Children’s books

Parenthood, I had heard someone say, is an opportunity to experience childhood all over. Except this time you have a driver’s license and a bank account, which makes it not like childhood at all.

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I am collecting the books that made my childhood, though, hoping they’ll make my daughter’s too. I still had my Shel Silverstein books and have put all of the Maurice Sendak that I used to have on Amelia’s Amazon wish list. I bought big lots of Bright & Early books and Berenstain Bears off of eBay, and am buying the Brambly Hedge books used from Amazon one after another, as good condition copies appear for less than a dollar. I have stood in the (very good) local used book store, marveling at copies of the same editions of the same chapter books that my dad read to me, trying to remember if they were good enough to buy again.

And I’ve started remembering the books that were at my grandparent’s house, which I read over and over, and putting them on Amelia’s wish list just for nostalgia. Doctor Dan the Bandage Man and The Story About Ping evoke the toothpaste-and-Irish-Spring smell of my grandmother’s house, the cool plush green carpeting under bare feet, the 50s-tchotchke pictures of a little Indian girl and little Indian boy, grandpa’s piano with molded candles on top and the bench swing and astroturf on their enclosed porch.

Amelia will have some different books in her childhood and obviously different grandparents’ houses. She won’t ever know what mine were like. So it’s true that I’m taking this opportunity to relive my own… and enjoying every minute.

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It’s also a scream to play with her toys.

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123 thoughts on “Children’s books

  1. Isn’t it funny how books can make you nostalgic. We read Richard Scarry’s books as children and we now read them to our children, which they love. The illustrations are great for the imagination. I was a Roald Dahl fanatic when I was young and I have just introduced my 3 and a half year old to some of his books. She loves being read to. Your baby is adorable. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  2. Enjoy the opportunity to have tea parties, build forts and fly to the moon from the swing set. The reading is awesome. We’ve enjoyed introducing classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon as well as getting to experience new ones including the Ladybug Girl series. Parenting is one of the most wonderful adventures I’ve had.
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed too.

  3. I so agree with you on experiencing childhood all over again! I have a 3-year-old and one of our favorite things to do together is read. I love all the children’s books (sometimes more than my daughter). It’s so fun to read such colorful stories. Great post! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  4. Cute pic – she has an audience. I do not have children, but loved to read and play with my nephews who recently have morphed into teenagers and do not want me to recall the early days, especially when they were cute little babies with cute toes and a head of heavenly scent – too weird for them now! You have a good stock pile of books for your little one – reading is so key in development. Congrats on being FP!

  5. I regret passing my own boys’ favourite books on to others and/or donating them to charity garage sales – because when the day comes that I have grandchildren, I want them to enjoy the same books that their ‘dads’ did. So, like, you, I’ve begun collecting Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, and several others to create a ‘hopefully-I’ll-have-grandchildren-to-read-these-to-someday’ library.

  6. Congrats on being freshly pressed… And don’t forget to check out the oodles of NEW books for kids. Sandra Boynton (who is not exactly new, but still has new stuff coming out) and Mo Willems are favorites in my house!

  7. I read to my son every night that I’m available and it helps me have a grasp of my son’s exciting world.We borrow books at a local library every -2 weeks and it has become a great family tradition of learning and bonding. thanks for sharing , it was nice to see another parent relating to her little child with so much optimism. congrats.

  8. i love this post! it’s sad for me, that so many parents don’t give books to their children. disaster — let the child watch tv to have a peace time…

  9. As soon as I found out I was pregnant (10 years ago), I did the same thing. I stocked up on every favorite story I ever read and then some. Both of my daughter’s bookshelves are overflowing and since they are older now, they get to read to me. It is wonderful:)

  10. I now have several of the books I use to read while at my Grandparents house…and I just love them! When I’m holding them I can remember the sounds/smells/sights of their house as well! Funny how something as simple as a book can bring back such vivid memories…..I plan on always having “real” books in my home no matter the new technology that tries to replace them! Oh, and I love to play with my kids toys too! 🙂 Congrats of FP

  11. One of my favorite parts of parenting is reading to and with my kids. And the literature doesn’t stop at the books that you’re collecting now. Today we’re reading Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, The Hopi, and The Old Man and the Sea.

  12. Don’t forget the little oddities like “The Panda Cake” and “The Littlest Reindeer.”

  13. That’s a nice photo with all the Dr Seuss books and the classic Very Hungry Caterpiller. I’ve been collecting Rupert Bear annuals from the UK. I had quite a few of these when I was a child. Reading these old books again as an adult is a pure nostalgic rush -. and they look great displayed on the bookshelves. I’m glad you’re reliving your books too.

