Summer 2017 Reading List

Check out this diverse list of books to reading during the summer (or any time of year)!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I regularly post reviews of all types of books: children’s, young adult, biography, self-help and the list goes on.  I love reading and I always tend to read more books during the summertime.  Last year, I put together a summer reading list and I loved the challenge of reading new books and discovering new genres and subjects.  With summer coming up so soon, I decided to create a summer 2017 reading list.

The list might look long to some people, but I have a tendency to devour books and I am a fast reader to boot.  Some are part of a series and others are stand-alone novels.  So take a moment and scroll through the list, click on the title to check out a summary on Goodreads and join me this summer in reading.

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luca #1) by Alan Bradley
Ruby Red (Edelstein-Trilogie #1) by Kerstin Gier
The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent
The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick

If there’s nothing on this list that interests you, you can also check out my reviews of the books I read last summer.  Some of the books on the list above are sequels or parts of a series I read last summer and haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

What books have you read from this list?  What’s on your summer reading list?

What I’m Reading: 3 Books in 3 Weeks

What I'm Reading: 3 books in 3 weeks

I’ve always been a reader.  According to my mom, I learned to read before I went into kindergarten and before that I was memorizing books so I could read them to myself.  In 7th grade, I was reading at a 12th grade level.  But it wasn’t until I hit my junior and senior year of high school when I really started getting interested in books other than fantasy (like Harry Potter) or sweet and clean romance novels.  When I was in high school, I took an AP Literature and Composition class, which introduced me to different genres and I found that I actually liked a lot of them.  Since then, I’ve branched out and read YA fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, classic literature, sci-fi, distopic and others.  My brain gets bored if I read too much of any one genre so I try to pick up a variety of books when I stop by the library.  In the last three weeks, I’ve read three different books and all were about different topics.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting me!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Rating: 5/5 stars
What I'm Reading: 3 books in 3 weeks (Heartless by Marissa Meyer)

The first book I read was Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I took this book with me on my trip to Orlando and got about halfway through it.  If you’ve read the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter), and liked how the classic tales were retold, then Heartless will probably appeal to you.

Heartless is a prequel to Lewis Carrol’s Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  It is the story of seventeen year old Catherine, or Cath, who is the daughter of a marquee in Wonderland.  Her greatest dream is to open a bakery with her friend, Maryann, where she can bake and sell her delicious pastries.  But Cath has caught the eye–and stomach–of the king and he intends to propose to her at a ball.  She is horrified, runs away and faints, only to find herself in the arms of the new, and very handsome, court jester, who she is instantly attracted to.  Cath knows her parents will never agree to a courtship with Jest so they enter into a secret courtship.  But in a land where magic thrives, can Cath escape her destiny?

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
 Rating: 4/5 stars
 
What I'm Reading: 3 books in 3 weeks (Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline)

I came upon this book when I was asking around for recommendations of what to take with me on my trip.  I would put this book into the historical fiction category, although about 1/3 of it takes place in modern day.  The reason I chose this book was because it talked about a part of US history that isn’t discussed often, coupled with foster care.  From 1854 to 1929, orphan trains used to run from the east coast into the mid west carrying children who had been orphaned or abandoned to be adopted by families who were looking for children.  (It was run by the Children’s Aid Society and was a precursor to today’s foster care program.)  Unfortunately, many of the children who were adopted were treated more as servants rather than part of the family and the system in place was underfunded and not very well run.

Orphan Train is told from two different perspectives: Vivian, a 91-year-old woman reflecting on her early life as a past-rider of the orphan train, and Molly, a seventeen year-old girl who is about to age out of the foster system.  As punishment for trying to steal a book, Molly is required to do community service hours to keep her out of juvie.  Vivian Daly has an attic full of trunks from her past that she’s asked Molly to help her sort through and as she does so, Molly finds that she and Vivian aren’t all that different from each other.

*Note: If you are interested in another book dealing with foster care, I highly recommend The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  So good!  You can read my review HERE.

Rating: 4/5 stars
 
What I'm Reading: 3 books in 3 weeks (The Week Before the Wedding by Beth Kendrick) 

Another author that was suggested to me by a friend was Beth Kendrick.  She writes chick lit and all her stories have dogs in them (but not as the main character).  Originally, I wanted to read The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service, but it wasn’t available at the library so I grabbed this one instead.

