Parents of small children: what are you currently reading your kids?

Last night it was Love You Forever; Monday night it was Goodnight Moon. But that’s just me and the missus. What about the rest of y’all?

She’s coming off of a long jag of Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever and transitioning into illustrated fairy tales. I’m always trying to get her to listen to Panda Cake, but I read it so often when she was littler that she’s bored with it now.

Right now our 1st grader is reading Ramona the Pest, all by herself. A big step for her.

By the same author, my wife has been going through all the Henry Higgins books with our kids (7 and 9). They did the Ramona and Beezus books previously.

Before Higggins it was my turn, and we did Wind in the Willows. I also read my son two and a half books of The Secret Benedict Society before we got kind of bored with it.

My 1 year old likes pretty much only books with stuff inside to touch. So we read a lot of Pat the Bunny and the like. The only exception is “Moo Baa Lalala” which he likes because he can say “Lalala” I reckon the rest of our Sandra Boynton collection will be getting some play soon. (Belly Button Book, 15 Animals, and Your Personal Penguin are some of our family faves)

My 5 and 7 year old are on an Junie B. Jones kick. I can’t stand reading them because of first-person “kid” dialect (which I find myself involuntarily slipping into later, “speedy quick.” I am so making an angry face at that Junie B.), but I will admit to a chuckle every now and then. But thankfully the 7 year old can now read them herself (and well enough that the 5 year doesn’t complain about listening to her). We went through a Magic Tree House phase, but that has faded. Also, the Elephant and Piggie books are big hits with the kids, and a few with the adults as well (mainly I Broke My Trunk and We are in a Book. Hilarious)

Just an aside, the author of the Junie B. Jones books just passed away recently.

The 2 year old is digging Press Here and last night was Rosie Revere, Engineer for the 4 year old.

Our two year old is obsessed with Thomas the Tank engine, so we read two or three Thomas stories each night before bed. He is also a fan of most of Sandra Boynton’s oeuvre, so we read a lot of Pajama Time, Perfect Piggies, and Barnyard Dance.

The Very Small Person book I miss the most is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

For those slightly older, the book I can’t bear to give away is Wild Child.

But our reading together days are essentially over. She’s into novels now, and doesn’t want to be slowed down by a voice when she can read it herself more quickly.

The day we brought him home we started reading him Harry Potter. We finished the series when he was about 20 months. Right now we’re letting him choose between a stack of young kid books like Daddy Kisses, Rocket Town, The Ernie and Bert Book, and a book about Spiderman and The Avengers for early readers that I can’t find online.

3 years old, she is very big on anything Richard Scarry, and is having a HUGE Madeline thing right now. With the Madeline books, I will read the first part of the rhyme and she will finish it, it’s pretty cute (“To the tiger in the zoo… Madeline just said pooh-pooh.”)

She is a big fan of any of Todd Parr’s books, I think she really likes the pop art illustrative style (The Family Book, The I Love You Book, The Okay Book, and Otto).

In addition to Goodnight Moon (which she insists on calling Goodnight Mouse because she likes to find the mouse on every page), she adores Goodnight Goon.

Some of the board books from babyhood that she goes back to often are Goodnight Gorilla, Brown Bear Brown Bear, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We read a recent Dutch series to our five -year-old, called Dummie the Mummie. It’s about a boy who gets a resurrected boy-prince-mummie as his best friend.

I’m the librarian at a school that has preschoolers, and we’ve been reading Fox in Socks this week. They know I’m going to get tongue-tied at some point (although I made it through one time today without messing up). I should get a 4th or 5th grader to try reading it to a group of teeny-tinies.

We’re reading Usborne’s Greek Myths to the 6yo. She really gets a kick out of it when Eurystheus jumps in a pot to hide from the scary things Heracles brings back from his tasks. We all love the Usborne mythology books. Some are all from a certain culture (India, Greece), while others have a theme like dragons, then include Chinese, English, French, etc. stories. Lovely illustrations too.

The 10yo is reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, book 2.

Both are popular with my 3 year old too.

For my 10 year old, we’ve done the full Enid Blyton St Claires series, Roald Dahl she read herself, right now we’re attempting Tom Sawyer - but it’s kinda tough going as there is lots to explain to her that is not in her cultural reference (we aren’t American, and its pretty old).

The 3 year old is into the “Bouncing” (Berenstain) Bears.

My 5 year old has become obsessed with all things Redwall, so her current read aloud is Muriel of Redwall.

We’re trying to get the five-year-old to move from the more picture-based books to longer text-based ones with chapters. Of the former I recommend John Fardell’s books (“Manfred the Baddie” and “The Day Louis Got Eaten” are really quite funny) and pretty much anything by Emily Gravett; of the latter, Chris Riddell’s “Ottoline and the Yellow Cat” is good as is his collaboration with Neil Gaiman “Fortunately the Milk…”.

I just finished The Jungle Book with my 7 and 5 year olds. Now were reading Prince Caspian. which is a little strange because we didn’t start with the first book. Does anyone else substitute familiar words for ones their kids may not understand so they don’t have to stop and explain so frequently? British words in this case…

“The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, and “The World of Poo” and “Where’s My Cow?”, both by Sir Terry Pratchett.

Okay, I’m joking. I don’t have kids to read to. And I hold off on the first two until they’ve been punched by an older kid during recess.