Read Across America Day is on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday! This is one of my very favorite days! My mother instilled in me the desire for knowledge and the love for reading before I could even write and read myself. One of my favorite movies, “Love Comes Softly”, also encourages reading through a scene where Marty tries to convince her new step-daughter that reading isn’t stupid or boring.
Once you can read you can have any adventure you’ve ever dreamed of. – Marty Claridge
This is how I always looked at reading. Each book was a new adventure waiting to happen, and I could do anything through those pages from the safety of my own home. I’m not even sure how many hours of sleep I lost through the years from staying up to read “one more paragraph.”
Read Across America is a program by the National Education Association (NEA) to promote reading motivation and awareness for children all over the country. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably gotten a notice in your child’s folder about this very special day, as teachers usually do something fun to get kids of all ages interested in reading. The day reading is celebrated is on Dr. Seuss’ birthday because, after all, who in this day and age didn’t grow up reading his beginner books?
In honor of Read Across America Day, I’ve decided to give you a Top 10 list of my favorite children’s books. This was a tough call. I’m a big child at heart and have been reading since the age of 4, but somehow I narrowed it down to just 10 of my favorites. I’ve also provided links in case you’d like to order these books for your own collection!
I adored this book as I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. Dr. Hilda planned for a picnic with her young daughter, but ended up getting house call after house call. And what was she going to do? These poor animals needed her help! So her daughter tags along on the back of a motorcycle as they visit patients. How cute is that!
What’s better than a hungry, cranky lion who is outwitted by some cunning little bunnies? Tawny Scrawny Lion is starving and always hungry, so he tries to convince this little bunny to become his lunch. Instead, the little bunny invites Tawny Scrawny Lion home for a supper of delicious soup!
I’ve known so many little critters that were like the Pokey Little Puppy. Always getting into trouble and missing out on dessert. He is such a curious little thing, despite his mother’s precautions to try to keep him safe. I still never figured out how he knew how to read those signs his mother put up.
7. I am a puppy
“I am a puppy. My name is Bruno. I am a beagle.” Oh, those words are ingrained into my mind. I adored everything in this book from little Bruno’s adventures to the colorful and realistic artwork. It’s a hard boardbook, meant to withstand children a lot longer than paper pages, but that didn’t stop me from reading the covers right off of it!
My mother loved classic Winnie-the-Pooh, and she passed the love of that huggable bear and all of his friends down to me at a young age. Full of stories and poems from a child’s point of view, they are sure to be busy for hours on end. This was another book that I read so often the pages fell out!
5. Little House on the Prairie (Series)
Ever want to know what sucked me in to the rural and self-sufficient lifestyle? You can completely put all the blame on Laura Ingalls Wilder. The whole series is amazing as she travels through and grows up on the wild prairies of heartland America. She’s full of spunk and wit, a true tomboy, and is such a relate-able character even now.
My first library book. I felt really grown the day that I checked out a book all by myself at the school library. I read and re-read Clifford and all of his books. I was a little disappointed, though, that none of my animals every grew that big. I could have sworn I loved them even more than Emily Elizabeth loved Clifford!
Here I am, almost 30, and I still quote Green Eggs and Ham almost daily if I do not want something. “I will not eat it in a box, I will not eat it with a fox…” Dr. Seuss had some serious rhyming skills, and those things get stuck in your head!
This isn’t one you typically see on on a children’s list, but I felt the need to include it. I remember begging my mother from my bed for “just one more chapter.” She would read to me every night, and I became thoroughly engrossed in every single book. I may have been only 5 or 6 at the time and couldn’t read half of the words, but I understood the story as she read it to me. A couple years later at the age of 8, it became my first chapter book (yes, even before Little House).
Don’t let the name Rosetta Stone fool you, as it was another pen name for Dr. Seuss. A crazy, out of this world chain of event happens because one little bug sneezes. It’s hilarious and the drawings are fantastic, and it’s a good lesson in how one small act cn have ripple effect – both good and bad – on our world. Such a great lesson to teach even young children.