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Growing Reader

Books About Books:
8 Children’s Stories That Celebrate the Joy of Reading

by Denise Schipani

All children’s books are de facto celebrations of the joy of reading, right? Without words lovingly arranged in careful order on pages and pictures giving those delightful words life, books wouldn’t exist. But some books zero in more finely, and with much more open-hearted feeling, on the pure joy of reading. The picture books gathered here are just the tip of the iceberg (or the edge of the bookshelf?) for parents who want to plant and nurture the love of reading in their children.

  • Love You, Hug You, Read to You!

    by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Frank Endersby

    Loving, hugging, reading: Add in feeding and bathing and you essentially have basic infant care covered! That promise — that as a parent you’ll always love, always hug, always read to your child — is also the premise of this sweet and simple book. Rabe adds an interactive element, with prompts for parents to engage with their little lap-sitting listeners.

  • Bunny’s Book Club

    by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

    Bunny loves reading so much that she inches close to the library’s summer outdoor reading club to hear the stories with her own rabbit ears. She’s delighted to “nibble” on the fringes … until cooler weather brings the group inside the library’s walls. Missing the stories, Bunny devises a plan to sneak into the building at night with her animal friends to create their own book club. Sometimes reading is just that compelling. Warning: Though the animals get into the library through the after-hours book drop, do not let your child attempt the same.

  • We Are in a Book!

    by Mo Willems

    Willems recently retired his prolific Elephant & Piggie series, of which this charmer is just one of 25. In this installment, best pals Gerald (elephant) and Piggie (pig) go meta: They realize they’re actually in a book and being read … by you! Talk about immersion into the world of books!

  • The Mermaid’s Purse

    by Patricia Polacco

    Avid readers know all about the blessing and the curse of accumulating so many volumes you don’t know where to keep them all. That’s the dilemma faced by young Stella, a voracious reader who lives on her family’s farm. Her father suggests she create a lending library — why not share the wealth? — and builds her one. Stella wins over most patrons, but some locals remain suspicious. Until a tragedy brings the whole town together to help save Stella’s venture.

  • Froggy Goes to the Library

    by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

    Oh, Froggy. No matter how often his parents admonish him to be on his best behavior, he tends to barrel through his day with maximum clamor in book after book of this series. It's no different when he heads to the library, pushing a wheelbarrow in anticipation of the great volume of books he’ll borrow. Froggy has significant trouble keeping his own volume low enough at the library, but his book-loving heart is in the right place.

  • The Not So Quiet Library

    by Zachariah Ohora

    Who says libraries are always chilled-out places? Sometimes things get interesting among the stacks and shelves. Saturday is Oskar and Teddy’s favorite day, because they get to have donuts for breakfast and then hit the library with their dad. But on one memorable weekend, a hungry monster disrupts their quiet reading time. A monster?! Will they ever enjoy their donuts and pages in peace again?

  • Wild About Books

    by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown

    It all started when a librarian drove her bookmobile to the zoo — before long, as Sierra recounts in engaging rhyme, all the animals crowd around and learn about books that tickle their fancies. Yes, soon they’re stampeding to learn about “this new something called reading.” Between Brown’s paintings and Sierra’s Seussian poetry, this is destined to for a spot on your reading-time repeat list.

  • Look!

    by Jeff Mack

    What do you get when you put a gorilla who craves attention and a boy who can’t tear his eyes off the television screen in the same book? You get some pretty hilarious attempts on the part of the gorilla to separate the boy from the screen. Look out … because your kids won’t know what hit them.

What other books do you think are especially great for long-time and budding bookworms? Let us know in the comments below!

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