Reading stories when you can still both fit on one chair and curl up in a blanket is one of my favourite parts about being a Mom. Nothing beats it. I loved story time as a child. I still have many of my favourite books stored in a treasured antique bookcase; titles from Richard Scary to Laura Ingles Wilder. I read them to my kids, telling them about how their Grandma used to read them to me. I love sharing my favourites with them.
In our attempts to make these little kids become avid and independent readers, sadly as they grow up, story time suddenly shifts to reading time, which is often a solo pursuit. I miss those cozy bedtime stories with my big kids. And it wasn’t really that long ago that they were the ones cuddled up with me reading Goodnight Moon and The Cat in the Hat. The nice thing about having more children is that you really know how fleeting these cherished moments like story time are before they pass you by. You relish in them even a bit more with that truth in your back pocket. In our house, bedtime stories are an essential part of the bedtime routine, not just a really nice and preferable option. Often now our big kids just happen to show up at story time with the Littles. They crowd in around the old favourite book and relish in its memories for them. I love when they do that. So do their little brother and sister.
It is amazing to me that no matter how many times I read a particular book to one of my kids, that they will notice something new or have a different question about the characters or the story or the pictures than they did just a week before. It is completely fascinating to me. I honestly never tire of reading, or reciting, the same words over and over again. This is what happens when you have tons of children. You really do recite words by heart and do so often with the lights off, after a middle of the night waking requires a story to get back to sleep.
Here are some of our favourites; the ones you have to have in your collection as a new Mom. Or the ones you need to replace if you are an experienced Mom like me and the spines are coming unglued with so much wear and tear.
These are the ones to give as gifts. They are keepers. I really tried to do a top 10. I had massive protest from the kids. They prohibited me from eliminating any of these. So here is the complete and unabridged list.
Best Story Time Reads for the Wee Little Kids
- Goodnight Moon
- The Big Red Barn
- Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
- Birthday Monsters
- Hello Baby
- But Not the Hippopotamus
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Time for Bed
- Someday (This one gets me all teary eyed. I’m not gonna lie….)
- Spot Loves His Mommy
- Where’s Spot – a peek-a-boo book my kids love
- Dr Seuss titles – The Cat in the Hat / Green Eggs and Ham / Oh the Places You’ll Go/ Hand Hand Fingers Thumb
- Mommy’s Best Kisses
Fave Book Titles for the Not Quite as Wee Preschoolers…and well beyond
- Sadie and the Snowman
- Don’t Forget to Come Back
- Farley Follows his Nose
- Officer Buckle and Gloria
- Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type
- How Does a Dinosaur series: How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight? /Say I Love you? / Eat his Food
- The Kissing Hand
- I Love you Forever – Robert Munsch *This book was written for Munsch’s stillborn child. I loved it before, but even moreso now.
- The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
- The Pokey Little Puppy
- The Boy and the Tiger
- Don’t Forget to Come Back
- Charlie’s Superhero Underpants – one of our all time top faves
- Slinky Malinky
- Bark George
- The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share
- The Story of Dog – great bold illustrations and delightful concept
- Two Little Pirates
- Some Dads
- You are Special – Max Lucado (A favourite of ours to give for a christening or baptism gift)
- Charlie Anderson – great one about a well loved cat which gently introduces different family configurations
- I Love You Little Monkey
- I Love You Stinky Face
- Little Owl
- The Biggest Thing in the Ocean
- The Boy Who Loved Bananas
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- my old worn copy of Tibor Gergely’s Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories
Now I read bedtime stories to my little ones, and after they are settled, I climb into bed with my big boys and read to them from a chapter book we chose together. We finished Stuart Little and are now reading Freaky Friday. What a blast from the past! I think the Hobbit might be voted in next.
I guess I just can’t let story time go yet, no matter what the ages of my kids.
Feel free to add your favourite titles in the comments section. I am always looking for new stories to add to our collection!