the growing shelf: I show, you tell

Stepping into the circle for story time, I’m sharing a glimpse of our growing children’s book shelf. This is the extent of our nursery, and probably will be for a while, until we have real reason to believe that we may actually bring home a baby someday.

Hidden in this small but growing collection is one of my favorites, “Animalia,” by Graeme Base (an amazing alphabet book for all ages), and a new book for us, A Mother for Choco,” by Keiko Kasza (a sweet adoption story). Also tucked away is M’s original “Winnie the Pooh” series by A.A. Milne. 

This is just the beginning of our little library. We already have more books on the way as well as a growing list… 

So tell me, what are your favorite children’s books and why?  Share one of your favorites from your own childhood, something you love to read to your children, nieces or nephews, or a story you enjoy sharing with your class. Picture books and younger age books are especially appreciated.

Special thanks to MdeP for beginning her own fabulous list (because I asked). And also to Mellolly, who is always one step ahead of the class…

For more circle time fun, check out the weekly thread (link to be added), or my previous entries. 


~ by luna on September 27, 2008.

33 Responses to “the growing shelf: I show, you tell”

  1. Thanks for sharing – I hope our children have the love of books I do. I remember going to the library with my mom from an early age and that time was always special to me.

    I think my favorite children’s books would have to be The Hungry Caterpillar and The Pokey Little Puppy. And I’m not really sure why, I just loved them when I was little.

  2. The Sweet Pickles collection ( was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, also The Frances the badger series by Lillian Hoban ( The Sweet Pickles books aren’t published anymore, but they can be found at online vintage bookstores and on ebay for relatively cheap prices. My mom bought these books for me when I was a kid, and they’re special to me because they were the first books I can remember as being *mine*. My mom had shelves and shelves worth of book that she had read over the years, and I can remember the excitement that I felt each time a new book arrived in the mail (both series were part of monthly book club orders). I loved watching my bookshelf fill out.

    My absolute favorite book from my childhood is “There’s a Monster at the End of This Book” featuring Grover of Sesame Street. It’s one of the Little Golden books and I still see it in grocery stores, Wal-Mart, etc. I requested that one for a bedtime story on many nights. I found one a couple of weeks ago and bought it for Kaelyn, and now she asks to have that book read regularly.

    I’ve just fallen in love with the Skippyjon Jones books. Jordan picked two out from the book fair last week and I’ve been asked to read them at least twice a day. I’m ordering the others next week!

    One more – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Loved it.

    Your shelf is off to a great start!

  3. Ah – Jamie mentioned The Pokey Little Puppy – that’s Kaelyn’s absolute favorite. She seriously knows that book almost line for line. She loves to exclaim, “What in the world are you doing!?!” That one is a must-have.

  4. There were so many books I loved as a child as I have always loved reading. I had many of the Dr. Suess books and a bunch of Disney books. One title I remember checking out from the library over and over again was Miss Nelson is missing.

  5. This post is a great idea!

    As a child, I loved “Ferdinand.”

    As a mom, I love “Love You Forever.”

    Have you used this photo in your profile?

  6. The Monster at the End of This Book, Starring Loveable, Furry Old Grover (my favorite as a toddler; I vividly remember being 3 years old and demanding to hear it over and over)

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (my favorite as a kid)

    everything from Shel Silverstein (perennial favorites from childhood through adulthood; in college I wrote a paper about his poetry in a comparative literature course; at first, kids appreciate the imagery, then the wordplay, then eventually the subversiveness)

  7. Oooh…I LOVE LOVE love books, esp. children’s books. I have great affection for “One Fish Two Fish” by Dr. Seuss; the classic Pooh books; and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the sequel. Also enjoy reading some classics abridged for children from Usbourne books–like Robinson Crusoe. And I have read the whole Little House series to my son (and intend to read it for my daughter too).

    Okay, I could go on…thanks for the wonderful show and tell!

  8. I too loved “Theres a Monster at the End of this Book” and all the Berstein Bear books. Velveteen Rabbit is my all time favorite!

  9. Everyone needs a copy of “Good Night Moon.” Itty bitty kids love “Everwhere Babies” by Myers. “Someday” by McGhee is a total tearjerker. And of course, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” “Megan’s Birthday Tree” is my favorite open adoption book.

    I could talk children’s books forever. 🙂

  10. I loved the Little House series as well. Also the Betsy, Tacy & Tib series. Early childhood favorites where probably the classic fairy tails.

  11. I loved the Little House series as well. Also the Betsy, Tacy & Tib series. Early childhood favorites where probably the classic fairy tales.

  12. This is not a picture book but as a child I adored the book and I learned a valuable lesson from it. A few years ago I tracked down a hard back copy of it after my poor paper back disintegrated. My grandparents’ brought it back for me from one of their vacations and I will always cherish it! It has a sad ending I guess but it is still an amazing book.

    The Birds’ Christmas Carol By: Kate Douglas Wiggin

    My two year olds in church love Llama Llama Red Pajama. It is an adorable book for that age. One of the little girls cannot be separated from hers and so we read it some days to the whole group.

  13. Just saw you had “Goodnight, Gorilla” on your shelf. I discovered that book when working in a day care with 2 year olds, and LOVE it. It’s just fun and silly, and I loved watching the kids’ reactions to it. I think it’s fun for all ages, too.

    The book I was going to suggest is “Leo the Late Bloomer (I think it’s by Robert Kraus). It so sweetly tells the story of Leo, who seems to be lagging a little behind his peers. His father worries, but Leo’s mother is patient, she says, “give him a little time. Leo is just a late bloomer. He’ll get there in his own time.” And then, one day, Leo blooms.

