More and more new parents are asking shower guests to bring books instead of cards. This makes a lot of sense, since those cute baby cards can cost a pretty penny. But what do parents do with them after the party? In a best-case scenario, Mom puts the cards in the baby’s album. But, honestly, how often does anyone look at those albums? For the cost of one of those pricey cards, guests can purchase a book that the child can read for years, possibly even passing the book on to their own child. Are you worried that you don’t know what’s “hot” in the children’s market? Don’t worry about it. The good news is, you aren’t limited to “baby” books or even picture books. You can build a new baby’s library with children’s novels that the parent can read, and the child can enjoy as she grows. You can give the classic books that you loved, creating a bond between you and the child in the process. Here are a few suggestions, just in case you haven’t read a kid’s book lately.
This classic book has been entertaining children for almost seventy years. The deeply spiritual message is shared without becoming “preachy.” In the story, four children go through a wardrobe into the world of Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas.
May you open the door to wonders!
The eponymous teddy bear, Corduroy, sits on the shelf of the toy department watching all the other toys go home with lucky boys and girls. When one child wants him, he is sad to hear that the parent won’t buy him because he is missing the button off his overalls. On his quest for a button, he finds his forever home.
May good friends always find you!
One night, when Harold decides to go for a walk, he takes his purple crayon. This launches him on a journey that takes all his courage and creativity. As he tackles every problem, with the help of his purple crayon, of course, he discovers that he misses his home. He finally discovers the place where he belongs. This book has been charming children and their parents for more than 60 years.
May you always find yourself drawn back home.
You would have to be living under a stone if you have never heard of this book. It follows the adventures of a poor, unappreciated orphan as he discovers that he’s a wizard and the only person to survive the dreaded Lord Voldemort. While many of the other books in the series are designed for much older kids, this book is a perfect read-aloud for younger children.
May your life always be magical.
When Max gets into trouble he’s sent to his room. But instead of feeling trapped, his room expands to an entire world, a world where the wild things are. There, even though he enjoys being king of the wild things, he misses home and heads back where he finds his supper waiting for him. Besides just being entertaining, this book explores the darker side of emotion. It lets a child know that we all deal with anger and frustration, and we can all come out the other side feeling loved and appreciated.
I hope your life is always WILD!
Introduce a child you love to the wonderful world of poetry. These poems, by Robert Louis Stevenson explore so many thoughts children have today, even though it was written more than a hundred years ago. There are poems about hope and thoughts about being a grown up. Poems about going to bed while there is still sunlight, or finally going to sleep. Poems about building cushion forts and “sailing” in a hammock. These poems have gotten new life with classic Tasha Tudor illustrations.
I hope that when you read these rhymes
Of children living in other times
That you will know how very dear
You are to everybody here.
This beautiful, rhyming picture book tells the story of a young girl named Madeline who lives in a girls’ school in Paris France. The smallest girl in the school, she is often making the most mischief until one day when she becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital. Then, she not only has an operation, but actually makes all the other girls jealous of her. The illustrations capture the look and feel of Paris for readers of all ages.
You may be smallest now, it’s true, but always remember that I Love You!
This book has lasted for almost 120 years for a reason! It totally resonates with children. In the story, Peter is left home alone with his three sisters who are “good little bunnies.” But Peter is not that good. Instead of staying home and picking blackberries with his sisters, he hops off to nibble in Mr. McGregor’s garden. He runs into one problem after another, finally escaping without his jacket and shoes. Unlike many stories of the era, no one punishes him, he simply experiences the natural consequences of his choices. He loses the treat his sisters prepared, because he is sent to bed with a cold.
“Hoppy” birthday, and welcome to the world little one!