Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back-to-School Parenting: A Kindergartener's Favorite Reads

Bedtime is earlier this month, but my five-year-old and I still find lots of time to read together.  She still loves these old favorites, as well as these, but now we enjoy a few others in the mix:

The Snail and the Whale was a goodbye gift, two years ago, from my then-toddler daughter's dear English boyfriend who had to move back to London.  We enjoyed it then; we love it now.  A tiny snail dreams of exploring the world, and in doing so, befriends and helps a giant whale.  What better way to teach a young child the joys of travel, unexpected friendship, and exploring beyond your own small world than a beautifully illustrated, beautifully written book? 

The Kissing Hand sure has come in handy, this first month of kindergarten.

One of my very favorite books of all time, I was delighted when my daughter started including The Velveteen Rabbit in her nightly rotation.  The story of how toys become real is especially poignant because of her beloved "Fuff," a well-worn lamb she has loved intensely since she was four months old.  Her three-year-old voice used to quiver when she'd ask if Fuff would eventually leave her; her confident and mature five-year-old self now takes comfort in the idea that when she no longer needs Fuff, he'll be able to run and play with the other animals.  Heartbreakingly sweet.

This is an annual fall favorite.  This mama loves the message that you can travel anywhere through a good book, as well as all of the classic literary references. My daughter just loves that it is about a silly scarecrow who loves to read.

Thanks to some good public school indoctrination, my daughter is currently obsessed with germs.  She likes this book because it reinforces her own rules.  And she loves rules. However, when tidying up the house last week, I did find some irony in where she had left the book --- on the floor, next to a very germy dog bowl:

  We clearly have more work to do on this topic!

For more great reading-with-kids ideas, hop on over to 5 Minutes for Books, where I'm sharing this post.  Also, check out my very favorite blog, The Great Read, where Michele shares inspiring media collections for the whole family, all available at the local library.  


  1. The Snail and the Whale - must see if this is at our library - just finished Ahab's Wife and am now a little whale crazy... :)

    Thank you so much for the sweet mention - I feel exactly the same about you - very inspiring!

    xoxo michele

  2. What great books! Our principal reads the Kissing Hand at our Boo Hoo breakfast on the first day of kindergarten. I think the parents need it more than the kids. :)

  3. Michele: The Snail and the Whale is perfect for read-alouds. It has a beautiful rhyme that is pleasant to the ear and fun to read. And your youngest might also enjoy Scarecrow Pete --- I know *you* would like it because the Scarecrow reads Moby Dick and then sets off to fulfill his dream of becoming a library volunteer! :)

    Lauren: I agree. The Kissing Hand brings me more comfort than my daughter, who adjusted easily to kindergarten. It's her mama who still gets teary....