five Series – Enid Blyton (Glenn’s favorite series from childhood)
The Brer Rabbit Collection – Enid Blyton
Mr. Poppers Penguins – Richard & Florence Atwater
Paddington – Michael Bond
Misty of Chincoteague – Marguerite Henry
All of A Kind Family – Sydney Taylor
Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers
Treasures of the Snow – Patricia McLachlan
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Douglas Wiggin
Bear Called Padddington – Michael Bond
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
Justin Morgan Had A Horse – Marguerite Henry
My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George
SnowTreasure – Marie McSwigan
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

Audio Books
Focus on the Family Radio Theater  – Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Secret Garden
Greathall Production (Storyteller Jim Weiss) – myths, fairytales, bedtime stories, historical biographies

Christian Hero Tales
Hero Tales – Dave & Neta Jackson
Trailblazer Series – Dave & Neta Jackson
Christian Heroes: Then and Now Series – Janet & Geoff Benge

Children’s Biographies
Who Was Series (Who Was Abraham Lincoln) – Published by Grosset and Dunlap

History
…If You Lived Series (If You Lived At the Time of the Civil War) Published by Scholastic
Story of the World (4 volumes) – Susan Wise Bauer

Children’s Bible & Devotional
Jesus Storybook Bible – Sally Lloyd Jones
The Child’s Story Bible – Catherine Vos
Psalms for Young Children – Marie-Helene Delval
Joseph – Brian Wildsmith
Exodus – Brian Wildsmith

Nature
National Audubon Society First Field Guides
Paddle to the Sea – Holling C. Holling

First Readers
Little Bear – Maurice Sendak
Frog and Toad  – Arnold Lobel
Amelia Bedelia – Peggy Parish

Poetry
A Child’s Garden of Verses – Robert Louis Stevenson
Poetry for Young People – Robert Frost

Art
Come Look With Me Series – Gladys Blizzard
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists Series – Mike Venezia
VanGogh and The Sunflowers – Laurence Anholt
Leonardo and the Flying Boy – Laurence Anholt
Katie Meets the Impressionists – James Mayhew

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