Emily McKellips grew up in a chaotic home environment.  As an adult, she’s worked hard to have a stable and successful career and her dreams of marrying the perfect man and living in a house with a white picket fence are about to come true.  But shortly after arriving in Valentine, Vermont at a little resort hotel, things start going wrong.  Her mother and future mother-in-law begin fighting with each other, her fiance is distracted and her ex-husband, Ryan, shows up unexpectedly.  Everything that Emily has fought for is about to collapse.  But the irresponsible and headstrong boy Emily left behind ten years ago is now a successful film producer who still has feelings for her.  She thought she had life all figured out, but the next seven days just might change her mind and her heart.

What I'm Reading: 3 books in 3 weeks (Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham) 

Next up on my list to read is Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham.  I’ve heard from a lot of people that they really enjoyed this book so I’m excited to dive in and see if I agree.

Also, I’m linking up for the first time with the ladies who host What I’m Reading Wednesday.  You can click on any of the links below to link up as well or just take a look at what everyone is reading.  Maybe you’ll find a new book!

What We're Reading Wednesday: 3 Books in 3 Weeks

Johannah  |  The Sirois Family
Whitney  |  Work it Mommy
Crystal  |  Hall Around Texas
Stephanie  |  Wife Mommy Me
Whitney  |  Polka-Dotty Place
Heather  |  My Glittery Heart
Justine  |  Little Dove Blog
Keri  |  Keri Lynn Snyder

What are you reading?  I’d love to hear!

Book Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows {Plus Book Club Discussion/Questions}

Book Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (Plus Book Club Discussion/Questions) 

If you’ve been around my blog for long, you’ll notice that most of the books I do reviews on are young adult fiction.  Most recently, I finished The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (who also happens to be a co-author of one of my favorite books, My Lady Jane–read the review HERE.)  Books have always been one of my favorite ways to escape from the world.  My husband often teases me that when I’m reading a book that I can literally shut everything else out and not be aware of what’s going on around me.  I love a book that pulls you into its world and makes you feel like the characters are real people, leaving you wondering what happened to them after the book ends.  I love finding a book that I want to read over and over again, until the book is smudged with fingerprints and can’t stay all the way closed because the spine is so broken in.  These are the things I look for in a book.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on it and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

My Summary and Review: (5 stars)
The Orphan Queen is the first book in a two part series.  It is told from the point of view of Wilhelmina Korte–who goes by Wil–, a princess whose kingdom was destroyed 10 years before by the Indigo Kingdom during the One Night War.  She, along with other rescued orphan children of nobility, call themselves the Ospreys and their mission is to do one thing: restore Wilhelmina to her rightful place as Queen of Aecor.  As part of their plan, Wil and her best friend Melanie must infiltrate the castle, posing as nobility from a kingdom destroyed by Wraith–a byproduct of magic and the reason magic is forbidden.  But Wil has a secret that she’s managed to keep hidden: she has magic.  By day, she must pretend to be someone she’s not.  By night, she spends an increasing amount of time with a vigilante only known as Black Knife, helping the weak and poor in the streets of Skyvale, and struggling with her feelings for him.  But the Wraith is coming closer and Wil’s magic just might be the only thing strong enough to save them all and give her a chance at regaining the throne of Aecor.

The Orphan Queen kept me at the edge of my seat and I stayed up more nights than I should have reading it.  The book does end with a cliffhanger, but the copy I read had a couple of chapters from the second book, The Mirror King.

Book Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (Plus Book Club Discussion/Questions)

Book Club Discussion Questions:

  • An osprey is a bird of prey.  Do you feel this name was well-chosen for Wil and her friends?
  • Why would Wil and her friends choose a bird to represent the name of their group?
  • What was the most surprising revelation/twist to you?
  • Do you agree with Patrick’s methods?  Would you consider him a good leader?

If you’d like to read the other book club reviews, discussions and questions, you can click on the links below:

*Reviews and/or discussion questions may contain spoilers*

Summer 2016 Reading List Reviews and Ratings
The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi

Happy reading!

    St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids (Ages: 3-10)

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.

    One year when I was about 9 or 10, I decided not to wear any green on St. Patrick’s Day.  The truth is, my eyes are green and I wanted to play a trick on my friends so that when they pinched me for not wearing green, I could turn around and pinch them back 10 times.  (That’s the rule, isn’t it?)  I remember other years trying to be sneaky about where I placed my item of green: underwear, socks, a hair elastic, a bracelet or earrings.  Now that I’m older, I still think it’s fun to celebrate this tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day and my kids have loved it the last couple of years as well now that they are old enough to correlate green with the holiday.  And ever since having kids, I try to find a book or two that goes along with the holiday that we’re celebrating, including the one about leprechauns and pots of gold.

