Read on to see some of our favorite children’s book selections for young readers…
Winters Gift by Jane Monroe Donovan
Mischenko: “I’d honestly give this book more than five stars if I could. It’s a beautiful and somewhat tear-jerking Christmas story for children. An older man and his wife have many special Christmas traditions throughout the years, until something changes. Is all hope lost? Read along in the story to discover a message of assurance. This book is undoubtedly one to keep!” 5*****
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Stacy: “Me and 2 of my older children just the other day were talking about this book after I had read it to my grandchildren. My 2 kids said that this was their #1 favorite book as children. We did read it often when they were little. It just shows how timeless it is that now another generation has adopted it as a fave too.” 5*****
The Giving Tree Shel Silverstein
Mischenko: “The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is a must read for children. It’s a story that can bring tears to your eyes. Children can learn about the importance of caring, giving, and how we should treat others.
This essential and childhood favorite still remains a part of our home library. ” 5*****
Stacy: “Shel Silverstein was my oldest daughter’s favorite poet as a child, and anyone that has read his books would have no trouble seeing why. She still has her copy of this and Where the Sidewalk Ends that I had bought her as a child.” 5*****
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet
Stacy: “Another classic that is loved the world over and my family adores it as well.” 5*****
Mischenko: “My Father’s Dragon is a childhood favorite that will never get old. It’s a perfect read out loud story for young readers. The black and white illustrations are delightful and it’s a story that will be enjoyed forever.” 5*****
ida, Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
Mischenko: “Ida, Always by Caron Levis is a powerful children’s picture book that I had a hard time finishing because I was overcome with emotion. Now that we’ve read it a handful of times, it’s a pleasure. This is a story for all ages and deals with grief and loss. The illustrations are beautiful and make the story feel heartfelt and present. The author’s note at the end is touching.” 5*****
There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
Mischenko: “Children just adore Elephant and Piggie. “There is a Bird on Your Head” is a personal favorite, but all Mo Willems books are wonderful. The illustrations are cute and the reading is extremely simple with short sentences in large bold font. Mo Willems is undeniably one of our favorite authors!” 5*****
A Beatrix Potter Treasury by Beatrix Potter
Stacy: “All of her stories are so adorable, with animals imbued with human characteristics (dressing in clothes, talking, living in homes that are quite cozy with mother’s making tons of goodies, etc.), reflecting Victorian culture. Each of the stories are so gentle, yet impart a lesson to be learned. Who could ever forget mischievous Peter Rabbit disobeying his mother and nearly getting himself killed in Farmer McGregor’s garden, cute little Squirrel Nutkin, Miss Moppet, Appley Dapply, or Jemima Puddle Duck? I love to reread these myself to this day!” 5*****
The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers
Mischenko: “I was first drawn to The Night Gardener because of the title and cover. I snatched it up and I’m so glad I did. The book is an effortless read but what makes it so remarkable is the beautiful and mysterious story, paired with the illustrations. It’s certainly magnificent and magical.” 5*****
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Mischenko: “I can still remember reading this for the first time in my grade school library. The pictures and illustrations can be a little scary at times, but somehow they remain incredible. I love children’s books that are adventurous and take you places. This is one of them.” 5*****
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Seuss
Stacy: “All of Dr. Seuss’s books were so well-liked here in my family, now reading them to the next generation, that it is hard to pick just one. And To Think I Saw It All On Mulberry Street, Green Eggs And Ham, Horton Hears A Who, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Sneetches, The Lorax, The Cat In The Hat, If I Ran The Zoo all, for us, rank equally up there with it.” 5*****
Mischenko: “It’s hard to pick just one book to add as a children’s favorite when there are so many Dr. Seuss books to choose from. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish was a childhood favorite for sure. It still remains a treasure because the simple words and rhymes encourage children to read and they love it. Children love the colorful illustrations too.” 5*****
Wherever you are: my love will find you by Nancy Tillman
Mischenko: “This is such a wonderful, beautiful, and touching book. It’s a simple fast read and perfect to read with children. The illustrations combine real life like pictures on colorful backgrounds that are exquisite and artsy. I believe adults will cherish this one too.
The most heartfelt page for me reads, “And if someday you’re lonely, or someday you’re sad, or you strike out at baseball, or think you’ve been bad…just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair. That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.” 5*****
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate
Mischenko: “This book is the true story of Ivan the gorilla. He was brought to Washington straight from the Congo in the 60’s at the age of 6 months. The story explains how he lived for 27 years before he was finally sent to Atlanta zoo. The story is shocking, but children find it interesting and create their own views on how they feel about animals in captivity.
This book is aimed at a younger audience, but has a fact page in the back as well. I would recommend the National Geographic documentary for older children and adults. There are also a few videos on YouTube that kids can watch to see how Ivan grew up, and his life at his new home at Atlanta zoo.” 5*****
Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World by Craig Hatkoff
Mischenko: “Knut by Craig Hatkoff is an adorable true story about Knut, a polar bear cub born at Berlin Zoo, and Thomas, the man who raised him. Knut becomes the whole world to Thomas and captures the hearts of many other people too. Children and adults will enjoy this heartwarming story. The book is full of photos taken of Knut and Thomas at Berlin Zoo.” 5*****
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Mischenko: “Owl Moon is a striking story that takes you on a journey through the winter woods in search of owls. The little child has been waiting to go owling with Pa for a very long time. The story rather reads like poetry.
“Our feet crunched over the crisp snow and little gray footprints followed us. Pa made a long shadow, but mine was short and round. I had to run after him every now and then to keep up, and my short, round, shadow bumped after me.”
John Schoenherr’s illustrated imagery paints the perfect winter impression.” 5*****
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Stacy: “I remember this one from when I was small. My kids and now grandchildren have enjoyed it as well. A nice bonus is the distinctive Eric Carle artwork that graces each page is a joy to look at. ” 5*****
Mischenko: “Eric Carle’s books have a special place in my heart. The way he creates his illustrations makes them so colorful and appealing to all. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of our favorite books by him, but we enjoy them all equally. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket, and Dream Snow are just a few of our most cherished Eric Carle books. When you witness a toddler who can’t read, recite all the words to these stories, you know just how much they love them too!” 5*****
The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
Mischenko: “I love Jane Goodall and her entire story and it’s one that needs to be heard. This book starts out in her childhood and illustrates her story into adulthood. Children will enjoy reading about her ambition and also how important it is to care about our animal wildlife.
I love that this book is a quick, educational read for kids to learn about Jane Goodall and what she stands for.” 5*****
Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
Mischenko: “Papa’s Mechanical Fish is a fiction story about a family man who’s obsessed with inventing things. Many times his ideas evolve from his children.
After a day of fishing with the family on Lake Michigan, he decides to make a submarine. Follow along in the story to see his journey of creating a mechanical fish for the whole family.
This story is fiction, but is based on the true story of Lodner Phillips and his construction of a submarine in 1851. It’s very engaging and the illustrations are admirable.
This is a very educational book for everyone, especially children, and would be perfect for any classroom or home library.” 5*****
Swimming with the Sharks by Heather Long
Mischenko: “Swimming with Sharks by Heather Lang is a book about Eugenie Clark. The story explains how as a child she was fascinated with the ocean and the creatures beneath. As she grew up, she followed her dreams, and became a scientist.
Many people believe that sharks are bloodthirsty assassins. Eugenie knows something that others don’t. Follow along in the story to learn about Eugenie and her love for sharks, and her other ocean discoveries.
Perfect for elementary classrooms, teachers, parents, or for your home library.” 5*****