I had it on my mind and want to set it down somewhere so we wouldn't forget...
I've read some wonderful books to my son and daughter over these last few years. Here are the best so far:
Above you'll see our latest...we are THOROUGHLY enjoying it, though only on chapter 9 (very short, manageable chapters). It begins with the promise of a wooden egg...later it hatches and out pops "Barkbelly." It is an interesting combination of "unsafe and fascinating" that we love. When bad things happen, they are bad things (i.e. someone gets bit "down to the bone" and has to have his leg amputated). It is utterly fascinating and keeps all four of us wondering what in the world will happen next. It made a permanent place in my heart for these lines:
"But those eyes...Beautiful though they were, they were full of sadness. And just for a moment Barkbelly had a vision of a forest. Of trees and snow. Secret, silent spaces. Wild freedom. And suddenly he knew what the urchin had last, because it was something he had lost too. But until that moment he hadn't known he had lost it."
This is amazing, heart-wrenching...my son even shed some tears over poor Edward Tulane's happy ending...Kate DiCamillo (Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Desperaux - we've read those, too!!) wrote this sweetest story. It was so touching, it made my FAVORITES list right away.
This is CLASSIC! My mama read it to my brother and I when we were little, and some scenes have stuck with me through my life (falling through the ice, getting his own little calves, wrecking the house while mom and dad were away, getting ice for the ice house...etc) My kids still remember these scenes, too! Gotta love Little House on the Prairie...right??!!
We own every single one of these. This has to be the cutest little kitty cat you ever saw. He pretends he is a chihuahua...and goes on adventures in his closet. We all have fallen in love with him and laugh at how cute he is until we have tears in our eyes. Skippy Jon Jones is a bedtime staple at our house...at least once a week we pull out Skippy Jon (I do ALL the voices, and my son says he prefers when I read it to him, as opposed to both the librarian and his school teacher...ooopsy for them, coooool for mom. :)
www.skippyjonjones.com - get ready for the cutest website you ever saw!
I found this book about 3 years ago for my kids. It is absolutely essential, to my way of thinking. It is from the perspective of a little boy talking to his grandpa.
Grandpa is very wise and tells his grandson about all the different belief systems that have a version of the Golden Rule and why that is really the only law that counts...it is beautifully illustrated as well. Like I said, ESSENTIAL!!
Old Turtle and the Broken Truth was given to me by a good friend. I was taken aback by the ending and broke out in tears. It is so beautiful. I had to read it three times to let it sink in and then we had such a good discussion with the kidlets that I would say it pretty much sums up my spiritual beliefs...BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE, timeless and again, ESSENTIAL!!!
WOW...can I just say...WOW. This book is like nothing you've ever seen. The illustrations are wordless pages in the story. You HAVE to interpret/look at the illustrations to go along in the story. They are not just illustrating what was already written. Fascinating, different, enchanting...absolutely fabulous. It can go as deep as you'd like. My 4 and 7 year old LOVED it. They demanded I read it to them on a long camping trip. We were sad when it was done. It's a MUST READ, for sure.
I read this to my son, and he really loved it, but I made the decision not to read anymore so he could read them when he had the skills. Harry Potter books are instant classics, fabulously imaginative, beautifully detailed...fascinating...they hit that secret part of me that wants to be looking for magical creatures and chanting spells and waving wands...reading this to him was really unforgettable. It was one of the best read aloud times we've ever had. :)
We've also read Hatchet, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ribsy, Winnie the Pooh (the classic - adorable!).
Any suggestions for other beautiful, thoughtful books with a fantastical twist? We love those sorts.