  14. Loved your post. You daughter is very lucky to have you. At the moment, I have boxes full of children’s books in my basement. I like to say that I have so many because I’m a preschool teacher, but to be honest, I would have them regardless. Actually, I might even have more if I didn’t have a teacher’s salary. 😀
    Looking forward to have little ones to share them with someday.

  15. I really enjoyed this blog, particularly because I’m in a relatively similar situation myself. Recently I’ve been looking after my cousin and I’ve been trying to breed in him the passion for reading that I have always felt. And, as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to read him some of my favourite childhood classics. I’ve been reading him some Roald Dahl and it really takes me back to the good old days 🙂

  16. The picture is so cute!! And I agree 100% about re-living your own childhood (and books happened to be a big part of mine, too)… That’s one reason why I want children so much. 🙂

  17. I’m a published children’s book illustrator so it was touching for me to read your post! I hope you collect them all. I’ve always loved books, especially looking through really vintage picture books (when illustrations were truly gorgeous). My love of stories in particular had always inspired me, even to the point of making a collection of garments illustrated from classical stories (http://torynovacouture.etsy.com).

    Anyway, good luck expanding your collection. Maybe your child will grow up being a children’s book author or even illustrator =)

    Tory.

  18. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! My kids are a little older and love their books particularly those write quite some time ago. Enid Blyton’s Magic Far Away Tree trilogy and the Famous Five are current favourites along with all things Roald Dahl. It does bring back lovely memories although we have now resorted to visiting the library on a weekly basis as I can’t keep up with my daughter’s consumption of them! Enjoy every moment of your time reading with Amelia. It’s such a special time with them.

  19. I LOVE Panda Cake! Miss Suzy (Arnold Lobel), “There’s no such thing as a Dragon!” by Jack Kent, and Socks for Supper (also by Jack Kent) were some of my favorites. I love reading them to my kids now. =)

  20. I am so lucky to have kept most of the books from my childhood and now I am loving introducing them to my daughter! “Are You My Mother” was my all-time favorite (so good of you to have 2 copies!). Also check out “Pickle Things” by Marc Brown and “Harry the Dirty Dog” by Gene Zion. I loved those and my daughter does too. Thank you for the wonderful post and congrats on FP.

  21. I loved The Velveteen Rabbit, There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, A Birthday for Francis, and all the Paddington Bear books, when I was little. New ones I’ve discovered with my kids, Plaidypus Lost, the Knuffle Bunny series, anything by Rosemary Wells (Max and Ruby), and the Llama Llama series, among others. Right now I’m reading “On the Blue Comet” a novel by Rosemary Wells, with my 10-year-old, he loves it.

  22. Ping is one of our top family favorites, too and Doctor Dan always has a place in my heart. My two year old niece is in love with Madeline’s Rescue right now, along with Good Night Gorilla, Harry the Dirty Dog, and No Roses for Harry. My dad used to read the original Curious George books over and over to my older brother and me and my mom recorded his lively readings for us on audio tape. I am thankful that my parents filled me with a love of rhythm, words, books, and stories at a young age. Sounds like you are doing the same for your little lady!

  23. Dr. Seuss books read like a song sings (on purpose,) as time passed I was moved towards Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH with my interest in reading fiction completely gone after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which is not a child’s read, but by then I think I was 11.)

    Books for children often have gorgeous artwork, too, I draw a lot of unconscious inspiration from that stuff, and new books are written all the time, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter are coming to mind.

    Your daughter looks young to start reading, but I know from personal experience that you’re never too old or young to learn something, so teach her every day if you know she’ll learn. I do not remember a time when I could not read, because my big sisters had me reading when I was 4. The thought makes me worry about what sort of parent I’ll be.

    Best wishes and congratulations on FP

  24. Congrats on FP! Very nice post, I couldn’t agree more. I have a whole set of “Little Golden Books” I bought right before my first baby was born, and I think I read them more for me than for him!

    Coloring and Play-Doh are awesome too!

  25. I am working on my very first children’s book which will be published by French publisher. I wish my book would be one of your books for your lovely daughter someday.

  26. Beautiful. All in your pictures. Your book collection, your daughter’s soft toys, and definitely picture of your cute daughter. She’ll treasure the books, I believe so.

