I still remember the very first book I read myself, “The Up Book,” by Dr. Seuss. I loved the colorful illustrations and the fun rhymes. Now I’m an adult (sort of) with two girls of my own, both of whom share my love of books. My youngest, Sophie, is just learning to read, and this is her list of the top ten best children’s books (for ages pre-school through kindergarten). In my opinion, books make for wonderful gifts for children. Hopefully, you’ll see some of your own favorites, and discover something new to love!
1. “Olivia the Pig” by Ian Falconer
Price: $12.95 at amazon.com
Now an animated show on Nick Jr, this is the book that started it all. Olivia is a precocious pig who lives with her mother, her father, her little brothers, her dog, and her cat. She is VERY good at wearing people out! Her favorite color is red, and she has such an imagination! The black-and-white sketches that illustrate the book are simple and stark, but full of delicious details in splashes of bright red. If your little one loves this book, check out the others in the series, like “Olivia and the Lost Toy,” “Olivia Saves the Circus,” or “Olivia Forms a Band.” I wonder if this will go from animated show to animated movie next...
2. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus!” By Mo Willems
Price: $10.19 at amazon.com
I have no way to be sure, but I imagine this smooth-talking pigeon has a thick Brooklyn accent to match his persistence. When I read these books aloud to my daughter, I use my best New Yorker voice, and I’ll bet you’ll find yourself doing the same. The titular Pigeon just wants to drive the bus, which, of course, is a bad idea. But that won’t stop him from trying to convince you, using every argument he can dream up. Other books in this series include “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy,” and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!,” which is the best bedtime story EVER.