10 More Reasons to Love Children’s Literature

If you’ve read my previous post, Enrichment over Entertainment, you know that I’m a fan of Enrichment. Books provide the best of both worlds: the perfect opportunity to enjoy literature while also enriching your child’s life with pre-literacy skills, rich language, and creativity.  Here are all the reasons I love Children’s Literature (and you will too!) 

I usually travel with a bag of books, often borrowed or purchased on Amazon. You’ll find children’s books stashed in the back of my car, backpack, and scattered around my desk. I was the college student that read children’s books to my friends because I would be so astounded that their mother never read them classic titles like Love You Forever.

I’m still awe-inspired by the beauty and richness of the language and illustrations in children’s books. Good children’s books are truly a work of art. C.S. Lewis said it best: “A children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.” The plethora of wonderful literature out there provides a good excuse for reading time with your child to be enjoyable, enriching, and entertaining for both of you!

Ok, I’ll admit it. My 10 reasons are actually just 10 of my favorite books.  I’ll mention a few of my old favorites, but I’ve also decided to share a few new gems. I hope they will work their way onto your bookshelf and into your heart.

  1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  2. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Suess
  3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  4. Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin
  5. If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano
  6. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones
  7. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
  8. Sense and Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams
  9. Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
  10. What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis and Christian Løchstøer

If these don’t strike your fancy, talk to your librarian. I’ve always found children’s librarians to be incredibly helpful. I usually end up with a stack of books that would compete with a CrossFit workout. If you’d prefer to stick with the classics, I suggest you refer to the New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books list. This list is geared towards all childhood ages, so don’t expect to complete it by your child’s third birthday.

Head to the SmartMom Pinterest boards for some pics of these books and a few good quotes.  I’ll leave you with this poem by Strickland Gillian titled “The Reading Mother.”

I had a mother who read to me

Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,

Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,

“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays

Of ancient and gallant and golden days;

Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,

Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales

Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,

True to his trust till his tragic death,

Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things

That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–

Stories that stir with an upward touch,

Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be–

I had a Mother who read to me.


What are your favorite children’s books?

My son is only 2 months old but he got all these great kid’s books for Christmas and I cannot wait to start reading them to him! When did you start reading to your babies before bedtime?

When did you start reading to your LO?

So I’m giving my two children a combined birthday party, turning 3 and 1. I made the “theme” children’s books, what are your favorite children’s books?

For those of you who read to your little ones before bed…do you only read children’s books? My boy is 18 months and I’m looking for book inspiration.

Good place to get children’s books.. Like the one that are hard , not paper. I’d also be like to spend $10 per book! Any ideas?

Does it matter what books I read to my one year old? Can i read anything or does it have to be children’s books?

My little sister has to write a children’s book. She wants to write it from the child’s perspective about the things the mother thinks goes unnoticed. Since I am a first time mom I don’t have a lot of answers to give. As a mother what are things do you do that you think go unnoticed?

In regards to children’s books: what subjects would you like to see more of? Potty training, opposites, family, religion, etc.


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About Melissa Elchison

Melissa Elchison is currently pursuing her clinical fellowship as a speech and language pathologist. Previously, she studied education and was an early childhood researcher at The Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati. She enjoys barre classes, traveling with her husband, and trying new recipes.