Books to read to your child

69 replies, Page 1

bvhk 2010-07-15 16:48:55



Found this excellent tool (  to find the readability levels of the kids and the books and how to match it. It is meant for American books but should give a good idea. 

Our 4-year old daughter is currently freaking out with all the books at home and picks up 3 new books every day. Curious George is the favourite of the week.

Which are the books your child likes you to read to her/him?

Please share your experiences and book recommendations.





vans1234 2010-07-16 16:02:52


 Hi  Harish

      Did u got the chance to read it on lexile....?

BTW  here is a great

MY kids love it.



bvhk 2010-07-17 11:17:11


 Hi Vanshree,

Thanks for the link. Will check it out.

Lexile helps a lot in selecting the right books to purchase for my book rental service. I wish we had something like this for Indian books as well.

Lot of times parents end up introducing books from a limited set simply because they are not sure about what to expect in the lesser known titles. We have set out to address that.

Hopefully we will achieve it. :)

~ H 


roses 2010-07-22 04:47:01


vans1234 - good site that you've recommended. I had just recently picked up some books for my son which I have not had the time to read (best sellers though). This site helped in getting me familiar with the story while I finished my usual chores.

Stellaluna and A Bad Case of Stripes are the two stories that I could get to listen to on-line. Thanks a bunch!


Srinivas 2010-07-22 10:55:09


Hi Vans1234,

Thanks for sharing this site,it looks it would very useful,I need to explore more..

This site useful for phonics , in case you didn't have already.




bvhk 2010-07-22 11:05:05



Do you purchase all the books for your children or also rent from a library?

~ H 


RoshMom 2010-07-22 19:56:01


My son's favourites are Dr.seuss's books - Green eggs and hams, wocket in my pocket, horton hatches an egg etc, All Doreen coronin's books, Tomie Depaola's books and any book (both fiction and non fiction) that has dinosaurs and animals.. 


roses 2010-07-23 03:14:08


RoshMom- Need your inputs. We have been desisting introducing the 'How do Dinosaurs' series to my son (he is 1.7 yrs old). We think that Dinosaurs should be left to 3-4yr olds and upward to increase their knowledge of the extinct animal.

I am not too sure if we are doing the right thing...often I have realized that I may have overlooked a source of learning that I have had to later pick up ...for example : The Mercer Mayer books (I knwo I am plannign ahead here)....initially I didn't like the cartoon aesthetics one bit but only later did I realize they had humor and a lot of real life exposure in them...worth considering.

Need your inputs!


roses 2010-07-23 03:19:53


btw - i've just got bitten by the Doreen Cronin bug- cows (typewriter), giggle/giggle/ quack and diary of a worm are the three that i've tried out so far (books & dvd). any others that you can recommend are welcome!


RoshMom 2010-07-24 05:45:45


Hi Roses,

I think it's okay to introduce dinosaurs to your son at this age.

We introduced  dinosaurs to our son when he was around your son's age. I guess when he was 19 months. First we got him some toy dinosaurs set and taught him the names of all the dinosaurs. about extinction, I gave him a simple explanation that they were one of the biggest animals that roamed the earth and they don't exist now as they all are dead. Though they may not understand completely how this might have happened, they really take in the fact that they don't exist. after 2 years my son started asking more questions about the extinction when we went to the dinosaur park and the museum and i got the oppurtunity to talk about the vulcanoes, earth quake, fossils etc... If you take your son to the musuem later and show him the fossils he will start correlating it. You will be really amazed how they can remember those complex names of the dinosaurs.

The way the "how do dinosaurs series books" is written is so amusing for the kids they will start imagining themselves as dinosaurs. All these books teach good manners. every page in the book has a question like does the dinosaur make a fuss to go to school? does he throw his food ? does he sit still in the table while eating? etc... So we used to ask him does my little dinosaur do this? and you know how they want to impress us by being so good when we compare them with the others. We used to get the things done this way.

