By Liesl

Do your kids like to read? We're the family that always has 60 or 70 books checked out of the library! Today I wanted to highlight some books my girls have enjoyed recently. These make good read alouds, but are also perfect for young readers, too.

Amos and Boris by William Steig: My girls really loved this story about a whale named Boris that saved a mouse out at sea. Years later Boris was washed onto the shore and it was Amos's turn to rescue his friend. William Steig is also the author of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, which our family highly recommends as well!

The King Who Rained by Fred Gwynne is a hilarious book that has wonderful play on words such as, "Daddy says there are forks in the road." The kids could barely stop laughing at the illustration of "Daddy says our family has a coat of arms." We liked the book so much, we ordered A Chocolate Moose for Dinner from the library for more puns!

We read Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray together as a family. It tells the story of boy growing up in the hills on New York. When he goes down into town with his father to sell baskets, he realizes that much of the world doesn't live as he does. He has to contend with feelings of embarrassment at being called a hillbilly. We loved the message of this book -- that it is okay for people/families to be different.

Another book we enjoyed that was set in Appalachia about a hundred and fifty years ago was The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills. When Minna didn't have a coat for winter, the women in the town pitched in to make her a quilted coat. At first the kids at her school made fun of her rag coat, until they realized there were wonderful stories to go along with each patch of fabric. This story is really heart warming.

My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza is a book your kids should miss. It's perfect for 3-4 year olds, though my six year old enjoyed it too. When a young piglet knocks on fox's door, fox is sure it is his lucky day. But the piglet has a number of suggestions for fox as he gets ready for his meal. It turns out that the pig gets a bath, a nice meal, a massage... and has a very lucky day! The book has wonderful illustrations and is really catchy!

My daughter has been enjoying the Harry the Dirty Dog books. These books by Gene Zion are about Harry, a dog who loves everything except baths. One day he runs away and has all kinds of adventures that get him thoroughly dirty. His family doesn't recognize him when he returns. Harry goes on to have other adventures in Harry and the Lady Next Door, Harry By the Sea, and No Roses for Harry.

Another series of books my daughter really loves at the moment are the Strega Nona books by Tomie De Paola. Stregna Nona, Grandma Witch, is a source for potions, magic and cures in her small Italian town. When her assistant tries to use her magic pasta pot, though, he can't get it to stop making pasta. It threatens to take over the town. Fortunately, Strega Nona returns to save the day!

If your kids are ready for chapter books, I wanted to highlight a series that my daughter just adores at the moment. They are about a cat named Jenny Linsky who goes on many adventures. The books are sweet and my daughter begged me to get the other books. They weren't available at our local library, but we found them over at Amazon. We highly recommend these books for kids transitioning to chapter books.

A year or so ago, I wrote a similar post that you might be interested in: 15+ Books that Your 4-7 Year Old Shouldn't Miss. That post highlights some of other books my kids really love!

Liesl homeschools her three elementary age kids and loves finding creative, hands-on activities and great books to share with her kids. Check out her blog at and follow her onFacebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.



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