5. A Light in the Attic:
Shel Silverstein was a poet that really spoke to children. In this book little ones are given funny and endearing poems, some that have absolutely no meaning at all and others that touch on the thoughts and experiences of children in a world that is often bigger than they could possibly imagine. Accompanied by pen sketches, these poems are great for silly reading and perfect for bedtime.
4. Goodnight Moon:
One of the simplest, yet most loved, stories of all time, this is what a generation fell asleep to. In this book children are welcomed into a green room where everyone and everything is going to sleep. There are no people in this book, but there are mittens, kittens, a mouse, socks, and rabbits among other things. The effect is taking the concept of sleep away from the individual child in making the experience of the book about the words, the soothing sound, and the idea of simply saying good night.
3. The Berenstain Bears collection:
Okay, so this isn’t one book. In fact, it’s about 300. But it’s okay to start with just one or two. The Berenstain Bears were born because Stan and Jan Berenstain, the creators of the series, realize that they couldn’t draw people very well. Instead they created a family of bears and set out to write a collection of storybooks that would teach valuable lessons without sounding preachy. Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother lives in Bear Country where they encounter the normal challenges and experiences of life, but get through them as a family. Learn about fighting with siblings, dealing with bullies, loving yourself, counting your blessings, and dozens of other things all with books that challenge children to read.
2. The Little Critter collection:
Another situation of not just one book, but too good to choose just one. The Little Critter collection by Mercer Mayer is about just that, a little critter. We never find out exactly what type of critter he is, but you really don’t care. He’s just living his life and learning important lessons that are a bit simpler and more appropriate for younger children than the Berenstain Bears, but can also be loved by older children. In this series you can watch Little Critter try to avoid going to bed, dream about what you will be when he grows up, spend days with each of his family members, welcome a new baby sister, and many more adventures.
1. Charlotte’s Web:
This is a much thicker chapter book, see may hesitate to give to a little one, but it is a valuable addition to any child’s library. Even if the baby receives it when she is born, it will become a favorite story. This is the tale of Wilbur a runt piglet saved from the axe by the love of a young girl. This girl, however, is not Charlotte. Charlotte comes later when Wilbur is moved to another farm and meets the friendly animals. Charlotte is the tiny spider who lives in his stall and communicates by weaving elaborate webs. This is a story about overcoming what people tell you you can be and achieving greatness.