    This post contains affiliate links which if clicked on and a purchase is made, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

    With St. Patrick’s Day coming up next week, I thought it would be fun to gather a list of children’s books about the holiday.  I remember some of these books from when I was in elementary school and I know my kids will love them too.  I’ve included a direct link to the book as well as the age range that is suggested for each book.  I hope you’ll be “lucky” enough to find a book or two to help celebrate this fun holiday! *wink*

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    How To Catch A Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
    Ages: 4-10
    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling
    Ages: 3-5

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting
    Ages: 4-7

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    The Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegen
    Ages: 4-8

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    How To Trap A Leprechaun by Sue Fliess
    Ages: 3-6

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater
    Ages: 4-8

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott
    Ages: 5 and up

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Curious George by H. A. Rey
    Ages: 3 and up

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan
    Ages: 6-8

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover by Lucille Colandro
    Ages: 3-5

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson
    Ages: 3-7

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    The Little Leprechaun Who Loved Yellow by Sally Huss
    Ages: 2-8

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Lucky Tucker by Leslie McGuirk
    Ages: 2-5

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski
    Ages: 3-7

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Discovery In The Woods: A St. Patrick’s Day Surprise (Leprechaun Adventure Series: Book 1) by Sandy Barton
    Ages: 8 and up

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball (The Adventures of The Bailey School Kids, #4) by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones
    Ages: 7-10

    15+ books for kids ages 3-10 about leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day and being lucky.
    Leprechauns Never Lie by Lorna Balian
    Ages: 4-7 

    And if you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day fun, check out this round up of 60+ coloring and activity pages!  You could easily use any of these books plus the printables found above for an awesome low-stress, kid-friendly holiday celebration.
    What are your favorite St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

    Book Review: Bucket of Awesome + A Giveaway

    Bucket of Awesome: this is journaling with a twist!  Tell your life story from a positive and uplifting perspective.

    For many years I’ve used writing as a way to help me work through and remember things.  I have poems written after a challenging break-up.  A stack of diaries and journals from elementary school all the way through today detailing whatever I was/am going through at the time.  Even this blog is a way for me to put my thoughts down and organize them in a way that makes sense.  Writing helps me unlock memories and remember details in a way that nothing else can.  I wonder, how often do we take the time to think back on the experiences in our life that shaped us and made us who we are today?  Are they positive or negative?  Which would you rather focus on?

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100% mine.  This post contains affiliate links, which if clicked on and a purchase is made I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

    When I was presented with the opportunity to review the book Bucket of Awesome, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect.  As I opened it up to the introduction and started reading, I became excited.  Kathryn Thompson, the author of the book, explains that choosing to tell your life story from a perspective of joy, triumph, love, growth and overcoming will help you shift your focus.  This is not to say that we should only focus on the happy moments.  She suggests that we can find the good even in the bad experiences because many times those are the same things that help us become who we are today.  I love this quote: “You get to decide if your mistakes were dismal failures or learning opportunities.  You choose to focus on how you grew from your trials or how they hurt you.”

    Bucket of Awesome: this is journaling with a twist!  Tell your life story from a positive and uplifting perspective.

    There are many days when I feel like one day just melts into another.  I’m doing the same things, having the same conversations or arguments with my kids, taking the same routes as I run errands.  It all feels very boring and mundane and I wonder why I’d want to record that.  Who in the future is going to want to read about that?  Bucket of Awesome is laid out in a way that allows you to see things from a different perspective.  Kathryn points out that “your unique life has something worth sharing with the world, whether it’s a world of your thirty grandchildren or a neighbor or a friend who needs to hear what you have to say.”  Have you ever had someone come up to you and tell you about a time you said or did something that made a huge impact on them and you don’t remember it at all?  We all have the ability to influence others, whether we know it or not.  I would even say that we might even influence our future self with words that seem common at the time we write them, but come to mean something special later on in life.

    Bucket of Awesome: this is journaling with a twist!  Tell your life story from a positive and uplifting perspective.

