February 22, 2012

12 Great Children’s Books

 Books play such a huge role in our family, as I mentioned when I shared about how my kids and I made book donation totes to deliver to those in need. Reading is something I have done with all four of my children since they were tiny infants, as I feel strongly that establishing a love of reading early on is one of the most precious gifts you can give a child. Over the years, we have read hundreds of books, but there have been a dozen or so that have emerged as our all-time favorites. Today I thought I’d share our list of some of our favorite books so that you can look into adding them to your home library or borrowing them from your local library to enjoy with your own children!

A list of 12 wonderful picture books children are sure to love. Every home library needs these!
 Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? 
by Eric Carle


This was the very first book I read consistently to baby Jack, so many times, in fact, that we just had to replace our beloved old book with a new copy after it literally fell apart. I love this story for its repetitive simplicity that allows children to “read” along, and Eric Carle’s vibrant illustrations are second to none.
Goodnight, Moon 
by Margaret Wise Brown


My parents read this book to me when I was small, and I have loved reading it to my own children. Who among us doesn’t nearly know this book nearly by heart? “In the great green room, there was a…”
Barnyard Dance 
by Sandra Boynton


The infectious, sing-song rhyme of this little book will make it a favorite even with the youngest readers!
Knuffle Bunny
 by Mo Willems


A sweet, humorous story about the lengths parents will go to reunite children with a beloved object. We read this one almost daily!
Click, Clack, Moo
 by Doreen Cronin


Even parents will giggle at this humorous story about cows who go on strike. So clever!
I Love You, Stinky Face
by Lisa McCourt


Don’t be fooled by the silly title: the sweet dialog in this book between a mama and her child will melt your heart!
The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein


A true classic that took on a whole new meaning for me once I became a mother.
by Tedd Arnold


Little boys, especially, tend to love this book. It is admittedly a bit gross at times, but it never ceases to make my kids giggle. 🙂
No, David! 
by David Shannon


This simple story about a little boy who can’t seem to do anything right, and the mom who loves him anyway. 
Bark, George
by Jules Feiffer


A clever story to teach children their animal sounds, while eliciting lots of giggles! This might be my favorite book on this list.
The Napping House 
by Audrey Wood


The gorgeous illustrations in this book are unrivaled, and the repetitive rhyme is perfect for allowing little ones to read along.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Numeroff


A classic that I also enjoyed as a child. And what mother can’t relate to the fact that little mice always seem to want just one more thing? 😉
Which books are on your family’s list of favorites? We are always on the lookout for great books to read, so I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. My commitment to my readers to to only recommend products that I truly believe in!

Amy @ Positively Splendid

Amy @ Positively Splendid

Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you'll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.
Amy @ Positively Splendid
Amy @ Positively Splendid

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20 Responses to 12 Great Children’s Books

  1. Laurie/CJ February 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Robert Munsch! Anything Robert Munsch is a favorite here, but our absolute favorite is (no, not I Love You Forever, that’s too sad for this wimpy mom to read) Paper Bag Princess. The ultimate princess/girl empowering story, and my boys love it too!
    Also Grumpy Bird or Boo Hoo Bird, by Jeremy Tankard. The illustrations are absolutely amazing, and the storylines entertain all my kids plus my husband.

  2. Samantha {Moody Mama} February 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Goodnight Moon and The Napping House are 2 of my 18month old little man faves along with What’s up duck? And Corduroy. Click clack moo is really cute. Thanks for sharing I will have to look at some of the others! We love books in this house.

  3. Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com February 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Those are so fun. I know most of them. Ella is obsessed with those cookie books. She also loves the Pinkalicious books and our newest book is Crafty Chloe.

    I shared your post on my FB page 🙂


  4. The Allen Family February 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Great list! My boys and I have read only half from that list and love them and I just put the other half on hold at the library. Can’t wait to read them. Thanks!

  5. Allison {A Glimpse Inside} February 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    No kids… yet, but having my education degree I know all these and many more! I LOVE any Eric Carle book and all of the Kevin Henkes books are fabulous as well!
    I racked up so many kid’s books while in school and working in a daycare that I am so set for when baby arrives! lol

  6. Adena (aka cre82learn) February 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    LOVE childrens’ book and I am also always on the lookout for new ones. My all time favorite is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and also The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.

