5 Children's Books That You'll Want to Read, Too!

Here's a palatable-for-adults reading list for your kids or any other little people in your life who love story time.

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Parenting a two-year-old and a four-year-old is full of so many magical moments. Sometimes, the kids want those magical moments to repeat again and again…and again. This can come in the form of repeat airings of songs, movies—or most often in our house—books.

Now we would never discourage our kids from wanting to read. In fact, we’ve worked hard to ensure that it’s something they enjoy and look forward to doing. But since they are still young enough that we get to serve as the family librarians and populate the bookshelves, there’s no reason we can’t try to make it an enjoyable experience for ourselves, too!

With the holiday season nearly in full swing, here’s my list of the best books that audiences young and old can enjoy together…even on repeat.

*Please note that these are affiliate links and I might get a commission if you end up buying through my link. Dad’s gotta eat.*

What to Read

Everyone Loves Bacon
by Kelly DiPuccio and Eric Wight

Synopsis: The cautionary tale of an arrogant bacon strip who gets too big for his britches.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you wade to the bottom of this list to get to my favorite book. Like Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, Great Expectations and Hamlet, this book is an instant classic. As we read it for the first time and took in the over-their-heads-while-also-right-at-their-heads text and illustrations, you know your kids are falling in love with it as well. I guess what I’m saying is…everyone loves bacon.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
By Mo Willems

Synopsis: A pigeon wants to drive a bus and the reader is tasked with stopping him.

I confess that I had never heard of Mo Willems and his talking animal empire until the pandemic hit and we happened upon a Kennedy Center YouTube channel on which he offered simple drawing lessons. When we realized that the drawings were all of his book characters, we of course had to check them out. This one is another winner in the category of books about “arrogant and presumptuous animals and objects.” It also inspired my toddler to start running around the house yelling “Don’t let the ___ drive the bus!”, inserting various people and things in our household.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue
By Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen

Synopsis: A buttered toast-loving hog gets into mischief in a neighborhood full of manic misfits.

The Mercy Watson series has changed our lives. It effectively got our two-year-old to beg us to read chapter books to him. It also taught him to make pig noises, but you can’t have everything. This is the first book in a series that quickly became a parental favorite because the text is just so witty, the stories have enough slapstick to appeal to kids, the illustrations are hilarious and the characters are fantastic.

I Don’t Want to be a Frog
By Dev Petty and Mike Boldt

Synopsis: A discontented child frog with an identity crisis wishes he was various other kinds of animals despite his father frog’s protests.

One positive thing about the pandemic is the way it has forced us to use the supreme knowledge of our local library’s children’s librarians to recommend new and exciting books for us. Since we can’t peruse the shelves ourselves, we simply told the librarian about some of our favorite books (like, most of the ones listed above) and a steady stream of fun(ny) new options has been landing in our book pick-up bag every few weeks. That’s how we came upon this one, which I just read for the first time today, but already can’t wait to read again and am sure our children will request again tomorrow.

What Should Danny Do?
By Adir and Ganit Levy

Synopsis: Danny encounters problems from the minute he wakes up and the reader has the power to help him make good decisions or ruin his life.

This is another book that has quietly revolutionized our household in small ways. It’s basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book wrapped in children’s book clothing, which means that it’s fun for the kids and the parents will get some variety. The revolutionary part is that it shows how Danny should respond to various conflicts—with siblings, with spilled beverages, with being asked to do things he doesn’t want to do—which provides a teachable moment and a bracelet-worthy catchphrase (What Should Danny Do?) that you can whip out whenever your child is on the precipice of ruining his/her (and your) day with a bad decision that will only lead to weeping, gnashing of teeth and a time out. There’s also a girl version of this book that’s all about Darla’s decisions.

OK, that’s my list! No one has yet actually replied to my newsletters with suggestions when I ask for them, but I’m going to ask anyway! What are your favorite books to read to your preschool and kindergarten-aged kids/nieces/nephews? Let me know in the comments or hit reply!

What to Hear

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe

This podcast featuring the deep, engaging voice of Mike Rowe tells stories for the “curious mind with a short attention span.” With that tagline, it’s like he knows me. He writes each story as a mini-mystery along the lines of Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story,” so you can try to guess what famous figure he is talking about in each episode before he reveals it at the very end. This podcast is a nice piece of candy for a short drive or a bedtime snack.

What to Wear

Don’t Be Naughty. Wear A Mask.

Need a mask for Christmas? Santa’s got you covered (literally). Order now and it will be here in time for the big day.

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