When John was just starting to read on his own, he seemed a little hesitant to do it. He would always ask first: “If I learn to read, will you still read to me?” Of course, the answer was an emphatic yes. Reading to him has been one of my favorite things about the past five years.
Now John reads what he wants to, and when I read to him, it’s often early chapter books (James and the Giant Peach, etc.). But right before bed, when he’s getting tucked in and sleepy, he usually still picks out picture books. Horray! Some of the books that we’ve gotten to know and love over the past few years seem like good friends of mine, and when they’re that good, I don’t mind reading them 50 times in a row.
I asked John to help me report on our favorite books. We can’t possibly list them all in one post, so for now, we’re going to share only our favorite rhyming books. (Rhyming books are my favorites to read.)
The Hound from the Pound
Any dog lover — especially those lucky few of us who know and love basset hounds — will appreciate it. It’s funny (which John enjoys) and sweet (which I enjoy). And the drawings capture the joy of doggies.
John: “I like how it goes Ah-ROOOooooooo.”
And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street
I’m a fan of Dr. Seuss (master of rhymes) and could have listed any of his books, but Mulberry Street has been a family favorite at the Ydel house since I can remember. John: not totally sold on it. He actually prefers Sneetches, Lorax, etc. But to me, this is the true classic. Never gets old.
John: “I like how he thinks of such cool things.”
The Seven Silly Eaters
Mary Ann Hoberman
This is a story about seven kids who will each only eat one thing, and their poor beleaguered mom. The pictures are great, the rhymes are genius. This book both inspires me to run out and write a children’s book, and reminds me why I probably can’t.
John: “I love how each person loves a different thing.”
Bear Snores On
There are a whole bunch of these books and we have many, but I’m including the first, which began our love affair with Bear and his friends. John’s Aunt Sarah gave it to him when he turned one, but somehow it still makes it into rotation from time to time.
John: “I like how Bear can stay asleep for so long.”
The Snail and the Whale
Julia Donaldson has a gift for rhymes and rhythm (reminds me of a great lyricist like Oscar Hammerstein), and she and illustrator Alex Scheffler have lots of wonderful books, but The Snail and the Whale is our favorite by a mile. I like the message that adventure, heroics and a big, wide world are waiting, regardless of your size.
Speaking of sleep, John was already in bed for this one.
That’s all for now. Maybe we’ll do classics or board books another day.