One of my favorite ways to bond with my son is to plop down on the floor, watch as he scans his shelves for the perfect book, and see his little fingers trace over the illustrations as I read him his favorite story. There truly is something magical about the way a book can transport you to any time or place, real or fictional. If you also enjoy sharing your love of literature with your little one, you might want to consider books to read with your child that will make your relationship stronger.
Stories can hold powerful meaning for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you always keep a copy of your favorite book around because it remind you of a certain time in your life, a person you knew, or it provided you an escape when you needed it the most. Whatever memories or feelings your collection of stories inspires, you can share them with your child and grow even closer.
So if you're looking for what should be in your next haul from the library or this you're new to the wonderful world of literature, check out some of these books to read with your child that will make your relationship stronger and create lasting memories.
1. 'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak
Where The Wild Things Are holds personal significance for me because my son is named Max. A fantastical tale of wild things dancing in the jungle and a little boy who always comes back home is sure to make you and your child feel close.
2. 'The Paper Bag Princess' by Robert Munsch
Whether you have a boy or a girl, this story is empowering regardless of gender. Showing that you don't need riches or a significant other to have an adventure, The Paper Bag Princess is a classic.
3. 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein
This one hits you right in the feels, no matter you age. Teaching an important lesson about sacrifice, giving, and unbreakable bonds, The Giving Tree is an emotional read for both a parent and a child.
4. 'The Complete Tales Of Winnie-the-Pooh' by A. A. Milne
There's hardly a person around who isn't familiar with the lovable bear and all the residents of The Hundred Acre Wood. A great way to discuss complex feelings like anxiety, loneliness, and frustration, The Complete Tales Of Winnie-the-Pooh is great for opening dialogue between you and your child.
5. 'Wonder Bear' by Tao Nyeu
Though there are no words in Wonder Bear, that's perhaps what makes it such an exciting read. The illustrations offer just enough detail to give your little one jumping off points for creative tales. Plus, each time you read this together, you can make up a new narrative.
6. 'Corduroy' by Don Freeman
Another classic, Corduroy is about a bear with plenty of heart and not enough buttons. The book can teach children that happiness and contentment can be found even if things aren't perfect.
7. 'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A bit of an abstract story, The Little Prince provides imaginative worlds and ideas for you and your child to explore together. There's a reason this book has stuck around for so long, because it speaks to the unheard child in all of us.
8. 'Amelia Bedelia' by Peggy Parish
The titular character of Amelia Bedelia always gets into such farcical situations that even adults have to laugh at the way she misinterprets even the most simple directions. Children love to laugh and be silly, so seeing you getting in on the giggles with them is sure to make you feel more connected.
9. 'The Boxcar Children' by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Though The Boxcar Children is a bit on the older side, I have such fond memories of reading these book with my mother. Having gone through periods of homelessness ourselves, a story that showed home is about family, not a house, strengthened my bond with my mom.
10. 'Harold and The Purple Crayon' by Crockett Johnson
Who wouldn't want a magical purple crayon that could being anything you drew to life? Exploring a world of fantasy and whimsy, Harold and the Purple Crayon is the perfect silly story to share with your child.
11. 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' by Judith Viorst
One of the things I love most about books is that you can resolve issues without really having to force a discussion. So by reading a book about a boy having a decidedly bad day — i.e. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — you can indirectly connect with your child about any negative feeling they have and help them articulate their emotions.
12. 'Are You My Mother?' by Dr. Seuss
It's right there in the title, isn't it. Are You My Mother? was the first story my husband and I bought for our son, and he's about worn the spine out with our multiple bedtime readings. Though the story line is simple, it celebrates the bond between parent and child beautifully.
13. 'Alice's Adventures In Wonderland' by Lewis Caroll
A bit trippy, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland can be a fun way to ignite your child's imagination. The best part? The story seems to get even better with age.
14. 'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White
What can I say? I'm a sucker for books about animals. A poignant story about farm animals and a very special spider, Charlotte's Web is guaranteed to strengthen your relationship with your child.
15. 'Love You Forever' — Robert Munsch
This book has gotten a lot of critique over the years because it can seem a bit odd in parts. In reality, Love You Forever delicately illustrates the undying love a parent has for their child and how roles can switch as time moves forward.