  27. I am totally loving exploring new books with my kids!

    I also have been introducing some of my favourites like “there is a monster at the back of this book”…starring grover.

    I have started writing about a few of the new books that I have fell in love with on my blog.

    Enjoy your book collection, you have some great titles there.

  28. It’s great!! I gave all (most of) my books to my small niece, I love her and than I read my old books to her I feel happiess

  29. wonderful! thank you – having you on freshly pressed mad my day – couple of days I go I decided to enter my draft for kids book in a national book contest for children in Latvia in september 2011 – so I am gathering ideas on what would be the best 21st century book for kids aged 2,5 – 6 years – please write me on smartbsolutions@live.com if you have any suggestions – the draft I have is about a young girl and her brother and will be the first kid’s book in both english and latvian (national language of my home country 🙂 with greetings from Latvia through Tunisia Signe M

  30. I have no kids, I’m 23 but I too have started collecting my favorite books as a child. Things like, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Shel Silverstein, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Harry Potter have all made the collection! I recently saw a Calvin and Hobbs sketch that said “Don’t put away your childish things, save them for your child.” (:

  31. This is list is lovely. I can’t wait until I have children and am able to read them ‘Can’t you sleep little bear’ (Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth) , which was always one of my favourites. Or the Usbourne collections.

    Thanks for the other suggestions.

    Lucy

  32. Your baby is soooooo cute and lovely!!!
    I like French children’s books for learning the language.

  33. I thought I would share some of my childhood fav’s!

    I loved Peter Rabbit, and that entire series. Something From Nothing was my all-time favourite, and it’s a classic. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables books from childhood to being a YA.

    I just remember going to the library with my mom and rummaging through the kids books in the basement area with all the wooden tables – more so than reading at my grandparents house…

  34. *Giggles I have no kids and I’m considered too old for children’s books, but I still love them! I at least have the excuse of being a librarian. This kid’s fantasy novel? Job research.

  35. I loved your post. I am reading to my grandaughter the same books I read to her mom ( our favourite is Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You). I also have purchased every Disney kids movie for both my grown girls…the only problem is my younger daughter does not have children yet and the movies are all VHS tapes…she does have a new VCR stored away but by the time she has kids they will probably wonder what the heck a VCR is.

  36. So funny–my husband called me from a garage sale, wondering if we should buy the whole Disney movie collection on VHS for 25c a movie. We decided not to, because of storage issues!

  37. Congrats on being FP. I enjoy sharing books from my childhood with my 4 year old daughter too. Love it so much that I’ve already started gathering books for her right up through the teen years. I have a special bookshelf in the house to store the books that she’s not ready for yet, like the Anne of Green Gables series, Charlotte’s Web, and the Thornton W Burgess books, including the Burgess Bird Book. I’ve also loved reading some classic writers with my 4 year old for what I think is my first time. Margaret Wise Brown falls into this category. The lyricism in the prose of her books like The Important Book, Home for a Bunny, or the Color Kittens makes them a joy to read over and over again.

    I also do weekly reviews of Children’s books on Thursdays on my blog: Caterpickles.com (Scientific & Linguistic Engagement with a 4 Year Old Mind).

    I’d love to have you (or your readers) stop by and comment on the books I’ve reviewed or make recommendations on books I should be sharing with my daughter. I’ve already gleaned quite a wonderful To-Read list from the comments to this post, and would love to learn of more.

  38. As a teacher, I demand that you MUST read the Polar Express to her aloud one snowy, beautiful December night before she is allowed to see the movie. Both are great, but there is something magical about the book that no movie can trump. May I suggest giving her a bell at the end that you “can’t hear?” Or perhaps you can, because you believe too!

  39. I read my all-time favorite book, Charlotte’s Web, to my son while he was still in the womb. I think I’ve read it two more times to him. As your child grows, you will then find delight in the newer stories they like. We read the Spiderwick Chronicles and the Series of Unfortunate Events together. My son claims I would enjoy the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. One day, I will read them.
    I am quite dishearened that he won’t read JRR Tolkien 😦

  40. I used to read a book every night called ‘peace at last’. Books as a child seem to never get boring!
    Congratulations on Freshly Pressed; and great post!

