Why Read a Book?
Reading is how we acquire all our knowledge. Someone who has trouble reading has difficulty learning all other subject matter and of course navigating the real world becomes extremely challenging. Comic books, cereal boxes, poems, short stories, encyclopedias, fact books, flashcards, newspapers, pop-up books, joke books, baseball cards, a good old paperback or on a kindle. Literacy comes in all forms. Encourage your child to read a book or whatever they are interested in, it all counts as long as they are reading! Offering a wide variety of reading material makes the pursuit of reading more interesting and enjoyable.
Just as importantly, make sure your kiddo spots YOU picking up a book or magazine, too. We often don’t really have the time to sit around being engrossed in a good book, but maybe we should do it anyway, at least once in a while. Kids are naturally curious about what their parents do and want to emulate their favorite people (that’s you!).
Our Favorite Children’s Books
As literacy is so important and it’s National Read-a-Book day, we at Opear feel that it is the perfect occasion to put together a book list. But not just any book list- this is a list of books WE have loved and personally recommend, from our Opear family to yours. <3
These books are just what they say they are: indestructible! Seriously, they are BABY PROOF. I have a handful that are about 4 years old and not a one of them has ripped, frayed, or come apart in any way. Baby #3 is currently loving on them by drooling on them and scrunching up the pages. They are perfect to bring along on trips, visits to the pool, doctor’s appointments… they can be wiped down and washed and be good as new in a few seconds.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Little ones love repetition and this one nails it. Who would have thought this unassuming book would turn out to be such a classic, beloved by millions? My grandma read it to me, and I’ve read it to my own about 43 times. Make sure you find the little mouse on each of the colored illustrations.
How do I Feel? by Parragon Books
Before managing our emotions we have to first identify the feeling. This adorable little set has been a great introduction to that, using examples that kids understand. The ‘I feel angry’ book for example, has a little bear cub reaching for honey with a frown. The caption reads, “I feel angry when I can’t have something.” #truestory
My kids also loved the fact that the books were little. On more than one occasion they fell asleep holding them.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
A great book to read out loud with different voices for each dog! Plus, kids find the dogs’ reaction to the “scary” cat hilarious.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
This book needs to be read several times, during each phase of our lives. We can learn (or remember) some very important lessons by reading this one. It’s just as perfect for young readers as it is for high school grads because the best part about it is that it is just so motivating and the lessons in it are timeless. Not only is the book inspirational but Dr. Seuss himself is a living example of perseverance. Did you know his first book was rejected by publishers 27 times?
Harry Potter (Series of 7) by J.K. Rowling
As this series has been a planet-wide obsession, they probably don’t need an introduction. The first few books are good for kids about 10 years old, but the last few definitely deal with more serious topics- and J.K. Rowling herself has recommended children 13+ to read them.
One other thing that should be noted about this series (and all books turned films) is that if you have a kiddo that prefers to watch TV or movies, picking a book that has been made into a movie could be a great way to get them into reading.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Dare to be yourself, dare to be kind, even if you’re a bit different, even if you’re bullied. This book, indeed this author, is a treasure to keep on your bookshelf.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
A collection of silly, insightful, and sometimes just plain strange poems.
Our Favorite Grown-Up Books
Looking for some inspiration for YOUR next read? Try some of Opear’s current favorites:
The Guilt-Free Guide to Motherhood by Kirsten Toyne
Reading this book is like sitting in a big circle of mom-friends who hear, comfort and reassure you that what you’re doing is good, and a reminder to treat ourselves more kindly.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
There are four principles that can make your life immeasurably better.
Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne Series by Brandon Sanderson
Warning: do NOT start reading this series if you want to sleep. It is way too addictive. If, on the other hand, you are awake nursing/rocking/cradling/feeding/burping/entertaining babies every two hours and you want to pass the time, Mr. Sanderson is your new best friend.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson
Excellent book for putting things into perspective and upping one’s appreciation for the whole universe. Easily digestible, and can be picked up for even a few minutes- perfect for waiting for the kids to finish school/ballet/soccer practice.
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Because being a parent is hard, and also really hilarious.
A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk
It is a validating book, which explores the emotional upheavals of one mom’s journey into motherhood.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings, and basically anything about mindfulness.
If there’s one thing that can help people prepare for and cope with the stressors of parenthood, it’s being more mindful.
Happy reading, friends!