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Probably the most popular question I get is “What are your favorite books?” And I have such a huge collection, it is really hard to just name a few! I have over 200! I was pretty lucky to inherit a great collection from my mom, who was a teacher. So I am breaking this into parts and discussing some of my favorites a little bit at a time. Many of these books I have done posts on before or created units for. This post is for my all time favorites! Some of them tie into my themes and some don’t. I am not going to get too into depth with activities I pair with these…I will save those for specific therapy posts! …these are just great wonderful children’s books 🙂
1. The Old Lady series by Lucille Colandro is an excellent series for teaching a variety of concepts: sequencing, seasonal/holiday vocabulary, phonemic awareness, synonyms, fantasy vs. realism, etc. The books are usually a big hit with the kids because they are so silly. I use one of these probably each month! I have units for many of the series, which you can find in my TPT store: Book, Shell, Rose, Chick, Snow, Bell, and Clover.
2. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein… this book reminds me of my own sweet boy because he LOVED it as a little. He still has his copy in his room. Shhhhh. We won’t tell his friends 🙂 If you aren’t a fan of Shel Silverstein, you must have never heard of him…he is wonderful! This story is great for discussing giving and taking in relationships…really fabulous to use around Thanksgiving, but also any time of year. I have paired this with charity drives our school was doing. It could really be used for extensions of higher level thinking and writing with your intermediate grade levels.
3. “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak… so if you know anything about me yet, you should know this is my favorite book ever. Ever. I’ve already posted about it and it’s significance in my life, which you can read about here. There is a reason why this is on every “Best Children’s Book” list. It is phenomenal and always gets kids talking. If you don’t have it, you need it.
4. “A Bad Case Of Stripes” by David Shannon… oh my goodness, this is one of the best illustrated books ever! I love all of the colors and fantasy in this book! The premise of the book is about being yourself and not worrying about what others think of you…a lesson all kids need! And really, you can use this from K to probably 4th grade. I did encounter one child who was TERRIFIED of this book. Like had a physical reaction to seeing it…I felt really bad. But it only happened that one time, I swear!
5. The Bear series from Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman… much like the Old Lady series, there is one of these for almost every season and they are great stories for your little guys! The lines rhyme, making them easy and engaging for PK to 1st graders, plus you get a kick of phonemic awareness! I have all of them and adore each story! The forest friends are super cute and there is always good vocabulary in these! I have posted on a few of these before also: Bear Stays Up For Christmas, Bear’s New Friend, Bear Wants More, and Bear Feels Scared.
6. “Inch by Inch” by Leo Lionni… this is a springtime favorite of mine that I have also posted on before HERE. It is the story of a pretty brilliant inchworm who encounters lots of different kinds of birds and just happens to be a Caldecott winner. My kids LOVE finding the worm on each page. The story is simple and easy to read and I love his illustrations.
7. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle… do I really even need to provide an explanation here? It’s Eric Carle and he is ahhhhhhhmazing and every parent, teacher, SLP on the planet should have this book. Perfect for springtime, exploring foods, colors, counting, life cycles and more. Love, love, love.
8. “How I Became A Pirate” by Melinda Long and David Shannon… I just posted about this one earlier this month! It is a great story that is fun and engaging. What kid doesn’t want to fantasize about running away with pirates???
9. Swimmy by Leo Lionni…another Caldecott Honor book for the wonderful author, Leo Lionni. Swimmy is my favorite ocean themed story, it is a great tale of the little guy overcoming adversity through teamwork. The illustrations are beautiful and Swimmy encounters some pretty cool sea life in his adventure.
10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle…again, do I need to explain myself? Another classic that is great for little kids with it’s repetitive language and bright illustrations. A must have!
Whew! Those are my top 10! It was really, really, really hard to make this list…so you know I have another one coming 🙂 Be on the lookout for Part 2, as well as my upcoming post on books that go with every theme I use in my theme therapy calendar!
Are any of these stories in your top 10??? What do you have that you can’t live without?