Greetings, and happy Monday, readers! A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping for books for my oldest nephew's birthday. My blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend Nora and I started exchanging messages about our childhood favorites. The result of that conversation was this new blog swap series - Book Worms Recommend! Nora loves books just as much as do so we thought it would be fun to swap blogs monthly and share some of our favorites.
* The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. Maybe this is a favorite of mine because it was the very first book I read all to myself. Or maybe it's just because it's kind of a sweet story about bunny mother and her child. It's ideal for children who are learning how to read or are just reading themselves; the pictures are gorgeous and captivating, the story is simple and as far as I'm concerned, it's an undisputed classic. (Nora's Ideal Age: 2-4 yrs)
* Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I know, I know. This is a really old book and it talks about kids drawing on walls but the book is still one of my favorites. The girls absolutely love it when we read it to them (and it does come with a warning about drawing on the walls after we're done). I think what I love most about this is that it encourages the imagination, something that as an adult I know I struggle with. It's a reminder to have fun with the simple things in life, to be creative, to dream and to imagine. (Nora's Ideal Age: 2-4 yrs)
* The Classic Characters of Golden Books, Various Authors. Remember Golden Books? I had piles and piles of them some of them including the traditional characters (Scuffy the Tugboat, anyone?) and then some Disney and Mickey Mouse books too. I am a huge fan of traditional and classic books for kids like this. There's nothing wrong with Dora, Phineas and Ferb, even the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse books that are everywhere for kids, but there is something about old-school classics like this. It opens them up to a world before cartoons and DVDs, teaches them basic lessons, and allows you to share a piece of your childhood with them too. They still make Golden Books which I just adore because they were and are some of my favorite books for children, boy or girl. (Nora's Ideal age: 3-5 yrs)
* Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Perhaps a little bit overdone with the most recent movie (which I thought was terrifying and sometimes the book can be too), this book is still a classic. The illustrations. The idea of a magical land that you can escape to in your dreams. Jolie (and Belle, too) both love this book. They insist on it being read once a week which proves that Sendak knew his audience. I suppose this is another classic that one can't help but buy for their little girls. (Nora's Ideal age: 3-5 yrs)
* Fancy Nancy books, by Jane O'Connor. While these books didn't exist when I was growing up, I'm a huge fan of Fancy Nancy, specifically her "I Can Read," series. You can't go wrong with a character who likes to bake cupcakes, participates in Earth Day, takes ballet, has tea parties and goes to museums, can you? She's a wholesome character, always wearing little girl dresses and shoes, learning right from wrong, and of course there's a lesson or moral to each and every story. (Nora's Ideal age: 4-6 yrs)
* The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter. (And of course all the other Potter books.) Growing up I had the Potter series and loved them. Couldn't get enough of them even if some of the characters are a little bit on the scary side (ahem, Mr. McGreggor). I loved the ideas of animals having families, adventures, lives and of course, learning lessons, sometimes the hard way. Jolie has started to enjoy these books more and more and I'm happy to share the stories and tales of Beatrix Potter with her. (Nora's Ideal age: 4-6 yrs)
* Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird. A cute mouse who loves to dance? WIN. Yes, this was another book I read and loved as a child that has fortunately survived over the years (of course there are more books, a tv show, figurines and etc. but I'm glad she's done so well for herself). I confess I don't remember all the details of this book but I love that she's still around, she's still an adorable little mouse who loves to dance and she's a great character for little girls to read. (Nora's Ideal age: 4-6 yrs)
* Thumbelina, by Hans Christian Andersen. I remember for years of my life my mom read this book to me; I'm on a hunt to find it for Jolie one of these days. The idea of a fairy who lives in flowers and has various encounters with potential suitors is whimsical and fun. There are many adaptations of this tale, illustrations and etc., but the story is light and lovely, and perfect for little girls who are into the ideas of fairies and princesses. (Nora's Ideal age: 4-6 yrs)
There are so many other books that I love for little girls who are young and just starting to read but I'll stop here for now. I'll be back in September with recommendations for our next age group, so be sure to keep an eye out for this series in the future!
What were your favorite books when you were a little girl? Any books that are must-haves, gifts you give to your friends with children or make sure you keep on your shelf if you have your own?