Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

19 children's books we read the most in 2013 (19 items)

By Catherine Arveseth

Feb. 27, 2014

Our house is rarely calm. Most of the time the living room is a blur of kids jumping on couches, unfolded laundry dumped out of baskets, the boys wrestling on the floor, the girls whining, screeching, laughing, songs from the "Frozen" soundtrack bouncing off the walls, granola bars sneaked out of the pantry and snarfed under the dining room table.

Can you relate?

But books do something kind of spectacular. They calm the crazy right down, draw my children together, nestle them onto the couches, shoulders touching, and conjure a quiet I believe is essential in this go-go, teched out world.

In a matter of minutes my five children are lost in brilliant, whimsical illustrations. Lost in words that paint pictures and sing songs. Words that make them think, laugh and rhyme out loud, temporarily transporting them to a new and different place.

I cannot imagine a world without books.

There were a number of excellent picture books published in 2013. Our list this year includes some old books, some new-ish, and a bunch that are brand new.

Here are 19 children's books we read the most in 2013.

1 of 19. "The Circus Ship" by Chris Van Dusen

When a circus ship goes aground off the coast of Maine, a slew of animals are let loose on an unsuspecting town. The townspeople come to appreciate the animals so much that they hide the animals when the greedy circus master comes back to find them. The fabulous rhymes and brilliant illustrations, with hide and seek fun on the last few pages, makes it a fantastic read for all ages.

2 of 19. Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child

I can’t say enough about Charlie and Lola. If you haven’t watched this favorite British show, the movies are a must too! But pick up any book and you’ll be charmed. You will love the brother-sister relationship, the caring for each other, as well as the silly arguments and jests of family life. Lauren Child masterfully captures the dynamics, struggles, and joys of being little. Put all of her twenty-plus books on your library list. They are totally delightful!

3 of 19. "Clorinda Takes Flight" by Robert Kinerk

I have loved everything illustrated by Steven Kellog since I was a child, but I didn’t discover this gem until last year. It’s about Clorinda. A cow who wants to fly, despite all odds. You know the saying … “when cows fly!” Her story of hilarious attempts with an intrepid trio is about caring for others more than yourself, dreaming big and surrounding yourself with friends who believe in you.

4 of 19. "The Quiltmaker’s Journey" by Jeff Brumbeau

This beautiful book is the prequel to "The Quiltmaker’s Gift" and tells the story of how the Quiltmaker came to be. How she escaped the protective walls of privilege and wealth into a harsher world where not everyone has what they need. Just like Brumbeau’s first book, it teaches the lesson of selflessness, that giving makes us truly happy.

5 of 19. "Beautiful Oops!" by Barney Saltzberg

All my children adore this small book for its wise lesson. One that every child and parent needs to learn: It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, hooray for a mistake! Mistakes are opportunities for discovery and creativity. Saltzberg accomplishes this with pop-ups, flaps, holes, and smudges – transitioning mistakes into something spectacular. Saltzberg’s book is super creative with a wonderful message.
1. Br. Jones
North East, MD,
Feb. 28, 2014

Thanks for this lovely list!

2. Just Me
Richfield, UT,
Feb. 28, 2014

Great List!!! Read some with my own children.

You should try "You Should, You Should"

It teaches a great lesson for all ages!

3. archemeedees
Tooele, UT,
Feb. 28, 2014

I loved the list, but what I loved even more was laughing and sharing with my husband the first paragraph and sentence following. Have you been over here lately? :)