  41. Hi! Very cute post. I have a 6-year-old and of course saved SO many Dr. Seuss books for him when I was younger. There’s a cute book called “Andrew Henry’s Meadow” which your daughter might like when she’s a little older…believe me it will go fast (can’t believe my son is reading Hardy Boys mysteries…gasp!!) Anyway, I added a new book review section to my blog, so that Jack can tell other kids what he likes to read. Check it out for some ideas, though again, you have a couple years. 🙂 (http://shitmy6yearoldsays.wordpress.com/jacks-book-reviews/) Congrats on FP and have fun with all the visitors! I was FP a week or so ago and I’m still reeling from all the fanfare.

  42. My extensive children’s book collection currently sits in boxes…waiting for rediscovery by a new generation. Thanks for the article. It reminds me there’s others like me out there.

  43. Your post made me nostalgic for both my childhood books and my children’s childhood. They’re 13 now, but one of the best things about their younger years was buying nice, hardback copies of my favorite kids’ novels–the kind I never had growing up. Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Ramona the Pest, Little House in the Big Woods. I’m saving them for the grandkids I hope I get to have!

  44. When my daughter was in her twenties, I was able to get a copy of a book she always borrowed from the library titled, “The Clown of God.” She loved the illustrations in this book and was thrilled with the gift. She’ll now be able to share it with her daughter in a few years.

  45. I love sharing the books of my youth with my kids as well. I remember when my dad gave me his “original” Bobsey Twins books to read. He loved reading them as a child, so did I. I was thrilled to share those very same books with my kids.
    Love, love, love Dan, Dan the Bandage Man and Nurse Nancy. My daughter loves those too. I do agree, that you get to relive your childhood with your kids. I so love that I get to play Barbies again!

  46. Although I often tease my mother for being a pack-rat, one thing I am grateful she saved are my books. Mostly children’s picture books, not chapter books, but that’s ok. My twins’ bookshelves are filled with my old picture books – still in good condition! And they are already learning to love reading because of those great books (as well as a few million more that we’ve bought over the last 2 years!)

  47. This is so cute. I’ve kept all my childhood books and plan to pass them on to my future children. It’s so important to have a connection with a book at the youngest age possible… Expands the imagination. Books help create beautiful human beings.

  48. I was just thinking about this the other day – I really do love reading the kids books and reliving my memories…Richard Scarry is a favourite around our house. And using crayons to just colour or play with lego…

    AND, I love your comment about Irish Spring…one day I thought our room smelled like my Great Aunt’s house, and then I discovered my 2 year old had opened a club pack of Irish Spring soap and took all the bars out of the boxes…I’ve never wanted to get that soap again.

  49. This post put a smile on my face as I relived my childhood. My favorite books as a small child were……Hop On Pop and Green Eggs And Ham by Dr. Seus.

  50. What an wonderful and adorable post, and congrats on Freshly Pressed. I read Richard Scary’s “Cars and Trucks and Things that Go” to both my sons when they were little, and it was their favorite. (Gold Bug is hidden on each page and they had to find him). Now I try to find that book to give as a baby gift, and I read RS to my granddaughter- she loves it too. Beautiful shot of Amelia, and what a lucky little girl. She is going to have a “print-rich” childhood for sure.

  51. HI Snapdragons,

    Books do provide us with a door into another world. To share these childhood treasures with our own children is a wonderful gift. You can never have too many books around your home. Keep collecting 🙂
    Donna
    Jelli-Beanz Publishing

  52. I think I would have done the same thing. It’s probably because we have so many good memories with the books from our childhood, and we wanna share them. xx

  53. it is nice, I always love children’s book until now.
    Judy moody is my favorite 🙂

    greetings

  54. I love your post! Reading to your children is one of the best things you can do. My favorite (and my daughter’s favorite as well) is Winnie the Pooh. We loved it so much that when she entered high school and took Latin we purchased a Latin version as well – Winnie Ille Pu. Now 18 she will not let me sell or give away any of her books.

  55. Oh no! She got some as gifts when she was born–when she’s old enough for them, there will be more!

  56. My shelves have and will always be filled with Children’s books. Rediscovering classics is great but discovering modern releases for the first time is just as much fun. Might I suggest Oliver Jeffers and Polly Dunbar as excellent examples of today’s Picture books. Oh and you simply cannot forget The Ahlberg’s! Each Peach Pear Plum is one of my all time favourite pictures books. Burglar Bill comes a close second. No bookcase is complete without them.

  57. Hi Snapdragon,

    There is this set of Grollier Dr Seuss books (the one’s they used to advertise on day time TV) that has been passed down over the decades from my little sister to my children and now to their newly born cousins.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It brought back my own book memories.

