The Northcutt Family blog

This is a crazy, beautiful life we lead. "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" -John 10:10

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Favorite Children's Books!

One of my goals as a mom is to promote and instill a lifelong love of reading.  I love to read and I want my children to love reading as well.  I think that some kids have an inborn love of it, and some have more of a reluctance to it, and so we have to really reach and pull it out of them, but we can!  One of my kids doesn't just love all books - he likes to read, but only things that interest him.  I think of a true reader as one who can pick up any kind of story and enjoy reading it.  So, I've had to work hard at finding books that will keep him reading.  With that said, here are some of our favorite books and my thoughts!

First - I ordered some books from a friend who sells Usborne books, and I learned a couple of tidbits that have stayed with me.
       *Books at the breakfast table promote reading
                     -YES!!!  I've started keeping a basket of books on our kitchen table and all the kids will grab a book when they're at the table!  ***We've had to tell them, "this is dinner time, we're not going to read during our dinner" (because family dinner and all that) ***Real life truth - I actually have a stack of books on the table and they're not in a cute basket, and it can actually get a little messy with them everywhere but I've had to just let that go #basketgoals
This was, obviously, not a "family dinner" night so they're able to read while they eat

       *Don't stop reading aloud to children!  Around 4th grade, many parents stop reading out loud to their kids, but reading aloud to older kids is very beneficial!
                    -The boys sleep together and we read to them every night, and this just encouraged me to keep doing that!  We usually alternate between a book of their choice (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), and my choice (one that they wouldn't pick up on their own)

Sooooo, here are some of our favorite books!!!  (I feel like I should note that I'm not getting any kickbacks from these recommendations, so you can fully trust the motivation behind recommending them is not to receive money!)

One more thing....we've also started listening to audio books in the car - usually I pick - I just get them at our library.  (The only issue I have with getting them at the library is that they can be scratched and that can ruin the whole "book!"  But, you can't beat free!)

Picture Books - these are typically books that I read to my 4, almost 5 year old, but my big kids still enjoy listening!:

--Dragons Love Tacos - oh my goodness, such a cute book!!!  Especially for any taco lovers :-) And, bonus - read it on a night you make tacos and you just made yourself a Pinterest Mom! ;-)

--Chester's Way - Oh, how I love this book!!!  Chester and Wilson are friends and have their own way of doing things - for example, they always use hand signals when riding their bikes - and then Lily comes along and she has HER own way of doing things, like, carrying a squirt gun in her back pocket just in case, and always wearing disguises.  It's just cute, cute, cute!!!

So far, I have loved all of Kevin Henke's books!!!  We love:  Sheila Rae, the Brave, Jessica, Chrysanthemum and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse

--The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home - Favorites in our home and also promotes creativity with crayon drawings!

--If I Built a House - We stumbled upon this book at the library because it's written by the illustrator of the Mercy Watson series, and he's a fabulous writer!  My 7 year old LOVES this book!  Totally fosters creativity and architecture.  :-)

Early Chapter Books - these are great for your newly independent reader as he/she breaks into the chapter book reading!  

--The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo- Hands down my favorite early chapter books.  Good gracious - buy all of them!!!  I have started reading these aloud to my 4 (almost 5) year old and she loves them!  They're witty, cute story, great character development, and colorful, fun illustrations! It's a great book for boys and girls.  

--Hey Jack series - Perfect for a boy!!  I could only find these at book fairs and other sellers off Amazon, but then finally found them from Usborne! 

Books to read aloud - these are books that your kids might not pick on their own, but the stories are wonderful, and I read these aloud to our 7 and 9 year old boys.  My 9 year old will often finish it on his own, but then listen as we read them each night.  This is a valuable time to read them books that YOU want them to have read!

--The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - my boys were so reluctant for me to read this to them, but it is a FABULOUS story and they are loving it!!!  (We are currently reading this). They don't want me to stop reading it at night.  I know it sounds like a strange story, but I promise, it is SUCH a good one!  Kate DiCamillo is quickly becoming one of my favorite children's authors!!
(Next up to read is The Tale of Despereaux because, Kate DiCamillo)

--The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - classic!  We actually listened to this as an audio book in the car so all 3 kids could listen.  And, Brynn actually enjoyed it, and the boys LOVED it! Reid (9) asked for the entire Narnia collection for Christmas.

--The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh - So, this one surprised me - we had to read this last summer for our summer reading requirement for Jace before 1st grade, and I thought this would not be enjoyable, interesting, etc. But, I was so wrong!  SO, SO well written, and the story-telling is amazing!  I would say that this would probably be geared for the pre-k-1st grade age, but my oldest listened along and could enjoy it as well.

--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - This book got my kids into Roald Dahl - they love his books!!  After reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we then did audio books of The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda.  Love finding authors and book series the kids love because then that means more books they'll like!

Here are a couple of sites to help you choose what books to read to your kids....
     -50 Books to All Kids Should Read Before They're 12
    -Mensa's list of books for kids to read- ages Kindergarten to Third Grade

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