What's On the Kid's Bookshelf...

I've always loved children's books, and the hours I spent listening to my mother read to me remain among some of my favorite memories. Since our adoption four years ago, and as the children have continue to improve their grasp of the English language, it's been fun for me to be able to introduce many of my favorite books to them, and watch them light up as I read, or hear them beg for one more chapter when I attempt to close the cover. This year is already off to a strong start when it comes to reading to the children, and in addition to tackling the personal stack on my nightstand, I'm also working through the myriad of children's books that have found their way into our home and taken over our bookshelves, desktops, and school carts. You can never read too many books. 

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Two weeks into the year, and I've logged 6 books on my Goodreads 2021 Reading Challenge list—all from the children's shelves. And with the exception of two, the majority of them have been books that I loved and have fond memories of from my youth. What fun it has been to be able to share those memories and extend the love to the next generation! 
  1. Haffertee Goes Exploring by Janet Perkins - this is part of an out-of-print series of books about a small, stuffed toy hamster named Haffertee Hamster Diamond. As we have a live hamster in our house (shout out to Humphrina!), this has been as much of a hit with the kids as it was with me as a child (even though I never had a hamster of my own). 
  2. Pilgrim's Progress: Christian's Journey - Abeka 3rd Grade 3 Phonics Reading Program Student Reader by the team at Abeka - I was looking for a way to read this story to the kids at night, but on a level that they could understand. This definitely did the trick, and one of the kids made a comment early on about the fact that they liked having ready help with tricky vocabulary words (even though I was reading it to them out loud). 
  3. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - I cannot say enough good about this book. My sister gave a copy to me for my thirteenth birthday and I turned my nose up at it, thinking I was too old for "a child's book." Fortunately she convinced me the following year to read it, and I've now read it more times than I can count. All the kids liked it, even if they didn't all follow the story and got lost in who was who, but our twelve year old hung on every word and was sold. 
  4. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - another childhood favorite, and perfect reading for these cold, snowy January days. If you're looking for a cute cold weather pick-me-up for a young friend, niece/nephew, or grandchild, throw this in a bag with a box of hot cocoa and you'll be all set. When Christmas is over and it's not time yet for Valentine's Day books, this adorable short story fits the bill, along with #5...
  5. Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli - Fun fact: Eileen's husband is Jerry, who wrote Maniac Magee. This was a new book for me this year, and I was a little nervous about buying it, sight unseen, as I had a few duds this Christmas when I attempted to add to our collection. However, this was an adorable little story about a town that is experiencing freezing temperatures, and everyone has a different way to stay warm. Super cute, and a good January bedtime read aloud option.
  6. Haffertee's First Christmas by Janet and John Perkins - this was (I thought) the last book in the Haffertee series (at least it was the last of the four book set that my mom had), but it turns out that there are at four more floating around out there! However, of the four that I knew about, this story was always my favorite (and still is). Haffertee becomes a "Christmas Detective" in order to discover what truly makes a "Happy" Christmas. A delightful little story - and not all of the used prices are insane.
Were any of these on YOUR shelves as a child, or have you read any of them to the kids in your life? I'd love to hear what books stick in your memories, and check out some of your "must reads" for kids, so leave a list in the comments!

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