Written by Tammy Zack, Reading Resource Teacher
Every adult I know has at least one favorite book — the book that stirs their soul and they tell everyone who loves books, or even likes them, about it.
Lester Laminack is a brilliant children's author who has created and uses his list of top ten favorite books to inspire writing, teach reading and enjoy the language and experience of reading aloud. He uses these books over and over again. He has inspired me to use his top ten with the students I teach.
The challenge I present to you is to create your own top 10 favorites list. Sharing that list with your child will share your excitement and your own interest in reading. Even if your favorite thing to read is the newspaper, this is still a great way to encourage reading and raise a reader.
Encourage your child to make their own top ten favorites list as well. Put copies of these 10 favorite books in a special bookshelf or space so you can revisit them over and over. The list is a great reference when you need a gift for a little person for a birthday or other holiday as well.
Sharing books every day with children helps them to become an independent reader. Encourage your child to tell about these books because it is a great way for them to increase their comprehension, or understanding of a book. If they can tell someone else about the book, then they understand it.
Talking about books also increases the vocabulary of the reader. Vocabulary is an important part of the process of reading proficiently. The more words you know, the more you can comprehend a text.
Speaking in full sentences and encouraging your child to talk with colorful and interesting language about the book will help them in their journey to be lifelong readers.
Reread these favorites over and over. Children love to hear their favorite stories over and over. Sometimes during the following readings the children notice something that was previously missed.
Books can be expensive, so be sure to use the library. The librarians also can help you find other authors that you might like based on your favorite list. Many authors have several books they have written, some more well-known than others. The book orders through school also are more cost-efficient ways to build a personal library, as are garage sales.
If your child is into art, then create a list of favorite books based on the illustrators. Many illustrators have distinct styles. Two examples are Jan Brett and Chris Raschka. Many illustrators create pictures for a variety of authors, and your child may find their way to an all new author.
As I always tell my students, I do not ask them to write anything that I am not willing to write myself. So to inspire you here is my list of top ten favorite books. Some I love for the story, some I love for the dynamic words ... hopefully there is a new one for you.
- "Saturdays and Teacakes" by Lester Laminack
- "Take Me Out of the Bathtub and other silly dilly songs" by Alan Katz
- "All the Places to Love" by Patricia MacLachlan
- "The Mitten" by Jan Brett
- "Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon
- "Alice the Fairy" by David Shannon
- "Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson
- "The Great Gracie Chase Stop that Dog!" By Cynthia Rylant
- "How I Became a Pirate" by Melinda Long
- "The Black Book of Colors" by Menena Cottin
- Bonus: "Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge" by Mem Fox
Happy reading and rereading!