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Do You Arm Yourself Before You Head to the Library?

When my teens were little the local library was our second home. Over the years, our visits to the library have become infrequent and my seven year old is beginning to show visible signs of neglect.

Don’t get me wrong. We do read. We have a descent stash of books, and I’ve been adding to our collection periodically. However, in the last six months, my seven year old has turned into quite the avid reader and I’ve failed to keep up with her.

Last week I received a wake up call when she stood in front of her bookshelf and declared: “I don’t know what to read. I’ve read everything already!”

Yup. It was time to add weekly library visits back to the schedule.

I’ve had to visit the library twice this week because I couldn’t find enough books to borrow. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I flicked through a picture book in bewilderment.

They call this children’s literature?

It seems like anyone can throw some words together and publish a children’s book. Too many books are – pointless. Fluff. I don’t know how else to describe them.

Like most things in life there is a work around. Reviews from sites like Indigo and Amazon can give you a good sense of which books are worth borrowing. From now on, I’ll do a little advance research and arm myself with a list of books (even check the library catalogue to see which ones are available) before I head to the library ;)

My youngest is four and he’s less difficult to keep up with, probably because he likes to have his favourite books read over and over again! Here are some of our favourites:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle (ages 0-3)


 Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown (ages 0-4)


Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney (ages 1-4)


The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein (ages 4-6)

I only recently discovered this gem and my 14 year old couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. She remembers it being read to her by every teacher she ever had in early elementary school. She couldn’t wait to read it again; this time to her little brother! It’s a beautiful story about the love of a tree for a boy.

The Little Engine that Could
by Watty Piper (ages 4-6)

I’ve seen this book in various prints but this one is by far the most beautiful. The illustrations take you back in time to when things were more simple.

Favourite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose
by Scot Gustafson (ages 0-8)

I’m partial to nursery rhymes because they remind me of my childhood. This collection is very well illustrated and my daughter loves to memorize the rhymes and look through the pictures.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
by Bill Martin (ages 1-4)


Love You Forever
by Robert Munsch (ages 3-6)

If you haven’t read this, let me warn you that it will bring tears to your eyes!

In addition to these, my son is obsessed with trains so The Thomas and Friends collection by Reverend Wilbert Awdry is always a safe bet. As is any book featuring Curious George!

He’s a little too old for a couple (The Hungry Caterpillar and Goodnight Moon) but I’ve kept them on the list because he loved them when he was little, and still likes to read them on occasion (the ages specified for the books are based on my personal experience).

Photo Credit: John-morgan

What are your favourites? 

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