I’ve always heard that reading to your baby in utero has benefits beyond the emotional bond you can create with your baby, but I’m going to skip past all that mumbo jumbo and give you a peek into my personal library. I’ll admit, I didn’t read much to my bump during pregnancy, but as my babies began to sit and enjoy looking at the pictures, these are the books that I loved. The best part is some of them I remember my own parents reading to me when I was little.
1. Goodnight Moon. This all-time classic by Margaret Wise Brown opens with a sweet bunny tucking into bed and saying goodnight to everything in the room. The words are running through my head as I type this, and it soothes me as much as it calms my kids. If you’ve never given them the task to locate the little mouse on each page, it’s a fun extra activity as you enjoy a bedtime book. Bonus: If you have older children, my kids loved reading the Goodnight Moon parody, Goodnight iPad. (Yes, it’s worth buying!)
2. Love You Forever. I cried like a baby the first time I read this book. (We can blame it on the hormones or the brilliant writing of Robert Munsch.) This is a loving story about a mom who sings the same song to her son every night as she rocks him to sleep. Spoiler alert: At the end of the book, the grown man goes to rock his aging mother and sings the same song she sang to him all those years, returning to his home after to repeat the tradition to his own daughter. Hello tears. Here comes that lump in my throat again. Such a great book.
3. Pat the Bunny. A simple touch and feel book written by Dorothy Kunhardt, this is another one of those books I remember my parents reading to me. I helped Paul play peek-a-boo and Judy pat the bunny, and my favorite part was always trying on “Mummy’s ring” at the end. It brings back nothing but wonderful nostalgic memories of my childhood when sharing it with my children now. Oh, and it’s only eight pages long—win.
4. Guess How Much I Love You. This loving book talks about measuring how much a parent and child love each other, and no matter how much the child says they love the parent, the parent always loves them back more. My favorite thing in the entire world is knowing the kind of love that a first time parent is about to experience. You have no idea you can love something so much until you have a child. And kids, we do love you more.
5. Go the F**k to Sleep. Okay, so this one isn’t really to read to your child, but I had to include it, as it is one of my favorite parody books! Any parent that has ever tried to get their kids to sleep can completely relate to this brilliant book written by Adam Mansbach. The pages are beautifully illustrated, the words flow freely and if you have time, listen to the audio version by Samuel L. Jackson, I promise you will laugh as hard as I did!