    When I started working through the book, it felt a little awkward.  Some of the questions I didn’t have anything to write about.  Others I could have gone on for a couple of pages once the memories started flowing.  The book is designed for you to go through it at your own pace and to be flexible.  If you want to skip a question, skip it.  Come back later, or don’t.  Kathryn reminds the reader throughout the book that if writing about a certain question or topic added negativity, then don’t include it in your Bucket of Awesome.  Again, the purpose of the book is to shift focus to the positive.

    I haven’t made it all the way through the book yet.  I think that is something that is going to take a little bit of time.  But I believe that by sticking with it, I’ll get in a more positive mindset both about my life in the past, my present and also my future.  I don’t want that to sound cliche or that I’m trying to be deep.  I know from personal experience that the more I focus on the positive or things that are going right, the more I see of it and the less I see the negative. 

    If you’ve been feeling like you should write your life story down, but feel totally overwhelmed, Bucket of Awesome is for you.  It’s divided up into sections and takes the guesswork out of what to include.  This could also be a great gift for the journal writer in your life, or even something you could go through with a parent or grandparent to help them get their own life story written.

    The author finishes the introduction with these words: “You are about to embark on an amazing journey to uncover the best of what makes you who you are.  Your journey is unique.  Tell it with patience.  Tell it with love.  Tell it with Awesome.”

    Bucket of Awesome: this is journaling with a twist!  Tell your life story from a positive and uplifting perspective.

    Lastly, I have one copy of Bucket of Awesome up for grabs to one lucky winner!  To enter, you will need to do the following:

    • Visit Sunshine & Munchkins on Facebook (required)
    • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Pinterest (required)
    • Comment below on what interests you most about Bucket of Awesome (required)
    • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Instagram (optional, extra entry)

    The giveaway will run from today, March 8, 2017 thru Sunday, March 12, 2017 at midnight MST.  The winner will be announced on Facebook on March 13, 2017.

    a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

    Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think would be interested in learning more about Bucket of Awesome or entering the giveaway.

    Book Review: The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel {Plus Book Club Discussion/Questions}

    Book Review: The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel (plus book club discussion/questions)

    Earlier this week, my book club met together to discuss our most recent book choice: The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel.  Prior to the book being introduced at our last meeting, I hadn’t heard of it but a few of the people in our group had and the general feeling was positive.  The title definitely caught my attention because it seems like a contradiction.  I was able to read through it in a few days and it kept my attention throughout.

    This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on it and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    My Summary and Review: (4 stars)
    *Contains spoilers*
    Olivia (Livvy) Dunne is the oldest of three daughters.  She is studious and has dreams of exploring the world and becoming an archeologist.  But her dreams get put on hold when her mother becomes sick shortly after the youngest daughter gets married and Livvy is left to take care of her.  When her mother passes away, she is consumed by grief and unable to work through it.  As a result, she makes a decision that unknowingly alters her future.  Livvy is sent to a small town in Colorado in the 1940s where she marries a shy farmer–a marriage that has been arranged by her father.  Overwhelmed by loneliness, she befriends two Japanese sisters who work on her husband’s farm and live at a nearby internment camp.  Slowly she begins to feel like she’s found a place and becomes more comfortable in her new life.  Meanwhile, her husband (Ray) tries patiently to show he cares about her, but Livvy is resistant based on her past.  When Olivia unknowingly become an accomplice to a crime, she finally learns how to confront her past and move forward into the future.

    The Magic of Ordinary Days was an enjoyable book with characters who feel very real.  Livvy is faced with learning how to recognize true love and how to trust others.  It is well written, however, I would have liked the ending not to wrap up so quickly.

    Book Club Discussion Questions:

    • Was Livvy’s father right to insist she marry before she gives birth?  What other options were available to her?  (Remember this is during the 1940s.)
    • It takes Livvy quite a while to warm up to Ray.  Do you think Livvy is too hard on Ray?  Are you surprised her feelings changed?
    • Why is it so easy for Livvy to become friends with Rose and Lorelei?  How are their situations similar?
    • What is the significance of Rose and Lorelei’s fascination with butterflies?
    • How does Livvy finally come to learn the difference between true love and what she thought was true love?
    • What characteristics of Ray’s helped him feel like a real person?
    • Discuss the importance of love and trust in relationships.  Can you have one without the other?

    If you’d like to read the other book club reviews, discussions and questions, you can click on the links below:

    *Reviews and/or discussion questions may contain spoilers*

    Summer 2016 Reading List Reviews and Ratings
    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
    Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi

    Happy reading!