  7. Sabrina February 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Great books! I love the Giving Tree! I did a similar post not too long ago. http://superfluouslysabro.blogspot.com/2012/01/favorite-childrens-books.html

  8. Jessica Kielman February 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    All fantastic books…I think we have read them all, but especially The Giving Tree and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  9. indywriter February 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    The Juggling Pug and Goldilocks Has Chickenpox are two of our family’s favorites.

    For older kids, anything by Lauren Child, but especially Beware the Storybook Wolves and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? She also writes the Charlie and Lola books.

  10. Amanda @ Serenity Now February 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Ooh my word. Between Barnyard Dance and Moo Ba La La La, I thought I would go insane. They are adorable books, but not when read 42 times in a row. My oldest was also obsessed with Richard Scary’s “I am a Bunny,” which is precious.

    They love the Berenstain Bears books, which I loved as a child, and Fancy Nancy, of course. We have piles and piles of Little Golden Books…I am a huge fan of the classic ones with the Eloise Wilkins illustrations.

    We also like to get books on tape. It breaks up long car trips. We only use our car DVD player on trips that are longer than an hour, but 6 hours of movies is a long time. They get so much more into the books on tape than I thought they would! Even my 4 year old laughed and enjoyed the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary…and I thought those would be way too old for her! Good for their imaginations. 🙂

    Can you tell we love books too? 😉

  11. Summer February 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Those are all great, Amy! Check out Mem Fox’s books. Two of my favees are Where Is the Green Sheep? and Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge. I used them both a lot when teaching. I also love Piggies by Don and Aubrey Wood.

  12. Jenny February 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I love Audrey Wood books. My favorite would be The Big Hungry Bear. I love the illustrations too.

  13. Bend Cookie February 23, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I would have to add Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton and Jamberry. Jamberry was one of my all time faves for both my kids and I can still recite it by heart! I also loved The Giant Jam Sandwich as a kid and was lucky enough to find a copy on Ebay!

  14. mrs. c February 23, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    I have been a teacher for 28 years and the mom of 2 grown-up kids but I still get excited about children’s books! My newest favorites are Bootsie Barker BItes, Molly the Pony ( this is a true story about a pony), Over in the meadow- I sing it to my class, The Cat Came Back- another one that I sing. Believe me I do not have the best voice, but my students love these books and request them over and over. The also love the Frances books by Russell Hoban and the little critter books by Mercer Meyer.

  15. Kelly @ Ruby Begonia February 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    You’ve got to find “Those Darn Squirrels!” My little boy LOVES it!

  16. Jen February 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Came across your post on pintrest. Great short list! I love most of these, but haven’t seen a few, so we will check them out!

    A few of our very favorties that were not on your list:

    Tickle the Duck by Ethan Long. A beautifully illustrated touch and feel book that will get your kids giggling.

    Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond — cute illustrations and great rhythm has kids chanting along.

    Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen– my 13 month old always requests this. Very repetitive, rhythmic, and you can easily add actions or even act our the whole book. So fun!

  17. OLS February 25, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    My now 24 year Army SGT son LOVED to be read to at night and his all time favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder..Farmer Boy was his fav…. I think reading chapter books to your kids as they get older is really important in the development of their imagination, I wish he was that age again!

  18. Allie February 25, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    I teach kindergarten so children’s books are kind of my obsession. Everything else by Mo Willems is great, too. The Pigeon books and Elephant and Piggie books are hilarious and my kids beg me for them all the time. I agree with Jen a couple comments above-Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen is priceless. I managed to score an amazing pop up version from our local discount store and my class claps at the end every time I read it and they read along, of course. It can kind of be sung, too and I love any book that can be read rhythmically or made into a song. “Today is Monday” by Eric Carle is a good singing one. Also, anything by Todd Parr. His books have really bright illustrations and are so reassuring and uplifting. Some of my faves are “Reading Makes You Feel Good”, “The Peace Book”, “It’s Okay to Be Different”, and “This is My Hair”. Sorry for the novel. But those are all worth checking out if you haven’t already!!

  19. Allie February 25, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Oh! And I, of course, love your list. Those are all staples of great children’s literature. I need to check out “Parts”, though! I don’t know that one.

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