Dr. Seuss deserves more than a day dedicated to him. He showed the world that writing entertaining content is just as important when it comes to encouraging daily reading as having access to age appropriate books.
A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading to your child daily from infancy will help them develop key literacy, language and social skills they need to be successful in kindergarten. Only 1/ 3 of American children enter kindergarten with the language skills necessary to learn how to read. While the majority of these children come from low-income families – only 65% of middle and higher income children enter kindergarten prepared.
Manasi Gangan, founder of Nested Bean, is a firm believer that reading to your kids is a great way to unlock the mysteries of their minds. Bedtime reading is the best way to wind down with your kids. “I have raised two very hungry caterpillars, who love to read. Reading is rightfully called a gateway to the world, but for parents it is also a gateway into our children’s minds. I could tell if my child was an auditory learner or a visual learner, his sense of humor, capacity for facts, how he analyzed abstract topics or how his imagination stretched, what his interests were and if he was ready for the next topic. That helped me coach both my sons through their school year.” she says.
Dr. Seuss books, along with the other books on this list, resonate with both children and their parents, making reading time enjoyable and memorable for everyone.
Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose – Dr. Seuss
This heart-wrenching book is my favorite Seuss because it taught me about unconditional kindness as a toddler. It is also reminds me of my Mom. Thidwick is a moose that hosts forest animals in his antlers and teaches us that, “A host above all must be kind to his guests.” I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that it is a testament to Seuss’s mastery of incorporating complex concepts and difficult ideas.
Are You My Mother? – P.D. Eastman
Admit it! You might be rolling your eyes… but you’re also smiling! "Are You My Mother?" is ideal for introducing reading to young children because the story is simple and the words are repetitive. Moms love it because it can lead to games of “Who's YOUR mother?” and lots of giggling and kisses.
When we read to our babies in bed they feel comfortable and safe. This allows them to let their guard down and for the two of you to bond and grow together.
Love You Forever- Robert Munsch
I dare anyone to read "I Love You Forever" start to finish without crying. Showing the relationship between child and mother and how it changes over time, this classic provides a lens on the importance of this first relationship in a child’s life.
Books like this, which focus on emotions, help babies and young children learn to express their emotions using words.
Daily reading does not only aid in your baby’s emotional development it can also reduce stress in your life. Having a daily “calm-time” can help you appreciate the present and remember the big picture that we forget when we are caught up in daily life.
Run Away Bunny - Margaret Wise Brown
No mother wants to think about the day that her kid leaves home for good. We know that the end goal is independence – but we don’t want to stop being needed. The Runaway Bunny reminds us that the unconditional love, dedication and consistency of parenthood is as essential to wellbeing as food and shelter.
Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
A Mama bird adopts orphaned Stellaluna and together they teach us acceptance and adaptation in adversity.
Sleep Book – Dr. Seuss
Van Vleck, a very small bug, is getting sleepy, and his yawn - contagious as yawns are - sets off a chain reaction, making all those around him feel sleepy too! This charming ode to bedtime will lull listeners (and readers) toward dreamland. Zzzz.
Books open our imagination, they challenge us to see from a different perspective and teach us the importance of being together. When we make reading with our babies and children a daily ritual we help them develop the complex emotional and social skills they need to be successful.
Happy reading everyone!