    It’s just a wonderful little story, with great illustrations. Still gets me a little choked up. (A late bloomer, myself, I guess.)

  14. Ahhh – books, the most powerful learning tool! (I’m a reading teacher can you tell?). Hmmm…I loved to read Tana Hoban and Eric Carl books with my littles, they spark the imagination.

    Thanks for sharing somthing so personal and treaured.

  15. You already have a lot of my favorites in there. However, I have two recommendations. I adore Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram. I also recommend getting the Dr.Seuss books in the regular format (paper pages) because the stories are altered to fit the constraints of the board books.

  16. One of my favorites that I haven’t seen mentioned here is “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”. I recently re-read it in a bookstore, and realized that the end isn’t a particularly happy one, but for some odd reason, that was the book that has stuck with me since childhood. Hmm… Anyway, I love the idea of starting a library now. Thank you!

  17. I remember my childhood collection of books, as I had three younger brothers they all eventually got so torn and tatty that the books got thrown away, or perhaps Mum ran out of room in the house and gave them away, I don’t really know. I do remember all the enjoyment that I had from them though!

  18. Another one of my faves that I didn’t include in the list on my site is The Gift of Nothing. I read it to my class every year around the holidays. It also makes a great gift for adults.

    We added some more books to A’s library yesterday: Olivia’s opposites (love the Olivia series), Where is Baby’s Belly Button?, The Grandpa Book (another Todd Parr), and My Shapes/Mis Formas – part of a bilingual series of simple and colorful board books that I want to find some more of, since we’re raising A to be bilingual.

  19. Hands down – Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Stieg. It is one of the most fantastic kids books ever, and it makes me weep every time. In a good way. The language is just beautiful – you simply must check it out if you don’t already know it!

  20. A very little-known but fabulous children’s book is The Thief in the Botanical Gardens by Diane Redfield Massie. It was published in 1975 and is out of print, but available cheaply on Amazon through used book sellers. I loved it as a kid, and when I reread it (my parents kept all the books I had as a young child and brought them to me when I had my son), I realized what a great message it has — that rules aren’t more important than kindness and friendship.

    Others have mentioned other faves of mine — Monster at the End of this Book was one of my favorites and is now my son’s favorite as well. Dr. Suess I didn’t have as a child, but I love The Lorax and The Butter Battle Book for older children. The Gift of Nothing I got as a gift a while back and it also has a great message.

  21. Oh, and how oh how could I forget The Velveteen Rabbit, which makes me cry every time I read it?

  22. This is an awesome idea! We love “Yes, We Can!” I can’t remember the author right now. Also, The Monster at the End of This Book (mentioned above) was my very favorite as a child.

    I’m just catching up on your blog from vacation and your post about your time with your niece brought tears to my eyes. You are going to be absolutely incredible parents.

  23. Some very good suggestions here 🙂

  24. Luna,

    I read this and see the picture of your growing library and I am just struck by the immense love this child, your child, will be brought home to. It’s beautiful.

    Favourite books? Love You Forever, The Giving Tree, Runaway Bunny, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Alice the Fairy, Outside My Window, The Hockey Sweater…I can go on, but I’ll stop. I love books. Lo-o-ove them. I hope you will get as much pleasure from your growing library as I have with mine, Luna. XO.

  25. Anything by Robert Munsch. I have given “The Paper Bag Princess” to lots of little girls. : )

  26. It’s great to see your collection coming along so well! The people above have posted some excellent suggestions. The ‘Olivia’ series is wonderful and very funny, and I love the Silverstein books too. My nephews are big fans of the Hungry Caterpillar.

    My absolute favorite book from childhood is Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World. It’s out of print but I managed to snag a copy on eBay. There are plenty of other Richard Scarry books available, and they’re great for learning words and such. I loved “Busy Busy World” because of the stories they had for each country.

  27. What a wonderful photo, Luna! As Lori asks, is it part of your adoption profile?

    One of my very earliest literary memories is ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle: I LOVED that book as a young child… but Malloryn has also just got me feeling all nostalgic about the Richard Scarry books!

  28. Oh! And what about ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’?

    I could go on… and on… and on….

  29. I’m very partial to “Goodnight Moon.” Always have been.

  30. My favorites as a kid were anything by Shel Silverstein, the Madaleine series, Burnett’s “A Little Princess,” anything Dr. Seuss. But I’m realizing quickly that Bella isn’t quite there yet (save for Seuss), and I’ve forgotten my early, early favorites.

    Our favorites now vary by the week, but the ones that pop up frequently are the Jon Muth books, SkippyJonJones, Walter the Farting Dog, Paddington. We’re all about the classics — or not so very much.

  31. I love seeing your bookshelf grow and grow. That was the first thing I allowed myself to buy as well. You have some excellent choices there!

    As a child I loved Are You My Mother? I was obsessed with it. Then my favorite books included Pippi Longstocking, anything by Roald Dalh, The Phantom Toll Booth, the list goes on and on.

    Now I always give books as baby gifts. There are some amazing board books these days. I love the whole food series (Yum Yum Dim Sum, Hola Jalapeno, First Book of Sushi), Urban Babies Wear Black/Country Babies Wear Plaid/Eco babies wear Green, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Carrot Seed (LOVE that) and Charlie Parker Played BeBop (great for any jazz fan!).

  32. Sheep in a Jeep and Sheep in a Shop by Nancy Shaw/Margot Apple and Duck and Goose 123 by Tad Hills because N seems to like hearing them and I enjoy reading them.

  33. […] other kids about adoption Last time I sought  recommendations on your favorite children’s books, I got some fantastic responses. (When I wrote about books on open adoption, some of you shared […]

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