Recently, I started getting into a massive collection of books called the “Wheel of Time” series. Ironically, I had just ordered the first three books days before I found out that Amazon was making a show on the series within the same month. What are the chances that I would start a series of books made over twenty years ago the same month they become a tv show? Anyway, with my new spark for reading in my free time, it has also got me more inclined to think about other books that I am reading these days. As a result, I find myself wondering if it is time to share a few children’s books that I have read lately (and didn’t regret the 1-5 minutes it took to read). The answer is obviously, yes. So, here is a list of books that I would recommend giving a try.
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written and illustrated by: Crockett Johnson
“Harold and the Purple Crayon” is a more palatable form of Dr. Seus-style writing that I can get into. I appreciate the creativity of Dr. Seus, but I have never been a fan of the “whatchamagoos” and “thingamaroos” type of writing. In this story, Harold creatively draws his own adventure with the help of his trustee purple crayon. You never know what to expect when you flip to the next page.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Written by Bill Martin Jr; Illustrated by: Eric Carle
I don’t know why I grew up liking this book so much, but it was one of my favorites as a young child. The book is great for teaching about animals and colors.
Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom
Written by: Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault; Illustrated by: Lois Ehlert
This is another book written by Bill Martin Jr. It’s a short and silly book about the alphabet climbing a coconut tree. The book does what it set out to do- it is a children’s book that introduces the alphabet in a sing-song kind of way.
Little Blue Truck
Written by: Alice Schertle; Illustrated by: Jill McElmurry
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had an encounter with a road-raging driver that got under my skin. The last thing I would have wanted to do is help him out of a ditch just a little further down the road. This book is about caring for others even when they have been unkind to us. It’s pretty deep stuff for a little kid’s book.
It’s the Best Day Ever, Dad!
Written by: Brooke Shields; Illustrated by: Cori Doerrfeld
Being a dad of three girls, this book really hits home for me. This book is all about living life side by side with your child, instead of just finding time for your child. It was a challenge for me as a father.
Dad and Me in the Morning
Written By: Patricia Lakin; Illustrated by: Robert G. Steele
This is a short story about a father taking his son to see a sunrise. Both the art and the writing are engaging and make you feel like you are going on a trip with them. It is a shared time together between a father and son the way it should be.
Will You Fill My Bucket
Written by: Carol McCloud and Karen Wells; Illustrated by: Penny Weber
“Will You Fill My Bucket” takes the reader on a little ride to show how families around the world are “filling their child’s bucket.” This book does my counseling heart good, as it talks about practical ways that parents can show love to their children through the concept of filling a bucket.
The Water Hole
Written and illustrated by: Graeme Base
The book itself is nothing to write home about- it’s your typical counting book with good art. What makes this book stand out to me is the little game that kids can play along the way. Each page has hidden animals in the background. At the end of the book, it shares which region each page of animals represents. There was a lot of work put into this book.
One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!
Written by John Micklos Jr.; Illustrated by: Clive McFarland
My family received a copy of this book from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. “One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!” is not only a great book for introducing counting, forwards and backward, but it also goes through the cycle of seasons as well. A very well-written book that, despite all the things it is trying to accomplish, still manages to maintain a rhyme.
I Love You as Big as the World
Written by: David Van Buren; Illustrated by: Time Warnes
The first of two daddy bear books that will show on this list. In “I Love You as Big as the World,” a father bear expresses his love in creative ways to his little cub. It’s short, yet endearing.
Written and illustrated by: David McKee
In this story, Elmer the elephant is different than the other elephants. Not only is his skin colored in patchwork, but he is also known in his herd for being the funny guy. Elmer tries to change the color of his skin so that he fits in with everyone else. By the end of the book, Elmer is found out and the other elephants think he is playing another trick on them. As a result, they decide to make a holiday of the greatest trick that Elmer ever pulled.
The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written and illustrated by: Dave Wasson
In “The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles” Buster has tons of silly ideas, but others don’t seem to appreciate them. However, his uncle, an inventor, has just come up with an invention that will allow someone to make all the ideas come to life. Together, they go on a little adventure driven by Buster’s imagination.
Harry and the Monster
Written by: Sue Mongredien; Illustrated by: Nick East
My wife and I both really like this story. In “Harry and the Monster” Harry is having nightmares throughout the week about a monster. Harry tries desperately to get some sleep and stop the monster from scaring him. Eventually, his father tells him to think about his mother giving him the “mom treatment” (as we call it in our home). After this, the monster becomes a friend for Harry to play with in his dreams.
I Love You, Daddy
Written by: Jillian Harker; Illustrated by: Kristina Stephenson
In “I Love You, Daddy” a father bear and son bear are doing bear things like climbing trees, getting honey, and finding a den. Along the way, the dad bear provides his son with the encouragement and love needed to keep trying new things.
That’s what I have been reading lately. Does this spark an interest for you to read some books to your kids? I hope it does. If you come across a book you would recommend, please leave a comment so that we might share in your findings.
As always, stay Rock Solid, dads!
Brian Faust is the Fatherhood Program Coordinator of Rock Solid Fatherhood in Warsaw, IN. He is the husband of the world’s best wife and father of three beautiful girls. He has nearly a decade of mentorship and mental health experience. Brian has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grace College. It is his desire to come alongside men of all walks of life as they embrace their role as partner and father with rock solid strength.