Our Favorite Books to Read Together

Books have always been a big part of my life and reading is one of my favorite pastimes. That is why I was so excited when I realized just how much my child loves to read too!

Experts recommend reading to children at a very young age, to help with language development and teach important early literacy skills in preparation for their school years. Therefore, we started reading to our son in the early months of parenting, even when he probably had no idea what we were saying.

He already had a sizable library by the time he was born, which has nearly tripled in size since then. Adding to the gifts that we received at my (2) baby showers, we got several hand-me down books from a good friend. My husband and I like to check out the Little Libraries in our neighborhood for others.

I signed him up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as well. Through a partnership with the United Way of Dane County, eligible children in the area can register to receive a free age-appropriate book each month from birth to 5! If you are interested, you can register your child here. We’ve received four free books so far!

Free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

I also find great joy in buying books from the Scholastic Book Club at my son’s preschool. It takes me back to my elementary school days, when we would get those little flyers at school. I try not to over do it, but his little library just keeps growing. To try to keep things under control, I’ve started checking out new books from the library once a month instead. 

Now that he is almost 3 years old, we have read nearly every children’s book we own together. We typically read 3-4 stories per night, at bedtime. He sometimes gets out of bed after I tuck him in – to grab another book (or two or three) off his shelf, to read to himself before falling asleep. Sometimes he even reads them out loud. I love it.

When he does this, my husband and I sit in the living room and listen to him reading to himself. It never ceases to amaze me just how much he retains. In many instances, he has recited full books to himself almost word for word. So, reading together definitely seems to be making an impact.

I hope his love of reading continues for years to come – or better yet, lasts a lifetime.

Here are 30 of our favorite books to read together. Some are classics that I am sure most parents own, but others may be new to you:

  1. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
  2. Night-Night Little Pookie, by Sandra Boynton
  3. Time for Bed, by Mem Fox
  4. Little Blue Truck (and all of its spin-offs), by Alice Schertle
  5. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld
  6. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld
  7. The Tickle Monster, by Josie Bissett
  8. The Boogie Monster, by Josie Bisset
  9. How to Catch a Monster (or the Easter Bunny, or an Elf), by Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton
  10. Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss
  11. Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell
  12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
  13. Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr.
  14. The Pout Pout Fish (and its spin-offs), by Deborah Diesen
  15. Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney (For a little adult fun, check out these famous rappers freestyling the story)
  16. How do Dinosaurs Go to Sleep, by Jane Yolen
  17. Frog on a Log, by Kes Gray & Jim Field
  18. Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees
  19. There’s a Bear on My Chair, by Ross Collins
  20. The Duckling Gets a Cookie, by Mo Willems
  21. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, by Mo Willems
  22. Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck, by Lisa Wheeler
  23. Sheep in a Jeep, by Nancy Shaw
  24. I Love You, Stinky Face, by Lisa Mccourt
  25. SkippyJon Jones, by Judy Schachner
  26. The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown
  27. Ten Little Bluebirds, by Emily Ford
  28. Ten Little Ladybugs, by Melanie Gerth
  29. Pete the Cat books, by Eric Litwin
  30. Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, by Eric Litwin & Tom Lichtenheld

We are always looking for new books to read together. What are some of your favorite books to read with your child(ren)?

Alicia was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and moved to Madison in 1996 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in radio, television and film. She’s been working on campus in some capacity ever since and currently manages career and leadership development initiatives in the School of Human Ecology. Alicia married her husband Eric in 2012 and became a mom to her sweet and funny son Ellis in 2015. When she’s not playing with or reading to Ellis, she likes to read, watch TV, and might be caught playing bingo at the VFW. She also runs her own lifestyle blog (madtownmomma.com) and catches for her softball team through Madison Schools & Community Recreation every summer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here