Blog 35. Our Top 5 Fave Kids Books of All Time!!

Bunny’s Top 5 Fave Kids Books of All Time!!

(Listen to the Blog and let us read to you HERE)

This morning I (Bunny) stood in front of our bookshelf, housing a vast collection of children’s books, board books, toddler books and yoga books and I have to say, it was hard to choose my top 5.

I was flooded with memories and emotions as I flipped through them all. I have had the privilege of teaching and offering programs to so many different kids and families. Some are in rough shape because they have been around a while and some were actually brand new as they were just placed in the library and haven’t even been read yet!

Some are precious to me because they make me nostalgic and remind me of how it felt to capture the hearts and imaginations of young children through the pages of a book for the first time.

I remember watching veteran teachers engage a group of children with finger plays and stories when I was a newbie educator and thinking I would never be able to do the same.

I soon became preoccupied by searching out and acquiring the most compelling children’s books and building my own personal library as this would give me an advantage during circle time. I looked for books that had beautiful illustrations, were filled with adventure and wonder!

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Such as this one…. “Come The Terrible Tiger

Some of the books I still have but the pages are falling out as they have been read and fondled and inspected by many many children over the past 25 years!

Anyway, the point is, I have read a lot of books to a lot of kids and this has been one of the most bonding and effective methods of reaching, teaching and connecting with my students.

I chose the following (in no particular order)

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1. The World Belongs to You by Riccardo Bozzi / Illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli (2013)

This is the newest acquisition in the collection I chose. It was just published in 2013 and has an incredible message, simple illustrations is empowering and validating. I use it in yoga classes as it reminds us of our agency, our freedom and our choices.

You are free to believe in anything you want. You are also free to believe in nothing at all” It also reminds us of our place in the world and our sense of belonging. “The world belongs to you and you belong to the world”  and perhaps my favourite quote:

You are free to love anyone you want and you are free to let that love go

I found myself deeply moved by this picture book. The simple yet powerful message touched and opened my heart and I am hopeful that even the youngest readers are touched too.

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2. Make A Face A Book with a Mirror by Henry and Amy Schwarz (1994)

This book has been a “GO-TO” in my collection for many years! It is awesome because it features large, simple illustrations of children in a variety of emotional states. The language is very simple. There is no plot, no protagonist, no storyline, just children experiencing their emotions. For example the second page features a forlorn looking child with the words  “I want my mommy SAD”. Every time I have read this book to children of all ages, they stop and they look and they connect with the sentiment and when I ask them if they have ever felt this way many heads are nodding empathetically. Another perk is that there is an actual mirror in the back of the book where the children can look at themselves and identify how they are feeling.

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3. Hide and Seek by Jez Alborough (1994)

This book offers humour, delight, and of course, nothing is better when reading to young children than the element of surprise! There are a variety of animals who are playing together, there is counting and camouflage and sheer joy in the pages of this wonderful lift the flap book!

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4. The Peace Book by Todd Parr (2004)

Todd Parr is one of our all time, hands down, biggest inspirations! We have all of his books and we read them as often as possible! The Peace Book is funny, sassy and smart and packs an important message. Plus, It champions diversity, inclusivity and care for our planet. What more could you ask for from a children’s book??

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5. It’s Mine a fable by Leo Lionni (1985)

This book has been capturing the hearts and imaginations of my students for many years. I love how there are no humans in the book, instead there are frogs! I happen to love frogs so books about frogs always attract me. I also love nature and this book takes place in nature and allows readers to learn from and through nature and the elements. Most importantly the fable is about sharing. So, this delightful story has stood the test of time and deserves a place on your shelf if it isn’t there already!

A few final words about kids books.

If you love and connect with the book you are reading then you are more likely to read it in a way that will make your students / kids love it too.

Like any piece of writing or work of art, our responses are subjective so be mindful of this and patient with yourself and your kids if my selections don’t float your boat.

Let us know what your top five is - and did

The Butterfly Trap make the cut?

Love, Dragon and Bunny