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  • Colin Mclain

HDT Shares their Favorites for National Children's Book Week

This week, November 9th-15th is the 101st anniversary of National Children's Book Week. That's a very long time to celebrate our favorite children's books. Just imagine what life would be like if there wasn't an opportunity to find out exactly Where the Wild Things Are, what in the world Jumanji meant, and exactly Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears.

These picture books are some of my favorites. I loved having them read to me when growing up and I love being able to continue the tradition of reading them to my children. Children's books are important for growing minds. They teach new words, primes minds to be eager to learn, and most importantly (in my opinion), offers that special time for bonding.

If you've graduated to stories that don't feature pictures in their storytelling, you only need look at the full list of Newbery award winners which features such classics like A Wrinkle in Time, Bridge to Terabithia and The Tale of Despereaux to see that you have a veritable smorgasbord of books to choose from. Plus, don't be limited to only what's on this list. There are thousands of quality kids books that are just begging to be read. Your local librarians would have a heyday suggesting all of their favorites.

The children's section at the local library will have hundreds of quality books to choose from. Some literary stars...some pulp, but all designed to get kids excited about reading.

The important thing is to nurture that desire for reading. Once that's placed in a child, they've got a leg up on a lot of things. Once kids learn to read, they move onto reading to learn and if there's a struggle with reading, they're gonna have a tough time learning. That's why reading to kids early in their lives is paramount.

Also, don't stop reading to your kids as they age! The books will change, but that habit of reading before bedtime will help both you and your child as you drift off to slumber. There's tons of evidence that show benefits, so I'll stop with the hard sell, however, if you have the means to offer that to your children, we whole-heartedly encourage it.

We at HDT emphatically encourage it so much that we put together some of our own favorite kids books, some that are tailored to sustainable practices, but are more often than not just good stories that have warm memories attached to them.

Jim C. writes that the first book he read of Paulson's was something called Woodsong about Paulson's early days running sled dogs in Minnesota and his experience running the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. As a beginning musher and a shared appreciation for Paulsen's land ethic, Jim loves the book. Some time later, one of his kids came home with Hatchet and soon Paulsen became another popular author on his bookshelf.

Colin M. has a love/hate relationship with Dr. Seuss books. He feels that some are extremely quirky and imaginative while others just are nothing but made up words to help complete silly rhymes. 500 Hats falls in the former. It's a honest to goodness fairy tale with kings and wizards and magic. There's character arcs and an abundance of different players where Colin loves to make voices for (to the delight of his children).

Next one (or three!) is the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend

Driftless Region Program Specialist Nora W. thinks this series from Jessica Townsend is the new Harry Potter (high praise, indeed!)

She also has recommendations for the animal lovers out there. The list of awesome books by Steve Jenkins (like *deep breath*...Actual Size, How to Clean a Hippopotamus, Just a Second, Animals by the Numbers, Eye to Eye, Egg, Creature Features, Animals by the Numbers.....and the list goes on! Really, it does. Nora gave me like twenty more books to share. She just loves her books, :P)

What kids books do you reach for again and again? We'd love to hear them!


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