If you know me at all you know I am an avid reader. I go in spurts where I read and ton and then fall off the wagon if the book I'm reading can't keep my interest or I'm heavy into other projects but I ALWAYS have a book I'm reading and a few (or a ton!) in the que waiting for their turn. In fact, my "to read's" stack up faster than I can actually read so my list is always changing. Back last summer I decided to do a series called "What on my Kindle?" because god knows I love reading what others are reading and I thought you guys might want to see what I was up to.
Well - my addiction doesn't stop there. You see, now I've got a little one (nay, soon TWO little ones) to read to) god knows they don't give a hoot about the 300 page books I'm into. So, I've quickly realized that my personal love of reading has carried over to kids books as well. The best part? Kids books don't take days or weeks or months to read so it's easy to justify a "new" book (at least that's what this addict is telling herself). Of course, our membership to Amazon Prime only facilitates my addiction....it's all too easy to order in two seconds and they show up two days later on my doorstep. It's like Christmas morning!!
For me, our bedtime book routine needs to have books that I actually want to read too. I mean...you can only do "Brown Bear Brown Bear" so many times before you've got it memorized. Don't get me wrong, the Sandra Boynton books are great for babies but really? Who takes a bath and THEN exercises before going to bed? It just doesn't make any sense!! I love finding the unabridged versions of the books we've all grown to love. I mean, like the first edition Winnie the Pooh books where the stories are longer than 3 pages. Short books have their place too (Abby and I can't get enough of My Mommy Hung the Moon) but sometimes I want to read something I'll enjoy too.
I think it all started when my sister in law bought Abby a hardcover set of Little House on the Prairie (of course I can't find a link my exactly copy....Erin, do you remember?). Don't get me wrong, that book is WAY over her head and attention span but it reminded me that even though we're in that toddler stage, we can tackle REAL stories that I'd actually enjoy too.
So, without further ado, here are some of my recent favorites:
1. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh: Come on? Who doesn't love that silly old bear? I love this book. Each story is around 20 pages long and though we often can't finish a story in one sitting we do keep coming back to this one. Abby calls it just "Pooh" and she's sneaky...she knows the stories are long so if she's vying to stay up a little longer she knows a request for "Pooh" will earn her a few more minutes. My biggest complaint about this book is that at a whopping 3 lbs its heavy to hold/ready to a toddler but it's SO worth it to get the unabridged version. You'll be hard pressed to find a bad review on this one.
2. Beatrix Potter: I don't necessarily remember this one from my childhood but the mischievous little bunny sure keeps Abby's attention. We've just started into this one and the stories are around 15ish pages long. Still a little above Abby's attention span but there are PLENTY of pictures to keep her interested. The whimsical artwork is beautiful and the stories keep both her and I entertained. Again, at just over 4 lbs its another big one to hold/read and my biggest complaint is that it doesn't come with bookmark ribbons but if you're looking for a great classic to add to your little one's library this could certainly be the prefect addition.
3. The New Small Person: It's not a classic or especially literary but this one fits the changes happening in our life right now. As we're working on helping Abby understand the new baby on the way, Elmore Green and his concerns about the new small person in his life are hopefully helping Abby to understand the changes in store. Elmore and his jelly bean licking little brother are cute and this book has a good message. I know there might be little we can do to prepare Abby but I'm hoping every little bit helps.
4. The Snow Queen: Guys, Frozen is great....this is better. It's a pop-up book and we're JUST learning how to not pull on the pages but the pictures/popups in this book are beautiful. Abby's ruined her fair share of popup books already so I'm a little worried every time we pull this one out. So far, it's still in tact. There are even clever little pockets and pull outs with additional images/text. That being said, I would NOT leave this one on the shelf for Abby to read alone. One reviewer said it wasn't suited for children under 5 and I'm tempted to agree. Buy it anyways....you'll thank me.
6. Beauty and the Beast: Did you check out the pictures below? I mean, come on...it's beautiful and dark all in one. Another blogger wrote this and I couldn't say it better myself.: This retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Max Eilenberg ranks as one of my very favorite children’s books ever written. The storytelling is superb, and the scene at the end – where Beauty realizes her love for the Beast has grown into something profound – moved me to tears. It is one of the most beautifully written love stories I’ve ever read.
7. The Fairy Tales of Hans Christen Anderson: Along the same vein as Beauty and the Beast (above) this is one I just added to my quickly growing collection this morning (and spurred this post...). I can't give a review on it yet, but I have a feeling it will become a favorite in our household. It was the artwork alone that sold me on this one.
So, what do you think? Do you like posts like this? I can keep doing them as I find more favorites if it's something you guys want to hear about. If not, that's fine too...I'll just keep my little "problem" to myself :) Also - a word of warning....if you're a parent with little ones and have a celebration coming up that I'm invited to don't be surprised if you find one my favorite kids books in the bag! As the toys pile up around our house I'm valuing the staying power of a good book over a plastic toy or clothes they'll outgrow in a few months.