10 books every child should read
The U.S. National Academy of Education and the National institute of Education conducted a study that examined child development and literacy. The study determined that the most important thing parents and teachers of early learners can do to build literacy skills in children is to read aloud to them.
Reading is a great way to bond with your child and help their literacy skills. The great thing about books is that they will always be around and there are several classics that every child should read. Here are 10 books that will forever be memorable classics.
Where The Wild Things Are
Where The Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak’s color illustrations are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder.
The wild things — with their mismatched parts and giant eyes – manage somehow to be scary looking without really being scary; at times they’re hilarious. Sendak’s defiantly run-on sentences – one of his trademarks — lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child’s imagination.
This Sendak classic is more fun than you’ve ever had in a wolf suit, and it manages to reaffirm the notion that there’s no place like home.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Is there a moral? A higher meaning? A lesson? Most certainly not — except perhaps in bathing armadillos. The poet’s collection of verse and pen-and-ink drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, is the bestselling children’s poetry book of all time.
Where The Sidewalk Ends is a collection of children’s poetry written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. The poetry is centered around issues a child may have and elaborate stories that will allow every child’s imagination to run wild.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
More than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition. Despite its diminished state, the book is complete in every detail, following the ravenous caterpillar’s path as he eats his way through one apple (and the pages of the book itself) on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, through cherry pie and sausage — until he is really fat and has a stomach ache. And no doubt you know what happens next! Kids love butterfly metamorphosis stories, and this popular favorite teaches counting and the days of the week, too. A fun gift package for caterpillar fans.
Love You Forever
The mother sings to her sleeping baby: “I’ll love you forever / I’ll love you for always / As long as I’m living / My baby you’ll be.” She still sings the same song when her baby has turned into a fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, and then a raucous teen. So far so ordinary — but this is one persistent lady. When her son grows up and leaves home, she takes to driving across town with a ladder on the car roof, climbing through her grown son’s window, and rocking the sleeping man in the same way. Then, inevitably, the day comes when she’s too old and sick to hold him, and the roles are at last reversed. This heartwrenching story discusses a parent’s love for their child and how nothing will ever change it.
Harold and The Purple Crayon
“One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight.” So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won’t get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.
Crockett Johnson’s understated tribute to the imagination was first published in 1955, and has been inspiring readers of all ages ever since. Harold’s quiet but magical journey reminds us of the marvels the mind can create, and also gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible.
When Dr. Seuss gets serious, you know it must be important. The Lorax is an ecological warning that still rings true today amidst the dangers of clear-cutting, pollution, and disregard for the earth’s environment. In The Lorax, we find what we’ve come to expect from the illustrious doctor: brilliantly whimsical rhymes, delightfully original creatures, and weirdly undulating illustrations. But here there is also something more — a powerful message that Seuss implores both adults and children to heed.
The now remorseful Once-ler–our faceless, bodiless narrator–tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba-loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. As the trees swiftly disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught. Finally the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved “UNLESS.”
With his own colorful version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature. But as you might expect from Seuss, all hope is not lost — the Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future.
The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”
So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad. As Alexander’s day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country-western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist’s office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.
Judith Viorst flawlessly and humorously captures a child’s testy temperament, rendering Alexander sympathetic rather than whiny. Our hero’s gum-styled hair and peevish countenance are artfully depicted by Ray Cruz’s illustrations. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a great antidote to bad days everywhere, sure to put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.
The Paper Bag Princess
Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. Just when she is about to marry Prince Ronald, a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and prince-naps her dear Ronald. Undaunted and presumably unclad, she dons a large paper bag and sets off to find the dragon and her cherished prince. Once she’s tracked down the rascally reptile, she flatters him into performing all sorts of dragonly stunts that eventually exhaust him, allowing her to rescue Prince Ronald.
But what does Prince Not-So-Charming say when he sees her? “You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.” In any case, let’s just say that Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald do not, under any circumstances, live happily ever after. Robert Munsch celebrates feisty females everywhere with this popular favorite, and Michael Martchenko’s comical drawings capture the tongue-in-cheek quality of this read aloud crowd pleaser.
The Giving Tree
“Once there was a tree… and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk… and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.
Green Eggs and Ham
This timeless Dr. Seuss classic was first published in 1960, and has been delighting readers ever since. Sam-I-am is as persistent as a telemarketer, changing as many variables as possible in the hopes of convincing the nameless skeptic that green eggs and ham are a delicacy to be savored. He tries every manner of presentation with this “nouveau cuisine” — in a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox, with a goat, on a boat — to no avail. Then finally, the doubter caves under the tremendous pressure exerted by the tireless Sam-I-am. And guess what?
Well, you probably know what happens, but even after reading Green Eggs and Ham the thousandth time, the climactic realization that green eggs and ham are “so good, so good, you see” is still a rush. As usual, kids will love Dr. Seuss’s wacky rhymes and whimsical illustrations — and this time, they might even be so moved as to finally take a taste of their broccoli.
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