Books are a big deal chez Sikora. Combine my love of language with the fact that we don’t own a TV, and it makes sense that we read a LOT around here. Luca is already enrolled in the summer reading program at the library (yes, I know he’s only eight months old, but they were very supportive of it!), and I can’t wait to watch him grow into a reader. One of my favorite quotes is by François Mauriac:
If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.
It truly will be such a joy for me to find out what books my little man loves so much, he reads them over and over again!
But for NOW… we read a lot of simple kids’ books together. 🙂 These are our current favorites as Luca approaches his 8-month birthday.
- All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon – This is Mama’s very favorite book and will likely remain so for the long haul. It won a Caldecott in 2010, and it’s easy to see why. It’s honestly a beautiful book in every way. The language and pacing are perfect. The text is minimal but lovely, and the illustrations are stunning. It probably takes about three minutes to read, but I could easily spend an hour poring over the illustrations. So true to life and just incredibly gorgeous. And the message is spot-on: Every person and every thing matters. We’re all in this together.
- Baby Loves Quarks by Ruth Spiro – When your baby daddy is a chemist, it’s impossible to resist books like this! We also have Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, and Ben’s psyched to get Baby Loves Thermodynamics when it comes out. 🙂 These are very easy reads with great graphics, and they provide an awesome, accessible base for more complex science.
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson – This was the first book we bought for Luca when he was like 20 weeks along in utero. Ben used to read it to my belly every night (always subbing the names of our family members and pets because he’s cute). So I have a sentimental attachment to this one, but I also adore the uniquely descriptive language (for example, “fluff-cold snow”). We quote it all the time around the house. This is part of a series (The Bear Books), but it’s our favorite for sure.
- The Earth Book by Todd Parr – We checked this book out from the library in a bundle of “green” books which were all good, but this one stood out to me. It’s a simple book with bright images that keep Luca’s attention, but I really appreciate it because it describes the consequences of our actions in a positive way. For example, we can recycle because we love trees and we want the owls to have a place to live. Obviously, the more negative implication is that if we don’t recycle, the owls won’t have a home. But I love that it’s explained using positive reinforcement. It totally aligns with our parenting style, and I think it’s easier for kids to grasp how they can create the world they want to see.
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – A classic! But so much fun to read. I like to vary the tempo and the volume of my voice when I read this to Luca, and he loves to “read” along and make noises back at me. 🙂 So adorable!
- Hello Ninja by ND Wilson – Ben picked this up randomly during a Target run one day, and I did not expect to like it at all. I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s a seriously FUN, short read that we pretty much both have memorized. Silly and sweet and highly recommended.
- Sheila Says We’re Weird by Ruth Ann Smalley – This is probably my second-favorite on this list. It was another “green” book that we checked out from the library and another pleasant surprise. The book is about the narrator’s next-door neighbor thinking everything this family does is “weird” – like riding bikes instead of driving, using a clothesline instead of a dryer, composting instead of throwing food scraps out, using fans instead of air conditioning, etc. I think I love this book so much because we’ve been called weird for years for doing all these things (and more!). 🙂 But at the end of the book, the narrator decides that even though Sheila says they’re weird, she really likes them a lot. This is one that I’ll definitely purchase when Luca gets older because I’m SURE he’ll be called weird for these same things, and even if you’re “weird,” it’s good to know you’re not alone.
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin – This was a gift from Ben’s sister, and it’s one of the sweetest books in our collection. It explores a bunch of different possibilities and paths that a little life can take, and it has beautiful illustrations to match. It comes to a lovely ending which makes me cry no matter how many times I read it.
These are our faves for now. We’re always rotating books and discovering new ones, so we’ll see what makes the cut next time! Are there any amazing ones we’re missing?