10 Kids’ Books That You Won’t Want To Set On Fire After The Twentieth Re-Read
Merry Christmas! Maybe your kids got an Amazon gift card as a gift that needs spending. Or maybe you’re trying to decide which of the new books Santa brought should get put on the front of the bookshelves and which should quietly get shoved into the back. Or maybe like me, you’ve only just heard about the Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition of giving books as gifts and then going to bed with a book and some nice chocolate and want to start planning really, really far ahead. (What a genius idea is it to get the kids out of the way before you wrap presents by hanging them a good book and some candy and tell them to go to bed and read!) Whatever the case, here are ten great books for kids that won’t send you screaming into the night by the tenth or twentieth or ten thousandth time your little ones want to hear them read aloud – arranged, more or less, by age appropriateness.
1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
I like books with a definite rhythm; plus, good old Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has lots of opportunities to make silly voices and sounds. The rhythm also makes is super easy to memorize, which is helpful when your kids are at the age where they want to hear a book, but also want to play with and/or eat the pages while you’re trying to read it.
2. The Boss Baby
The cute 1950’s-esque artwork is a great backdrop for this hilarious little book about a baby portrayed as his family’s tyrannical CEO. This is clearly more for Mom and Dad than for Baby himself, since Baby isn’t likely to get the inside jokes about the “executive jet” (a doorway bouncer) or “drinks made to order 24/7” (a row of empty baby bottles lined up like empty martini glasses at a bar) – but who cares? Your kid is amused just by the sound of your voice at this stage, not everything has to be about fluffy puppies and cuddly teddy bears.
3. Happy Hippo Angry Duck
If you don’t like Sandra Boynton’s rhymes and art, you’re wrong. I like how this book teaches kids to understand and manage their moods, but also, I just really like the funny pictures of ‘sweetly amused’ pigs and ‘completely confused’ cows. Blue Hat, Green Hat also almost made this list, for the opportunity to say OOOPS over and over again as its hapless turkey protagonist struggles with the quotidian challenge of not putting a sock on his head or a shirt on his butt.
4. LMNO Peas
Lots of little surprises tucked away in the artwork, along with another good easy-to-remember rhyme, make this one a favorite at our house. Also, one of the jobs it assigns to its alphabetical vegetable protagonists is ‘zoologist’ (while they care for a small fuzzy caterpillar), which warms the cockles of my zoology-major heart.
5. The Discover America State By State series
We have M is for Mitten and B is for Badger from this series, and both are lovely: a rhyme about a feature of the thematic state for each letter of the alphabet, gorgeous artwork, and in the margins, historical, scientific, and geographical facts about the landmarks and people in question. At the back, there’s even a trivia game about the state, which I’ve memorized the answers to so I can seem all-knowing and wise when my kids are old enough to quiz me.