We read over 300 children’s books this school year and definitely found a few new gems worth sharing. Actually, we probably read more like 400 or 500, but I kept forgetting to add it to our reading list. Aw well. All that to say, here are our top 10 favorite children’s books read during the 2014-2015 school year that might be worth a check out at your local library this summer!
Our 10 Top Favorite Children’s Books from 2014-2015
- Noah’s Ark illustrated by Peter Spier This book is a fabulous wordless portrayal of the Flood. On the day we read this book, Peanut said she would rather look at her school book than go to recess. That’s saying a lot; the pictures, although somewhat fictitious, are amazing! His book, People, was also a favorite too.
- The Listening Walk by Paul Showers This is a great book to read right before you go on a nature walk. Teacup got so lost in the story that she started to echo all the sounds the character in the story was hearing, and Peanut sat for some time on the couch afterwards just to see how many different sounds she could hear in her own living room. So fun!
- Life in the Great Ice Age by Michael Oard Life in the Great Ice Age was probably the biggest shocker of all the books we read this month…in a good way. I just assumed it would be a not very interesting text on life in the great Ice Age from some scientist, but how wrong I was. Peanut was mesmerized from the first chapter and had me record these stories so she could listen to them over and over again. The best part? It’s from a Christian perspective and explains very simply how the Ice Age fits in with the story of Noah. While a fiction story, it does an excellent job of providing a possible rendering of what life in the ice age might have really been like after the life of great great grandfather Noah.
- Least of All by Carol Purdy. I just have to reiterate that I LOVE this book. It’s a book about a 7 year old who taught herself to read in early 1900s on a Vermont Farm. She in turn was able to teach her entire family to read.
- Haircuts at Sleepy Sam’s by Michael Strickland. I liked reading this story to my girls because it gave “us little white chicks” a little insight into hair styles of African Americans. Do you know the what a bald fade is?
- Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco–We love this book. It’s about a girl who is afraid of thunder so she learns to not be afraid by making Thunder Cake with her Grandma. My girls now want to make thunder cake too. They just don’t know if they’d like tomato sauce in a chocolate cake. LOL.
- The Napping House by Audrey Wood. This story builds upon the previous and reminds me a bit of There Was an Old Woman only this story is much cuter and has such a funny ending. We had fun finding the different characters in each picture, looking how the window scene changed throughout, and taking a guess at which room in the house the story took place in on the last page.
- I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse. Do your kids ever try to compare themselves or place you in the middle of the battle? “Mom, who do you think is the best at…? Who do you love better?” Well, if you experience this kind of questioning in your home then this book is for you. Hint: Love is like mixing colors…red and blue make purple. I love you the purplest!
- Great Joy by Kate Dicamillo–We have read this story several times, love the illustrations and the simple compassion a little girl has for an organ grinder. The moral of the story–it doesn’t take much to invite another to learn about the good news of Jesus if we just use the opportunities given to us.
- The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Anice N. Harrington. We loved this book, both for it’s cultural accent and fun-loving main character. My daughter loves chasing chickens when she visits her Papa’s house so this fit right in with her personality. The fabric patterned artwork was also a neat edition to an already great story.
And as a bonus, our favorite read aloud books included…
- Missionary Stories with the Millers by Mildred A. Martin--This book should be on every Christian’s bookshelf as it provides amazing stories of missionaries in a very short and easy to read format. Everyday my daughters kept say, “Keep reading! Keep reading!”
- Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book by Howard R. Garis— “Read another one! Read another one!” That phrase followed after EVERY chapter. These cute stories are about a rabbit who can hear and understand boys and girls, and how he helps others in whatever way he can. They are great stories for setting an example of the second greatest commandment!
- Sophie’s Further Adventures by Dick King-Smith–By the author of the famous book, Babe, this six-box series is a gem. As grandchildren of farmers my daughters loved the story of a little girl named Sophie who determines from a very young age that she is going to grow up to be a Lady Farmer in England. Her perseverance, love for animals, and underdog inspiration is a treasure to read and share. This book is actually the compilation of the last three books in the series; we will definitely be reading all of these stories again!
- The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith–What is not to love about the 101 Dalmations! But did you know that in the book Cruella de Vil was never caught? And, did you know there were only 97 puppies, and there were actually 4 adult dalmations? Yes, we learned all this and more from actually READING the book and not relying on the movie version alone.