Do you ever wish there was a book suggestion for every day of the year? Do you find yourself wondering what books to check out from the library? What are the best books for each season? Or what Amazon bestselling titles would be a good fit for your kid?
You are at the right place!
For as long as I remember, I was obsessed with books. At the age of three, I liked to organize them (by color and size). At the age of five, I read my first grown-up book (it was a novel by Jules Verne). By the age of twelve, I was reading one hundred books a year, and I haven’t slowed down.
When I became a mom, I knew that books would be a great way to connect and bond with my kids. Scientists have discovered that when two people read together and focus on the same story, their brain waves sync and their hearts literally beat as one. How amazing is that!
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I started by reading The Gulag Archipelago to my first son. He was three months old and lay on my chest as I was reclining back on a pile of pillows. It was the kind of book that was easier to comprehend out loud, and my son thought my voice was the sweetest sound in the world.
As he grew older and three more siblings joined the team, cozying up to read a good book became an opportunity to share my love of reading as well as a way to learn together. It was a chance to slow down in a busy day, to pay attention, to ask questions, to reveal and discover new sides of each other.
Books provide a never-ending supply of topics for discussion and activities to do together.
Reading together offers an excuse to be silly, to try out different voices, and to laugh.
Every trip to the library is the beginning of a new adventure.
With our minds, we travel to far-away lands, explore emotions, and discover new ways of thinking. We walk the yellow brick road with Dorothy, eat honey with Winnie the Pooh, and gather blueberries with Sal.
It turns out book addiction is contagious. When I notice my kids lovingly running their fingers over the spines of their favorite books on our shelves, I recognize that gesture. I do it, too. And when my kids pick a random book off the shelf, flip through the pages, and talk about the memories it brings, their eyes shining intensely, I know who they got that from.
It doesn’t matter that my oldest kids are confident enough readers to do a fair amount of their own reading. My ten-year-old is halfway into a Jurassic Park novel, which he is reading out loud to me. My (almost) eight-year-old already reads more encyclopedias than most people on the globe, and she’s been reading 2-3 middle-grade novels a week since she turned seven.
It’s not important how many books we read independently from each other.
Reading together daily is our family thing.
To this end, I spend a lot of time researching children’s books, reading children’s book reviews, studying the bestselling lists, and making trips to the library and bookstores, all to find the most amazing books to read aloud with my kids.
During the last decade of reading with them, I’ve been writing down the titles of books we loved, approved, and cherished. Some titles have a quick note scribbled next to it like “everybody died laughing” (I think it means we found Pinkerton, Behave by Steven Kellogg funny). Other times it is more of a confession: “We cried” (about Barry by Kate Klimo).
Finally, I decided that our amazing collection of great books needs to be organized and shared.
But how? There are SO MANY BOOKS! By categories? Or by topics? By ages? Or maybe by how many times we re-read it?
After much thinking and deliberation, I had an idea.
How about a book suggestion for each day of the year?
When I looked at the titles of our favorite books, I realized that they could easily be tied to different dates on the calendar. For example, even though every day of the year is great for reading a book about dinosaurs, it’s especially awesome on Dinosaur Day in May and National Fossil Day in October.
So, I started by making a list of big and small holidays, birthdays of famous people (i.e., Dr. Seuss), and other calendar-related themes (i.e., Christmas) and added them to a 12-month calendar with a book suggestion for each day.
I selected books with unforgettable stories, imaginative plots, and creative illustrations.
I didn’t include books that adults recommend just because they think children should like them (but kids never do).
Do you want to expand your child’s sense of wonder about the world? I’ve got you covered. Some of our favorite books are about lands far away, flying, creativity, explorers, and amazing inventions. They will expand your children’s horizons and inspire new ideas.
Animals, weather, space, relationships, biographies, seasonal books? Yes to all! I have added themes that enrich children’s minds and expand their sense of possibilities, such big failures and huge discoveries, the growth mindset, the power of experience, self-reliance and family, nature and environment, courage and freedom.
Whenever possible, I have chosen books that are funny, prompt family discussions, and are liked not only by all my kids (who are currently a toddler, a kindergartner, a second grader, and a fifth grader), but also by the kids in a Story Time Hour that I host (with a wide range of kids aged 1-10).
I have stayed away from obvious classics like Guess How Much I Love You and Where The Wild Things Are because I assume you already have read these books with your children. (If you are not sure you covered all the classics yet, Google “100 best children’s books of all times” and see for yourself.)
Also, I tried to select only titles that our public library carries because I figured if our library has them, it’s more likely that your library will also have them.
If you read these 365 books with your children, you will read about a wide range of topics, be exposed to a variety of themes, and get an amazing education through picture books.
You will also enjoy hours of pure pleasure and lots of fun discussions.
Finally, you’ll introduce your kids to a world of characters, some of whom are like them and some who are not at all like them. In this way, you’ll help your children make sense of the world, discover new meanings, and encourage moral growth. Most importantly, you’ll bond, connect, laugh, cry, and make the most amazing memories!
I’m so excited to share it with you!
No matter what day you are heading to the library, you will have just the right book at your fingertips!
I will publish each list on the blog one week before the first of each month to give you enough time to secure the titles. Make a note to visit Kid Minds monthly, or sign up here, and you will definitely not miss it.