I've been busy building a library of some of my favorite childhood books for the kiddos. I think reading is oh-so-important and hope that they will love jumping nose-first into a book just like I did (and still do, if life gives me a few extra minutes here and there).
I didn't make this list with either girls or boys in mind. I think it's important to have a variety of books on your bookshelf and let the child choose what grabs their fancy. This list is just a few of my personal favorites and some I plan to add to our bookshelf, if they aren't already there.
1. Anne of Green Gables. I can't remember who gifted the Anne books to me, but I will be ever grateful. Such beautiful writing, and I think of Anne's spunky personality when I need a reminder to be a little more outgoing. I think I may get a bit of my independent streak from Anne, and I always find myself qualifying special friends as my "kindred spirit".
2. A Baby Sister for Frances. "Here are the buckets and brushes and me, / Plinketty, plinketty, plinketty, plee." Really, all the Frances books are charming and just plain delightful. She's a spirited little badger.
3. Nancy Drew Mysteries. The entire 56 book hardback collection is waiting patiently on my bookshelf for someone to read. My mom and I used to read these together on the sofa, each one of us devouring a different book in the series. I love that she re-read these along with me and plan to do the same (hopefully!) with WC. And Nancy, now there's an independent woman! Perhaps I need to check out the Hardy Boys for P.
4. The Complete Adventures of Curious George. George is so adorable he brings a smile to my face instantly. Even before he enjoyed his come-back, I did P's nursery in Curious George back in 2003.
5. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Did you read the Fudge books as a child? I can't wait for P to get a bit older so we can dive into these. Because, surely you see it too. P = Peter, and WC = Fudge.
6. Little Women. I'm giggling right now because I am picturing the Friends episode where Joey puts Little Women in the freezer. But really, I think no library is complete without a copy of this classic. The one I have is well-worn and much-loved and I hope WC will enjoy it too. I always thought that there were characteristics of each of the sisters (practical Meg, rambunctious Jo, sweet Beth and childish artist Amy ) that I'd like to possess.
7. Where the Sidewalk Ends. I cannot go to school today, said Little Peggy Ann McKay. I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash, and purple bumps. I think I have almost all the poems in this book memorized and my copy is inscribed by my aunt Nancy, who had the most fabulous bookshelf that she let me sit and go through for hours, never minding that things never ended getting put back in the same place.
8. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This favorite came from Aunt Nancy's bookshelf as well- I ordered this one last week and sat down and read it to the kids immediately and it was the first time they had ever heard of it. I was surprised to see some reviews on Amazon disappointed with the negative tone of this book- but that's the point! Everyone can have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days (even in Australia).
9. Little House on the Prairie. P's 2nd grade teacher read them some Little House books this year, and he loved them. Such good history information in there!
10. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I am ordering this today- somewhere along the way I have lost my copy and I remember this being fabulous! Hiding in a museum and solving a mystery? Yes, please.
11. Flat Stanley. The only Flat Stanley I've read is the original, and I still have my childhood copy. I still hesitate to hang heavy things over beds because of this story!
12. Choose Your Own Adventure books. Fourth and fifth grade were all about Choose Your Own Adventure! We passed these around the school and absolutely couldn't get enough. Every time we went to B Dalton's I begged for another. I'm not sure these were typical girl reads, but the tom-boy in me loved them.
13. The Ramona Collection. The Ramona books really have a place in my heart. I actually get a little choked up when I think about her wearing her soft cozy PJs to school under her clothes. And Picky Picky. And the haircut. (I had a Dorothy Hamil too.)
14. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective. I've already introduced these short mysteries to P, and he loves trying to solve the case before we turn to the back and read the solution. He often gets them right!
And of course I thought of one more after working on that silly pic above in Paint FOREVER. Right now I am reading Charlotte's Web to P and I was almost brought to tears the other night when we were just getting started and I saw the pic of Fern bottle-feeding Wilbur at the beginning- it is the CUTEST.THING.EVER. Sigh.
Now your turn- what books have I forgotten?
Of course, this post is chock-full of Amazon affiliate links.