By KitchenComa Blog Team
One of the greatest gifts you can give to a child is a love for reading. Reading to children from a very early age can significantly impact their love for reading as they grow throughout childhood and into adulthood. Finding books that are can be both engaging and entertaining can be a challenging but we've got you covered with our all time favorite children's books! We promise that you'll actually enjoy reading these on repeat! So pick up a book, snuggle up with your kiddos and enjoy our all time favorite picture books!
Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
A lovely and silly story about a friendly witch and her loyal cat who meet a few unexpected friends during their journey to uncover lost belongings. Julia Donaldson is a wonderful writer! We are avid fans of her work! The Gruffalo, Stick Man, and The Singing Mermaid are a few of our favorites, among many others! The illustrations and storytelling are enough to entertain even the most adverse little reader. Mom and Dad will also enjoy the creative tales and melodic rhythm of the writing. If you haven't picked up one of these books yet, I highly recommend you add a few to your collection immediately! A few of the stories have been turned into short films which are narrated by acclaimed actors such as Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Simon Peg (Shaun Of The Dead). Our little one is a massive fan! You can find more of Julia Donaldson's books here.
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin Illustrated Daniel Salmieri
Did you know that Dragons LOVE tacos? They love chickens tacos, and beef tacos, they love tiny tacos and gigantic tacos! Who knew?! Dragons Love Tacos is a funny story about a boy who is throwing a taco party for a bunch a hungry taco loving Dragons. But watch out! Dragons HATE spicy tacos! Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri make a wonderful pair with their goofy storytelling and direct narrative style. The reading feels as if the story is being told directly to the listener which immerses the child into the reading experience. Our little one loves to yell out during our nightly reading of this particular story. “No Dragon! Don’t eat the spicy taco!!!” She’s a very dramatic toddler haha. We also enjoy some of their other stories such as, Big Bad Bubble and Those Darn Squirrels! , to name a few. With the silly artwork and goofy writing, these books are sure to bring a smile to any face, both young and old. You can purchase this lovely book here.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
For anyone - young and old - who feels a little bit awkward, Gerald the main character of this tale, will help you find the silver lining. In this tale, Gerald, a giraffe clumsy with his crooked knees and long thin legs, finds himself sad because he feels like he doesn’t have the skills to dance at the annual Jungle Dance with the rest of the animal kingdom. Rhino’s could rock ‘n roll, lions could tango and chimps do the cha-cha. They all laughed at Gerald, yelling, “Giraffes can’t dance, you silly fool! Oh, Gerald, you’re so weird.” Sad, right? But fear not, this book is all about finding your own groove and it is a great mental health guide for all of us. After Gerald runs off, he finds the moon and a cricket who give him some sound advice - that sometimes when you’re different you just need a different song. Check it out on Amazon.com.
George and Martha written and illustrated by James Marshall
Two loving hippos learn the meaning of friendship in this book with five smaller stories inside it’s loving pages. My copy is in Spanish, translated by Yanitzia Canetti, and I love to read the stories aloud to help further my language learning. There is a hilarious vignette about a less-than favorite soup (spoiler, it ends up in a shoe) and an array of ludicrous situations made extra comical because of the bulky size of the two friends (think hot air balloons and dressing fancy) as they navigate each hilarious situation. There might be a deeper level to gain from this awesome duo but my Spanish needs more work to sort out the nuances.
There’s NO Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent
When Billy Bixbee wakes up to find a small, friendly dragon in his room, his mother tells him that there’s no such thing as a dragon. The day goes on, and the dragon grows in size. But, if there is no such thing as a dragon, the mom can’t react to the dragon growing astronomically in size, eating all of the pancakes (apparently dragons also LOVE pancakes) and growing so big that he moves the entire house. This book is fun and lighthearted but also packs the message that with some things (apparently dragons) it is better to deal with the problem at hand when it is just a small problem, rather than denying the whole thing and ending up with a massive disaster down the line. Hopefully Billy’s mom learned her lesson. Either way this classic tale is a great fun read and who doesn’t like friendly dragons? Find it here.
Star in the Jar written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Sarah Massini
When a little boy comes across a fallen star and tries to take care of it, carrying it around with him in a jar, he is filled with joy. He marvels at the night sky, as we all are known to do, and is thrilled about his new companion. When he realizes that the star needs to go back to its home in the sky, the little boy has to both solve the problem of “how to return the star?” and how to overcome his sadness over the loss of his star-buddy. He does it with the help of his sister. Oh sibling love! The art in this book is equally as lovely as the message that the words hold and you can find it here.
