One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey. I like this sequel even better than the original, Blueberries for Sal. This installment finds an older Sal about to lose her first tooth. McCloskey’s vivid illustrations take us on an outing with Sal, her little sister, and their father as she loses that tooth and gains a new perspective. It’s a simple, old-fashioned story, but Lucy and I gravitate toward it time and time again.
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. This is easily Finn’s favorite book. He even knows the author’s name and he likes to pretend that all of his books are written by Watty Piper! I like the lilting prose (“red-cheeked apples and bottles of creamy milk for their breakfasts”) and sounding out the well-known “I think I can, I think I can…” refrain. I find myself rooting for that little blue engine every time.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. My favorite of Brown’s stories, I like it even more than Goodnight Moon. As soon as I begin reading it, the kids start rubbing their eyes. It just has that calming effect that takes over immediately. By the time the illustrations at the end are bathed in night, my eyelids are drooping just like the kids’.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. This is that book I couldn’t wait to read to my daughter from the time she was in the womb! And it hasn’t disappointed. Madeline is an enduring character who doesn’t need to be swathed in pink or dressed up like a princess to be enchanting. Lucy is drawn to her and Finn loves her too! Of all the Madeline books, the original is still our favorite.
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. This is my favorite of Burton’s stellar collection. My kids love seeing the change of seasons in her illustrations, and I love her fluid prose. She turns an inanimate object into a thinking, feeling character and you feel right along with that little house.
What are some of your favorite children’s classics?
(Images via Amazon)