My oldest is turning four in less than a month. I am hoping that he will soon start to enjoy small chapter books, but we are still in a season of reading picture books. And that’s OK! I’m going to tell you a secret when reading books out loud to my children. Here it is… I read books at everyone, including myself, is going to enjoy. Simple, right?
When I first started checking books out from the library, I would grab a huge stack of books without looking at the title. I soon learned that some books were far superior to other books, and I was determined to weed out the books that I did not enjoy and look for books we could all enjoy together. Shortly into this journey, I discovered a type of book called a “living book” as Charlotte Mason would call them. A living book is a book that teaches a lesson through story form. Living books are stories that engage the reader in ideas and help the person reading to think deeper. It’s a way of passing knowledge from one mind to the next. Spoiler: I’m not talking about textbooks. Again, these are books we can all enjoy (parent & child), because in a way the books truly to come alive for us.
I’ve put together a list of 30 books we enjoyed this year. Books that made us laugh, cry, and have read over and over again.
The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson
John Ronald's Dragon: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkein by Caroline McAlister
Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
Blue Boat by Kersten Hamilton
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel
Katy and the Big Snow by Lee Burton
Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
The Biggest House in the World by Leo Lionni
The Summerfolk by Doris Burn
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Blaze and the Forest Fire by C.W. Anderson
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn
Anatole by Eve Titus
We're going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf
Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall
Frederick by Leo Lionni
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Outside My Window by Liesel Moak Skorpen
Not all of these may be considered living books, but they are to us and all of them tell a beautiful story. My oldest can tell you some of these books by heart. When we read picture books out loud, the boys are hearing lessons, poetry, rhyming, seeing artwork, and most importantly they are getting quality time with mom or dad. The images in some of these books have incredible art work that they are being exposed to (so don't turn the pages too quickly).
We have collected these books over time. I go to the library book sale every month at my local library to find our favorite read out loud books. I have found some beautiful used book shops on Instagram and go to a local store that I purchase my books from. OR just check the books out from your local library. I hope you enjoy these as much as me and my family.
I'm Julia Mederich - My husband Jordan and I have 3 boys (7, 4, and 2) and a girl on the way. We are a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschooling family and enjoy going on nature adventures, reading aloud, and learning through play.
We live in Northwest Wisconsin.
I'm excited you're here! And hope this content inspires you on your homeschooling journey.
”Home is the nicest word there is.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder