I loved reading to my kids.  I believe that is all you have to do to instill the appreciation of books and to help them learn to read themselves.  My kids are older now but they still say they enjoyed when Sean and I read to them.  It’s an element of childhood that you should make time for.  You’ll be glad you did.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate.

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The Saggy Baggy Elephant– After a parrot makes fun of Sooki’s big ears, long nose, and wrinkled skin, the “saggy baggy” elephant isn’t too sure of himself. But once he meets some beautiful creatures who look just like him, Sooki celebrates with a joyful “one-two-three-kick.”

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The Bears’ Picnic– The quest for picnic perfection will delight readers in this classic Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. When the Berenstain Bears set out to find the perfect spot for a picnic, Father Bear says he knows just the place. But each ideal location turns out to be a complete disaster, with a train roaring past or hordes of mosquitoes. At last they find a place with no pesky crowds or noisy planes, and nary a mosquito . . . until it starts to rain. With The Bears’ Picnic, literary legends Stan and Jan Berenstain provide a red-and-white-checked tablecloth to enhance a giggle-filled escape.

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The Diggingest Dog– This is about a dog that finally gets a home and learns to dig, which is something he couldn’t do in the pet store.  Find out what happens when he gets carried away.

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Hound and Bear– This is an old book but you can still find it on Amazon.  I added this because it is a story I loved as a child and my kids loved it too.  You won’t forget all the adventures of Hound and Bear!

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The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read– This is about an old toy maker never wanted to learn to read until his wife went away on a visit and he had to do the grocery shopping by himself.

Mickey’s Picnic– Go with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and the rest of the gang on a picnic and find out what they do when their basket is taken.  My kids love this book and so did I!

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 Snow– This classic Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss is a delightful ode to winter. Brrrrr! It snowed! From snowball fights and skiing to fort building and snowman making, P. D. Eastman and Roy McKie’s Snowwill have young readers eager for the kind of fun only a wintry-white day can bring. Perfect for enjoying with a cup of hot cocoa!

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The Monster at the End of this Book– By all accounts, this book is a favorite among toddlers and adults alike. Generations will recall their first time reading along as lovable, furry old Grover begs the reader not to turn the page . . . for a monster is at the end of the book! But, of course, the monster is none other than Grover himself.

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Harry the Dirty Dog– Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away. He plays outside all day long, digging and sliding in everything from garden soil to pavement tar. By the time he returns home, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. His family doesn’t even recognize him!

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If you Give a Mouse a Cookie– This book is a great first introduction to Mouse, the star of the If You Give series and a perennial favorite among children. And with its spare, rhythmic text and circular tale, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is perfect for beginning readers and story time!

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Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever– Words, words, words! They define everything and kids want to define their world. Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever is frankly the best word book ever!!! From the Bear’s home to the beach, from the airport to the zoo, verbs, numbers, parts of the body, every oversized spread has hundreds of things  to look at, point to, and identify.

Pigs, cats, rabbits, and bears, all doing what we do every day—playing with toys, driving fire engines, and experiencing life, just like the avid readers of this classic favorite.

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That’s Not My Tractor-This book was a definite favorite.  “Touch and Feel” books are engaging and fun.  It’s a simple concept that goes a long way!

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