I try to read to my daughter Raine as often as I can, even if it isn’t bedtime. These days though, with the new baby Breeze on board, I often feel mother-guilt because I choose the shortest, easiest books to read—the one that you can read standing up while swaying and pogo-sticking (because Breeze needs to be constantly held that way). But when Breeze is feeling better and I get to set her down, one of the books we enjoy is The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury. It has a wide range of stories and writing and illustration styles, ranging from the colorful Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the beautifully rendered Stellaluna; from the quirky Amelia Bedelia to the classic Goodnight Moon; from the almost wordless Goodnight Gorilla to the longer Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
The well-selected stories allow us to check out different authors and story lines and see which we like. Raine loves Madeline, for example, so now we have the rest of the books in that series. We also got a taste of the Berenstain Bears and D.W. and Arthur; and we have the stand-alone copy of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (and we got his Hector Protector too). The Treasury also has color-coded icons, which quickly let you see what age range the story is recommended for.
The only downside of the Treasury is its size. It’s made for lap reading, or when your kids are sitting by your side. No way you can hold it and read with just one hand. And it’s too unwieldy to read while lying down comfortably in bed (I haven’t been able to, anyway). It’s also a little pricey (a little less than P2000 at Bibliarch—and it was the only copy when I bought it). But it’s definitely worth the investment.
What books do you and your kids enjoy reading, especially at bedtime? Some other moms share theirs:
How do I love you?
Let me count the ways.
I love you as the sun
loves the bright blue days.
This beautifully written book by Marione Dane Bauer and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church is Sam’s “peeping” time book. Lest you think Sam is a peeping tom in the making, “peeping” is Sam’s term for “sleeping”. He’s still having a bit of a trouble with his S’s and L’s.
In the evening, Sam would go “Peeping, peeping. Dede.” And once he’s comfortably settled on the bed with his milk, he’d say, “Book!”
I like the fact that the book is actually a poem because I absolutely love poetry! And exposing Sam to poetry is one of my goals as a mom. The lyrical sound of the poem makes it so much easier to keep Sam’s attention. Bauer also introduces animals into the story so it’s a no-brainer for an unimaginative mom like me to put in the animal sounds that Sam just loves. He’d giggle every time I’d make the sounds. Sometimes, I catch him reading the book alone, turning the pages and making the sounds himself.
The wonderful illustrations by Church makes it all the more special. The 26 brightly illustrated pages help keep my son’s attention from wavering. It’s a very good collaboration.
Another plus thing about this book is that it’s comprised of short lines only. Sometimes, when I read other books to Sam, he’s already flipping the page even if I haven’t gotten all the text out of my mouth.
How Do I Love You? is an interesting book for really young tots — easy to understand at this stage. And for my son who has yet to learn how to stay still and be patient, the length of this book is just right. And I”m happy to report that this book hasn’t suffered any damages yet!
- Lyra, mom to Sam, age 2
[Our favorite] is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. The rhymes are perfect to read with a calm tone, thus [helping him] prepare for sleep. The pictures are also good enough for a child to match with the words so it encourages reading too.
- Carmelyn, mom to ChoyChoy, age 3
We have a lot [of favorites] but when I really want her to get sleepy, we read I Love You Forever or Guess How Much I Love You. I like the sweet, loving themes and Amara likes the actions (i.e. the expressions of love) of the dad and baby hare [in Guess How Much I Love You].
- Bessie, mom to Amara, age 3
I’d say Jessie Bear, Berenstain Bears, Corduroy Bear and Elmo and Friends [books]. Nat loves [them] because I try to do voices (I realize that I cannot do more than four) and keep it interactive by talking about the pictures and asking questions.
- Mia, mom to Natalie, age 2 and Davey, 4 months