There are a couple of more Doreen cronin books which are very interesting like a busy day at the farm and Dooby dooby moo based on the same farmyard theme with farmer brown. Cick clack splish splash is also good to teach them counting.


roses 2010-07-24 08:31:30


Hi RoshMom,

Thanks and great inputs. ...which means I should get started on the dinosaurs. So far I had been casually mentioning them if they happen to come up in the course of us fumbling our way around. At story time he has (read 'I have') been exposed to 'how do dinosaurs' but I guess it is time to bring them home!  

How do you get around all the different concepts...since there are so many...I am these days working on Animal babies and homes (plus 'formalised' word for their sounds - snarl, hoot, bellow etc), Jungle Animals, Water play etc. Books & DVD's it is Curious George, Eric Carl, Jules Feiffer, Sandra Boynton plus others. How do you manage the barrage of information or you just keep it going?

Also thanks for the tip on drawing parallels and questioning little one on how my little dinosaur does something....

On Doreen Clark : will also check the others...

Now that I am in the bouncing off good input mode...more inputs needed: Was your son exposed to Elmo? ..and learning through Elmo (my neighbor grandmom extols the learning through it)....what about other cartoon characters. I've kept away from Disney for the simple reason that it will be a natural exposure through peers plus he has the books, merchandise and toys all around him to fall back on when he has to.


roses 2010-07-24 08:33:46


and of course Dr Suess books are like the basic staple diet.


RoshMom 2010-07-24 09:22:33


Hi Roses,

when i read your posts, i find that we are so much similar in what we do while teaching the kids. I too started with animal sounds, animal babies, wild animals, farm animals, the food the animals eat etc because my son loves animals... also taught him abt herbivores and carnivores, then later around 2.5 yrs we started discussing abt the reptiles, amphibians etc.  while teaching alphabets and counting, sorting, we take animal examples. Sort them into farm animals, wild animals etc or herbivore carnivore. First i started introducing different topics and found his interest in animals and started teaching the other concepts thro them. I started reading to him a very simple non fiction books on animals so as to not to restrict his interest in reading only stories books.

I also first gathered the skills that he needed at each stage like gross motor skills, fine motor skills, music, painting, art, counting, sorting, general knowledge, and i started introducing activities to develop those skills.  we used to do a lot of finger painting, and art work with beads or any scrap and try to stick them on a sheet of paper for fine motor skills which actually helped us to increase his attention span as well (he was hyperactive at that time),  even play with dhal and rice to scoop them and pour it in another bowl

As you said, i think it just kept going... look for an oppurtunity to teach them something from everything you do. for example while playing in the bath tub with the bath toy, we used to try to find which one would float and which would sink. then we used to talk abt the weight. then extend the discussion to his weight and height..

And abt cartoon characters, we didn't allow him to watch TV till 2.5 yrs. and also didn't  introduce him to any cartoon characters. Of course he had the toys. But didn't use any books based on cartoons. But i think there is no harm in introducing the books on them as long as they don't insist in watching the cartoon movies.  


rukmini 2010-07-24 09:32:53


Hi Rose and RoshMom,

You both are excellent mothers :-)

I wish I had the opportunity to visit this site and read your posts when my son was around 1.5 years.

Great going!!!!!!!!!  All the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




roses 2010-07-26 10:00:22


Thanks so much for your insights, RoshMom. I felt as much(that my thoughts match up with yours) through the books that you mentioned. How old is your little one?

Btw, I have just been exposed to Simms Taback and would recommend you check out his books (if you haven't already). Growing up I had learnt the song ' I know an Old lady who swallowed a fly' from my cousin. The pictures/ carricatures in Simms Taback's book/ dvd do not fo full justice to the folklore, but his song "Joseph had a Little overcoat" has been done very well. Worth looking into.