    Mommy Style Monday: Favorite Children’s Books

    Hello and happy Monday!  I have to tell you that while the fact that it’s Monday doesn’t necessarily excite me, the fact that last week is finally over does!  I had a super crazy busy week and about half way through it, my body forced me to slow down a bit by giving me a nice little cough.  Super annoying, but it’s felt nice to rest up a bit and get geared up for another week.

    Today, I’ve teamed up with 7 other mommy bloggers and we’re all sharing our favorite children’s books with you!  One of my earliest memories about books was when I was about 5 years old and I was towing my little red wagon home from the library with my mom stacked high with books.  We went back every week because I literally devoured every book multiple times and got bored with them and wanted new ones.  I know for a fact that my love of reading came from my mom.  She read me books all the time and always had them available for me.  I memorized them before I knew how to read and when I finally learned to read, I kept on reading.  I was always getting in trouble for staying up too late reading on school nights.  So many of my memories with my family revolve around books and reading.

    When I was pregnant with my first child, I knew that I wanted books to be a big part of her life as well.  I started collecting them before she was born and have continued to buy new ones.  What started as a little basket near her bed has turned into a bookcase crammed full of books.  I had to add more boy themed books when little brother was born but most of the books we have appeal to both of them.  We now go to the library every couple of weeks to get a new stack of books to read and it’s through this activity that I’ve found some of my favorites.

    Each night before we go to bed we read a book as well as before nap time, but it’s not uncommon for me to find my kids “reading” in their room together or hauling a stack of books out into the front room for me to read to them throughout the day.  I love that my kids love books.  My kids are (almost) 5 and (almost) 3 so their comprehension is pretty good.  I share a combination of books that teach something and ones that are silly.  Below I’m sharing some of my current favorites.

    This post contains affiliate links which if you click on and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

    Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    I grabbed this book from the library’s board book section about six months back because the title caught my attention.  It’s about Little Miss who plants a kiss and watches it grow into something beautiful that she wants to share with others.  The book is so sweet and simple in the way that it makes love a tangible thing and begins to help kids understand that sharing love helps it to grow.  We’ve checked this book out multiple times since then and I finally decided to buy it for my daughter for Christmas because she loves it so much.

    How Do Dinosaurs series by Jane Yolen
    The How Do Dinosaurs series is so fun!  I honestly wish we owned all the books in the series (there are over 20).  I actually did a review on it a while back because I loved it so much.  Each book answers a question, such as, How Do Dinosaurs Go To Sleep?, How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends?, How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Room? and so on.  They all teach something different about manners or routines in a way that gets kids laughing.  If your kids love dinosaurs, these books are a must have.  The illustrator (Mark Teague) draws pictures of real dinosaurs with their names next to them which makes learning even more fun.

    Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer
    A while back my mom was going through some of her books and came across her collection of Little Critter books that we had as kids.  She divided them up between my sister and I and they have become some of my kids favorite books to read.  Each one is from the perspective of Little Critter and they all deal with something that kids struggle with, such as a babysitter, moving, feelings, etc.  We’ve picked up additional ones from the library and my kids love them.

    Sandra Boynton books
    The first book I bought by Sandra Boynton was the Belly Button Book.  The title made me laugh, especially because I know how intrigued kids can be by belly buttons.  Currently I own close to 15 of her books because they are just so darn cute!  Some of them teach simple things like colors, animal sounds and counting, while others are just silly.  One thing I really like is that they are all short so reading a couple before naps or bedtime isn’t a big deal.  I’ve read each of them so many times that I’ve got them memorized and my daughter even has a couple of them memorized as well.  They are all board books which makes them nice and durable for little hands.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    My daughter has started to grow out of this book, but my son still loves it.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is fun and simple, with holes in each of the foods the caterpillar eats.  Both my kids love the last page where he “turns into a beautiful butterfly”.

    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr and Eric Carle
    Our poor copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear has been taped back together more than any other children’s book we own.  The repetitiveness of Brown Bear is fun for the kids and it also helps them learn their colors.  My daughter learned how to “read” (aka memorize) this book when she was about two and she would sit in her room and read it to herself daily.  Now, she “reads” it to her brother.

    If you’d like to check out the some more children’s books, be sure to click on the link of each blog below.

    Kiana  |  Glitter & Donuts
    Madeline  |  CaseyLand
    Monica  |  It’s All About
    Rachel  |  Tutus and Heels
    Cayli  |  Nightchayde
    Chelsea  |  Naturally Chels