  58. Yep, I had the Grolier editions myself. A lot of the Seuss books I bought for Amelia are those, too.

  59. Hej from Sweden,

    Oh how I just love children’s books. I am nearly 60 and still have the Dr. Seuss books we had as children. My daughter who is nearly 31 has enjoyed them as well. I still have them on my bookcase along with all her books acquired through her childhood. I say to people who see them in my home that I am saving them for my grand children. This is true, but I must say, they warm my heart just walking past them and knowing they are still there. My books have traveled the width and breath of America and now they have made their way across the oceans and are happily displayed here in Sweden.

    Children’s books are not only magical and fascinating to the young but to adults as well. I have a section of books just with a mouse theme, collected from all over the words in many languages.

    Not only do I will look forward to sharing these with my grand children, but I love these books so much, they are something my daughter will some day inherit.

    Love this blog!

    Welcome to my little blog:
    http://gullringstorpgoatsblog.wordpress.com

  60. I’m sure that my mum has all my childhood books stored away in boxes, in cupboards, under beds….. She a hoarder! I hope to find them all one day.
    I love your idea!

  61. I cannot collect books right now, because I am leaving in a tiny room in London. But I am looking forward to the moment when I will be able to do this. First of all I’ll buy Treasure Island and Roald Dahl books (BFG and The Witches)

  62. Great Post! I have began to miss some of the old nostalgic children’s books myself. I have always loved Shel Silverstein and have a audio cd for my kids to listen to whenever they want. One of my all time favorite books is “You make the angels cry” by Denyz Cazet. Its been a little hard to find on amazon, and my copy is signed. But I hope to find one to for my kids so they cant do anymore damage to it. Anyway, I totally agree about parenthood. It’s a door to return to childhood that you don’t have to buy a pass for.

    Also, Target has a lot of the mini board books of your favorite stories geared toward smaller kids .

  63. I do the same thing! I even decorated my son’s nursery in Children’s books, matching plush character figures to the picture books they appear in. I love this post. 🙂

  64. Too cute… adorable post and adorable daughter. Congrats on mommyhood and on being freshly pressed.

  65. Reading this blog left a smile on my face. I loved reading all of those books. Once she is old enough, have her read Junnie B. Jones. Those were my favorite books! I would read them over, and over, and over again.

  66. After almost 30 years we still have preserved our son’s Richard Scarry book “Pig Will and Pig Won’t”. It came with an adorable stuffed character that is Pig Will on one side and Pig Won’t on the other. In a few months we will be able to use is as a teaching tool with our grandson.

    Wonderful post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  67. Blog background is good, baby picture is good, the content of article is good. It make me memorize my childhood books. In my childhood, there were many colorful books, cute pictures and interesting photos. I think these are very important to a child’s grow up.

  68. Every generation is blessed with great kids books not only from their parents and their grandparents generation, but a whole slew of new books written just for their new generation. I’m sure they will be just as memorable to them as well!

  69. children’s books can give us a lot of good memorizes, we can feel happy again.we can share these books with our children even grandchildren. This is love sharing!

  70. There’s this childhood book I remember – it’s the only one that stands out from when I was six. It was about an island with topiary animals that became alive. I can’t remember who wrote it but that was a great book. I read it over and over then.

  71. Not sure how I arrived here, but wanted to say I’m glad you are enriching your baby’s life with books! Just can’t have enough books now can you? ~ Lynda

  72. In Russia they don’t have a lot of children’s books…the only ones they have are ones that EVERYONE has and were written sometime between 1940-1970. I guess we have it pretty simple.

  73. I think my husband has more fun reading Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks” than our kids do hearing it! One of his favorites. Berenstain Bears and Little Critter books have always been some of my favorites and my kids love them too.

    I just finished getting a children’s book written and illustrated. Please check it out at http://www.missymoobook.com
    Trying to get enough support to be able to print it through our board game publishing company Tasty Minstrel Games, LLC.

    Thanks for the blog!
    Erin

  74. I wish I had stolen all the Enid Blyton books from my grandparents house when I was younger. I’m hiunting them down in charity shops now…because they have to look right!

  75. Love this! I remember reading Richard Scarry and James Stevenson over and over…and my mom read The Princess and the Goblin to me when I was young. I’ve bought them for my future children already! 🙂

  76. I think books are very important. I just wish I had some of my childhood books so I could pass them to my daughter.

  77. Pingback: Children’s books, redux « Snapdragons

  78. Pingback: Book Review: Brambly Hedge | CATERPICKLES

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