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June 3, 2014

We started collecting books while Allison was pregnant with Madison because we hoped to make reading stories a part of her bedtime routine fairly early. There were some titles we knew we wanted from our own childhood (like this one) and others we stumbled upon along the way or were gifted by generous friends and family. Some stories we read until every word was memorized and others we may have hidden after the initial read through in hopes it wouldn’t be found again in the near future. Regardless, all three of us have developed our own favorites from the vast collection of books stacked and stored in the open pink edged linen boxes that sit next to her bed and if asked to share our top three, that list would look something like the ones below.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO [by Dr. Seuss] An encouraging tale of life’s journey and the ups and downs discovered along the path all phrased in the engaging, rhyming voice of Dr. Seuss. Perhaps one of my favorite opening lines of any children’s book resides in this one -- Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!

CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM [by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehlert] A story where the characters are actually the letters of the alphabet and the voice its written in is almost one of song. I may or may not have read this book by rapping it instead. As embarrassing as one should be by admission of rapping a children’s book, this particular one has a subtle way of encouraging it.

LOVE YOU FOREVER [by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw] *spoiler alert, ending revealed* I remember my mother reading this book to me as a child and as the story goes, a mother loves her son so much that she tells him over and over through the course of his life -- I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be -- and eventually he has a daughter of his own and he finds himself singing that same song to her, just as I’m reading it to mine.

I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, MY LOVE [by Nancy Tilman] As beautiful as the illustrations are in this particular book, the story rivals it in message by stressing our children can follow any dream they wish, take any path they discover, become whoever they’re destined to be and in the end we would recognize them regardless because they’re ours. Using animals as examples, the opportunity of inserting their respected noises presents itself on every page.

WHEREVER YOU ARE: MY LOVE WILL FIND YOU [by Nancy Tilman] By the same author of the selection above, this book follows a similar formula by incorporating illustrations that almost make one want to rip them out to display behind framed glass as art. This author has a wonderful way with words and with this story stresses how our love will always find our offspring despite wherever it is life takes them.

PAJAMA TIME! [by Sandra Boynton] To avoid having the same book on all three lists, Allison asked if she could include it on hers yet this is the one story we’ve read so many times we know every word by heart and it could easily be the winner of every list if one had to be chosen. This is the book we read after every bath for the first year of Madison’s life; it was the only one that earned the smile it did and that alone was enough incentive to read it as often as possible.

LET’S TALK ABOUT DISOBEYING [by Joy Berry, Orly Kelly and John Costanza] This book is one from Allison’s childhood that, for some reason, has drawn the attention of Madison as of late… so much so, that it has quickly become one of Madison’s favorites. Recently, it’s the one we read the most and coincidentally teaches the lesson that listening to your parents is very important, a lesson every toddler needs to grasp.

ONE RAINY DAY [by Tammi Salzano and Hannah Wood] Madison loves this book. She loves to count the boats and find the purple towel, she loves to turn up her nose at the mudpies and hop as if she’s stomping in the puddles herself. For a while this was her first choice every time, however, now it’s probably her second favorite with the one above having replaced it.

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR [by Eric Carle] A timeless tale everyone has probably read a time or two. It transcends generations. It’s simple and fun and perfectly illustrated. If forced to choose a book that Madison read as her first, it would more than likely be this one as she nearly quotes it word for word… the way she flaps the spine at the end after the butterfly emerges is completely optional, but personally I find it’s the best ending ever.

The links in this post are not affiliate links; I just wanted to share + document a few books we love.


  1. Love You Forever - I could not read this book to my son without sobbing. It made him look at me like I was a lunatic. He's 8 now, so I haven't read it to him in a few years. I would probably still sob reading it.

    I read the story behind the book's creation, and I sobbed again.

    1. It really is a great book. I never knew the story behind it until now (your comment encouraged me to do some research) and I think it's even better now. I love that Robert Munsch was able to find therapy in his own words although I'm terribly sorry for his loss... I'll never read this book the same again.


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