Friday, September 7, 2012

Favorite Children's Books

 September means the kids are back to the books- whether they want to be or or not....
Even though our kids differ in their opinions of books :), we love them. So, every Friday this month we will share and recommend our favorites. The theme this week is children's books. Reminisce with us, or perhaps find a new family favorite.... 

Jan:   My favorite children’s book is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  I remember when my oldest daughter Allie was going to kindergarten and I was telling my sister how sad I was that she was growing up.  My sister gave me this book and told me that my mom had given it to her to read to her oldest son when he went to kindergarten, he was then 14.  My mom had passed away the previous year and so reading this book made me feel like it was a gift from my mom. I knew she would have given me this book for Allie.  I still remember reading the book right before school started with Allie.  I could barely read it as tears were falling while thinking of how my baby girl was growing up and also how much I missed talking with my mom.  We continue to read this book at our house the night before school starts.  Even though Allie is now in fourth grade, I still give her a new kiss each year.  I love that my girls are so tender-hearted to give me one as well.  

Maren: I could write a whole post about all the children's books I love but The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series stands out as one of my all time favorites. I recently came upon a few books I had stolen from my sister Lucy when we lived at home from her Mrs. Piggle Wiggle collection. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a wonderful old lady in the neighborhood who loves children and she has a "medicinal" cure for every annoying habit children have- so naturally the parents love her too. She's able to cure kids that don't want to go school, who lie, and even the ones who take stuff apart but not put it back together. The first book was written in 1947 but they are as charming and relevant now as they were then and a fun read for parents and kids.

Laura:  When I was in the 5th grade, my teacher read some poems from A Light in the Attic by Shell Silverstein to our class.  I was hooked. The witty poems made me laugh then and they still do now. I secretly memorize them and make my 9 year old boy do the same (shhh... don't tell his friends).

Jenn: I have always loved the book Miss Suzy by Miriam Young. I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house when I was a little girl, and she read it to me over, and over, and over, and over again. She even gave me her copy of the book shortly before she died.  Miss Suzy is a sweet little squirrel who lives in a cute and quaint tree house on top of an oak tree. She is so resourceful, creative and kind. When she faces hard times, her character traits help restore her happiness. Reading the book takes me back to those times with Grandma, and I even hear her voice echo through the years. A new edition was recently published as Miss Suzy celebrated her 40th anniversary... I definitely recommend it!

Nancy: Picking one children's book is literally impossible for me. Everyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love books. I love the way they look, smell, feel. Everything about them. I decorate with them, and make sure they are in every single room in my house. Since it's my turn to put the forum together this week, I am rebelling and choosing two!

 I first heard the story of The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munch when I was a young single adult. I loved it. Even though it's a children's book, I learned an important and very applicable lesson. I now read it to my children and they giggle every time. Even my 5 year old boy asks me to read it to him every night (it's the ONLY princess story he likes:)). Elizabeth, or the Paper Bag Princess, is smart and works hard. She knows who she is and what she deserves. It's a must read!

 At the beginning of every school year, I read The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes to my children.It's about a girl named Wanda who lives on the poor side of town and wears the same faded dress to school every single day. Still, she tells all the other girls that she has 100 dresses hanging up in her closet at home. Peggy, the most popular girl in school makes a game of teasing Wanda about the dresses, but her best friend Maddie wishes she has the courage to defend Wanda. In the story, the girls learn compassion, courage, kindness, understanding, and generosity of spirit. The Hundred Dresses was a Newberry Honor Book in 1945. The words and pictures convey life in the 1940's, but the message is timeless, universal, and beautiful. (recommended for ages 6 and up)

 Thanks for joining us today. We're so happy you did!

What are your favorite children's books? Please recommend them to us!

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