It’s a bit early to be thinking about this already. I mean, the poor kid hasn’t even been born yet. Despite that, I’m compiling a list of books I want to make sure Gibson has a chance to read once he’s an independent reader.
Books were so important to me at a fairly early age. I can still remember the exact book I was reading when I realized I was actually reading it and not just looking at the pictures. It was such a proud moment for me. And from then on, I think I was always trying to read to my mother instead of vice versa.
The Animorphs series was part of my children’s fiction collection growing up. I think I only had the first four books, but I read them over and over again. And no matter how advanced the Kindle or other e-readers become, you have to get the actual printed version of these books. Mostly because they featured these nifty flip book drawings of the main character changing from human to animal. I LOVED them.
Though I was already a little too old for the book when I received it, my mother gifted me Beezus & Ramona. Maybe my sister and I were going through some serious sibling rivalry at the time. I’m not sure. But the little glimpses into the lives of other sisters were endearing and have stuck with me.
The silly, irrational things that little sisters can do made a lot of sense to me as the oldest. And I think my mother sympathized with me as she was the oldest in her family. Like how the youngest can seem to get more attention from the parents because of his or her antics. But ultimately, each child is loved just the same and just as much as the other. I’m not sure if this one will matter as much to Gibson if he remains an only child.
I also can’t talk enough about how wonderful Judy Blume was for me growing up. I had Blubber, Just As Long As We’re Together and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. When I was a pre-teen I sought out more of her books in the library. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret and Tiger Eyes. Those stories have stuck with me and taught me some of the coping mechanisms I use even today. I actually somehow missed out on the Super Fudge series, but The Man tells me that he read and enjoyed them as a kid.
Sideways Stories From Wayside School was another book I remember enjoying. I didn’t even know there were other books in this series. This is another addition to the list from The Man. The stories are so strange and different, I remember almost being upset that they didn’t follow logic and reason. But The Man appreciated that about the books, and so these will have to be on the reading list for Gibson.
What stories were important to you growing up? Did you have a favorite author? Please help me increase Gibson’s reading list even though he’s not even born yet!
Every time I am in the children’s section of the library I have at least one moment where I stop and think, “OH MY GOD. I remember that book! It was my FAVORITE!” But of course I can’t remember any of them now. I will try to write them down when I see them from now on so I can compile a list for all the babies.
That will be excellent!
I’ve shelved this one a few times and I think it looks great with the built-in mirror.
THAT is adorable!
Pat the Bunny, Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, I’ll Love you Forever, Blueberries for Sal, Caps for Sale, and, when he gets older… Ballet Shoes, Half Magic, The Boxcar Children books, Goosebumps… I could go on and on…
Oh those are excellent!
My favorites included the Dr. Seuss books, of course, and also a little known book by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak called “A Very Special House”. Sandra Boynton’s “But Not the Hippopotamus”, and PD Eastman’s “Go, Dog, Go!” — which was the first book I read by myself. Great literature.
Yes! We were gifted “Go, Dog, Go!” I feel like we’re one step ahead of the game when you recommend something I actually have!
Let me also recommend the “My Book House” series by Olive Beaupre Miller. They were the “special” books in our home growing up. The 12 volume set begins with nursery rhymes and continues through some of the best known literature. Here’s a review from Amazon that echoes my thoughts: “This set of books was a part of my childhood, and instilled in me a love of reading that persists to this day. Our particular set was from 1960 and contained only eight of the twelve volumes, but I managed to obtain an entire collection and they are now part of my children’s life, too. Each volume begins at a grade level—One being the easiest to Twelve being suitable for high-school level reading. There are selections from some of the finest writers, such as Jonathan Swift, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling, as well as fairy tales and folk legends from all around the world, both East and West. The illustrations are gorgeous and some of the monsters quite scary, but there is nothing extremely gruesome or inappropriate for young readers. From the simple and charming nursery rhymes of the first volume to the more mentally and emotionally challenging material contained in the last volume, these books take their reader on a marvelous journey through worlds both real and imaginary. This is a delightful way to open up a child’s mind to reading.” Some of the lines in the stories I remember to this day. I was tempted to buy a set from EBay, but with no kids of my own, I thought it best to let others have those joys.
These sound fantastic! I’ll have to keep an eye out for a set. Never heard of ’em before.
Some of our favorites are Little Blue Truck, Peek-a Who?, Where’s Spot?, the Llama Llama books, anything by Sandra Boynton – specifically Moo Baa La La La, anything by Karen Katz – specifically Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?, and anything by Dr. Seuss. Also, get subscriptions to Babybug Magazine now and Ranger Rick Jr and Nat Geo Little Kids when he turns one. Babybug has little two page stories and poems that are great for tiny attention spans, and the animal magazines are excellent for potty training. If they get ruined you don’t feel bad about throwing them out.