It’s come to my realization that I haven’t actually shared our favorite kids books! I know I’ve sprinkled them into some of Firecracker’s monthly favorites – a series that’s gone the wayside as he approached and passed 2.
As I started to list all of the books that we love I gawked at how long it was and yet how much I was leaving out. So, I’m going to do a few book series during Tuesday Tattles over the next couple of months.
I’m going to start with the best bedtime books. These are books that have helped lull my kids into naps or have become cemented into the bedtime routine.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
This title might seem like a strange one to include on a bedtime book list, but between 19-22 months I had this book engraved into my memory. Our bedtime routine always concluded with my son falling asleep in my lap while I rocked him and read Green Eggs and Ham. Not only is it a book to encourage trying new foods, its very rhythmic and repetitive script transforms into the perfect “lullaby.”
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat isn’t quite as repetitive as Green Eggs and Ham but I did develop a rhythm in reading it that turned out to be just the ticket I needed for nap time. (Back when Firecracker took naps.) It’s a long book for an active boy to sit through and we’d often only make it halfway though, never venturing into the part of the story with Thing 1 and Thing 2, before he’d drift off to sleep in my lap in the rocking chair.
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
Danny and the Dinosaur was one of my husband’s favorite books as a kid and my in-laws gave us the Danny and the Dinosaur 50th Anniversary Box Set before our cross-country move. I remember it being the first book I read in our new home. Just like The Cat in the Hat, Danny and the Dinosaur quickly became associated with pre-nap reading.
Steam Train, Dream Train Colors by Sherri Duskey Rinker
My mom found this book and Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3 for my boys for Easter. I used to keep them both in the car (the books, not the boys) and Firecracker would happily “read” through them, often finally falling asleep. I’m not sure when it happened, but the colors book found its way inside and is now mandatory bedtime reading. He even has the first page memorized. He doesn’t fall asleep reading this book, though. We often read it 2-3 times. Graduating from color recognition, he states all of the letters in the words at each turn of the page. I can recite this book for memory and can “read” it in the pitch black of night.
Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
Here’s another gem given to Firecracker by my mom. It’s a book that he was immediately drawn to. It’s a great book for little train lovers. The book describes different bed time routines for each style of train in two line poems about parent and child engines. My son loves finding the mouse “hidden” on each page.
The Goodnight Train by June Sobel
There had to be a unique train book that didn’t come from my mom, right?! We found this one in a cute children’s boutique nearby. I love the illustrations and whimsical feel. The Goodnight Train gets rotated with Where Do Steam Train Sleep at Night? at night. As a result, neither of them are memorized making it difficult to read when bedtime procrastination has left me not even a glow of sunlight.
Goodnight, Dragons by Judith Roth
Not every book can be about trains! I do have a second child after all. While we’ve had this book long before Treat came along, it didn’t get quite the attention or love until fairly recently. Goodnight, Dragons is, hands down, Treat’s favorite book. It’s the only one he’ll actually sit still (ish) for! What I love most about this book is its message: “Everybody needs a cuddle; maybe dragons more than most.”
If Animals Kissed Good Night by Ann Whitford Paul
The last book on my list is my personal favorite. It has cute little rhymes for multiple parent-child animal pairings as the day turns into night. But I think this book holds a special place in my heart because of the memories I have reading it to Firecracker when he was 12-18 months old: he was just learning how to kiss (a skill he is now way too aggressive with) and with every couplet read he’d turn and give me a kiss.
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