Eight Little Planets by Chris Ferrie
This educationally forward children's book teaches while also engaging its readers at the same time and for that reason, it's one of our favorites! Chris Ferrie is a well known Physicist based out of Sydney, Australia. He illustrates complex concepts in the most simplistic ways that even toddlers can begin to understand. And bonus - it’s an easy way for adults to brush up on elementary ideas and concepts too! With its bright and adorable illustrations and credible teachings about the solar system, this one is a great addition to your child's library. So, brush up on your planetary knowledge and buy it here.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
by Emily Winfield Martin
Emily Winfield Martin is an incredibly talented artist and author. Her writing is beautifully rhythmic and inspiring while her artwork is whimsical and unique. I love her books for the pictures alone but the stories are adorable and sentimental. Just try reading this to your little one without getting choked up! A lovely story about all the wonderful things we hope for our children and the unconditional love we have for them. This makes a wonderful gift for new parents or for a baby shower! We own a few of her books, some of our favorites being Day Dreamers, and Dream Animals. She also writes book for older children as well! Check out Snow and Rose, an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tales we grew up with. You can find more of Emily's work here.
by Ashley Fagan
It's no mystery that reading is necessary and useful to encourage personal growth. It's drilled into us from a young age and encouraged throughout life, but how do we consistently feed this useful but time-consuming skill?
Over the years I've found that variety plays a major role in how much I read. About two years ago I joined a book club which pushed me to finish one book per month. I must admit, it sounded a lot easier than it actually was. Finishing a book in a month on top of the ever-expanding list of To-Do's that my life requires was a daunting task. I've always loved to read but struggled to find time...or was I? When I really thought about why I wasn't squeezing that reading time into my day, it had nothing to do with not having time, it had more to do with not wanting to trade reading for another relaxing alternative like watching my favorite show on Netflix or testing a new recipe. When I realized that I had to make a trade in order to finish the books on time, the material I was reading became incredibly important to whether or not that was going to happen.
The great thing about book club is that it got me to read books I NEVER would have picked up on my own. Our method of selection is based off member recommendation and then we put it to a vote, so everyone's personal reading preferences are evenly distributed throughout the year. We've read murder mystery, self-help, sci-fi, love stories and time-period pieces. Each one offering a new outlook into what it is that will really get me to dedicate more time to reading. For me personally, I love a good mystery and sci-fi novel and if it incorporates both, Jackpot! Everyone is different but, I highly recommend reading outside of your comfort zone and pick up something you never thought you would enjoy! Ask your friends, ask your Mom, ask your coworker "What is your favorite book?". I think you'll be surprised by their response! Make time for yourself and make time to read! It's so much more valuable than you can ever imagine! Expand your knowledge and try something new. Here are a few of my recommendations from books I've read this past year.
Winner of the Guardian's 2016 "Not The Booker" prize, The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel, is a beautiful poetic novel that focuses on the impact of good versus evil. Its themes play into hypocrisy, racism, sexism, labels and the drive of human nature. A tragic but beautiful piece sure to stir plenty of emotion. What would you do if the Devil came to town? Find it Here.
A debut novel by Stuart Turton, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a unique and creative mystery novel reminiscent of my favorite childhood game, Clue, meets another classic favorite movie, Groundhog Day. Aiden Bishop has 8 days to solve the murder of Evelyn who will inevitably die at 11pm each day unless he can find the killer before the night ends, but each day Aiden wakes up as a new guest at the party where Evelyn will die and some of his hosts aren't as helpful as he would hope. This one kept me guessing until the very end! You can find it on Amazon here.
A debut novel from author Rena Rossner. The Sisters of The Winter Wood is an imaginative tale of love, family, youth and strength. Two sister's Liba and Laya are faced with the magical secrets passed down through their family for generations. Set in a small village near the border of Moldova and Ukraine, this beautifully woven tale of the bond between two sisters during a trying time for their Jewish community while coming into womanhood is a creative recreation of classic fairytales.
A New York Times Best Seller and soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Resse Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is an intriguing novel that follows the story of the Richardson family who live in a picturesque suburban community where perfection and appearance is of the upmost importance. Everything changes after they rent their guest house to a quirky artist and single mother named Mia. When a custody battle erupts within their community, lines are drawn and tension sets in. This story unravels the weight of secrets and the strong pull of motherhood. A heart wrenching story that highlights the devasting impact our choices can have on one another.
A Pick from Stephanie Spickler
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a book I’ve read many times. I am in love with this book for many reasons but I like to re-read it during transitional times in life. It’s hard for me to categorize this book because for me, it’s mostly an organizational guide to organizing life. The secret just kind of reminds you to look at what you really desire in life, your main priorities and how to maximize your time and efforts to “do it all” so to speak. I have no boss as a stay at home mom (unless you count my 3 & 1 year old! ha!) so it’s easy to get off track, switch tasks constantly, but The Secret kind of keeps you on track if you have a lot going on.