I have tried to refrain from TV with my little one since it has not been much of a distraction for us either. However we do indulge in two programs everyday at breakfast time. It is Sid the Science Kid and Super Why. Sid the Science Kid helps in giving him the visual aspect fo concepts that would otherwise be difficult for me to explain to him (without the aid of videos) and Super Why is just a preparatory effort to the world of alphabets, words and reading.. plus I hope someday he will get to the point of understanding the entire episode. This is not an addiction but it does help to distract him while I get the breakfast going and drives away his morning blues. However - we too have no cartoons rule.

On acticities, I keep him adequately busy. Actually way too busy, to the extent that I think I need a break!


roses 2010-07-26 10:11:52


Hi Rukmini- sometimes I feel that this process of making sure you were a 'good parent' never ends. It is so much easier to have someone else lay down a path for you so that you can just follow it. Like younger siblings do. But when it comes to parenting your child, for parents who live away from parents/ friends/ peers it is not easy since they are somewhere there and yet not there. Therefore you try harder to compensate.

I know howsoever hard I may try there will be days when I will look back and say I wish I had done better or I wish I had known of this or had this tool too.




RoshMom 2010-07-26 19:10:12


Hi Roses, My son is going to be 5 yrs in another 3 months. he is going to Kindergarten this aug. I miss those days when he needed me most of the time. I used to be like you spending all my time with him doing some activity or the other.

I have read  "joseph had a little overcoat". I guess it's a caldecott winner. But didn't know the book's author'. and also don't remember reading it to my son. next time I'll make him read it.  I too have some more suggestion

Jan brett's The mitten, The hat, Christmas troll, trouble with troll etc. Her illustraions are so convincng that the pictures are real. I have read somehwere that she spends many days to draw a just a few square cms.

Eileen christelow's (apart from five little monkeys series)The great pig escape, The great pig Search, . I too enjoyed reading it with my son.

Keiko Kasza's My Lucky day, The Wolf's chicken stew - Really chweet ones to read to your lttle one. 


roses 2010-07-27 05:42:22


Hi RoshMom, it is so interesting to hear your end of the story with your little one now ready for kindergarten!! I am sure you are not ready for it at let go of your 'baby'. I am so desisting preschool for my little monkey!!

On Jan Brett- I have her entire collection, including some books autographed by her (in person). She was at our B&N this spring. On Eileen Christelow's collection, currently I am reading the 5 little monkey series and do have some of the pigs.

I still have to try out Keiko Kasza (I may have some, will check and see otherwise will surely head for them!). Btw I just picked up a couple of Tomie DaPaola's books today (totally based on your word)...


doc 2010-08-05 11:04:21


Hi Roses and Roshmom,

My younger son,aged 4 also loves the Dr.Seuss series.He also enjoys the 5 little monkeys books,will check out the pigs books..Another fav of his I enjoy too is The runaway bunny by Margaret Brown where the mom finds her baby wherever he goes..A real cute one,which my older son also liked...Another is --You can't catch me, along the similar lines...I feel my son is very active,so he likes books where the central character is on the go(mostly eluding his mom:)....He also likes the curious george series ,Barney,Clifford and Corduroy bear..

Check out The little quack series which he also loves, No David series where the central character is a cute naughty boy. Another must have is Danny and the dinosaur which was a hit with my older one...I also have a lot of books on dinosaurs,dragons,solar system and folktales..He also enjoys books on the human body and basic medicine,like his mom.:)

Roshmom,my boys loved their visit to the dinosaur and science museums,when we visited UK last summer..wish we had more kid friendly museums here too.

BTW,Roses, do u live in India?...was not sure since u mentioned B & N...













roses 2010-08-05 13:55:35


Hi Doc,

Great heads-up on the little quack series...which i guess will be welcomed since these days he is all about the extent that even birds and ducks are called 'geese'  !

Another one of Margaret Wise Brown which is really nice is the Big Red Barn (more for the 2yr olds). Another one of her's is Goodnight Moon which is of course and evergreen classic and more of a 'my first book' for many babies.One similar book to Runaway Bunny is 'mama do you love me' by barbara m. joosse (worth getting your hands on for your 4yr old)...actually more like 'guess, how much i love you' but with a little more meat in it. Actually a less mushy one is 'dawdleduckling' by toni buzzeo. Interestingly my little monkey picked it out on his own at the library and just as well because it has a good 'moral' for him :-)!

On 'no david' I quite like david shannon's books including 'a bad case of stripes' and 'how i became a pirate'...yes the the 'little quack' series is nice and so is 'danny the dinosaur' , which he has. i am too waiting in anticipation to introduce him to the human anatomy and load him up on more about animals/nature...i've literally been holding myself off (lol..)! Yesterday I just started him on the very basic on water bodies and was surprised to find he knew 'lake' (that is where he goes to meet his friends, geese, every evening) and it did not take him time to identify ocean (which sounds more like 'shun'), pond, marsh and sand. I've been desisting from reading any more baby books for the simple reason that he seems to be grasping very well on concrete concepts....although every once in a while we do indulge in 'happy birthday moon' or spot books...

yes, i am in the US ...please do keep the suggestions (all of them are very good)coming since i still have to make sure we keep him adequately busy and motivated.


Peeps 2010-08-07 21:24:45


Hello Friends

I recommend ''Ponniyin Selvan Kuzhandaigalukkaga'' written precisely by Ms.Karpagam from Covai through VIjaya Padhipagam.This is for bigger children.


RoshMom 2010-08-08 12:45:12


Hi everyone,

Nice to receive lots of suggestions from you all. we haven't read how i became a pirate. i will look for it.  My little one also likes dinosaurs, reptiles, dragons, pirates, creepy crawlers... oh man.... Boys will be boys.. they are crazy abt these creepy things :-)... For books on dinosaurs you can read dinosaur roar. toddlers will love to compare the different kind of dinosaurs... it's abt opposites.. Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs series is also adorable. Mwenye hadithi's folklores are very good. they are all abt animals in african forests. our another favourite is the lamb who came for dinner by steve smallman. Roses,  as you said the kids grasp things very easily. It's the right time to start reading the non fiction books as well.  we feel that it will be too much for them to remember. But they have amazing memory.  here are some suggestions for books on ducks and geese : Silly tilly, earthquack, henny penny, farmer duck, duck at the door...  Doc,  I found the little genius series to be very good to learn abt the human anatomy.. what kind of books do you read to your kid for human anatomy?


doc 2010-08-09 12:33:57


Roshmom,I got the DK giant books on the human body which are interactive and have nice bright pics for the kids.....I also have some basic encyclopedias...boys like to pull things,so go for preferably interactive ones...

Roses,I too have goodnight moon and big red barn...forgot some bks,since have many piled up:)  will try the ones u mentioned by David shannon for my junior.Thanks



RoshMom 2010-08-09 17:48:40


Thanks Doc


nehab 2010-08-10 14:02:35


hi all...

my son i 2.3 n i  havent introduced stories book to him...after reading this i got to know this should have been done earlier...pls help as to start frm which book..n should i read to him or just show i dont think he'll understand stories now....roshmom plz help me to with info as to get it frm whr in shanghai...just mention the brief process or how to introduce books to him....


nehab 2010-08-10 14:13:50


and as u ppl mentioned fro tv he do watch it a lot...i stop him still he do watch to stop him


RoshMom 2010-08-10 20:17:26


Hi Neha,

There are many foreign language book stores in Pudong.  Shanghai book stores (SBT) jinqiao, Bookazine in green leisure sport complex-jinqiao, and there are many book stores in the Fuzhou road near nanjing east, the street itself is called book street. check out Shanghai foreign language book store and Shanghai Shendong book stores. You can even buy books thro taobao website.


nehab 2010-08-10 21:03:03


thts gr8....light up as to start from where....



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