Press your hands to your forehead, and squeeze your eyes shut, and think back to your childhood — not to the vault of lived memories — think back to the things you have read. What is the first book you remember loving? Was it a picture book, the one with brilliant colors and gentle rythms, that your mother read to you (day after day) at nap-time? Was it an adventure story you read cover to cover one summer afternoon, completely oblivious to the world around you.
Perhaps you cannot recall every detail of the plot, or recite passages of it by heart, be it Mother Goose, or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but the characters and places are so vivid to your mind that they may as well be sitting here with you, sharing a pot of tea. You may not even realize their influence on you. But, think back and you’ll still feel the jump in your heart at a tragic turn of events; you still laugh at the memory of a silly rhyme; and you can describe exactly how you imagined the bold young hero when you first met him. Such is the power of the books in shaping the mind and imagination of a child.
And there are thousands of wonderful books to read and share. Here at CIC Kids, we seek to highlight some of the best children’s books available — be it a silly board book, a thrilling adventure tale, a richly illustrated saint’s biography, or a well loved classic — thereby helping you cultivate in your children the rich imagination of a fertile and active mind.
Taking inspiration from the CIC’s Lifetime of Reading Plan, we have compiled new list of 100 Children’s books that serve as a starting point for building any child’s library. (And, honestly, they’re awful fun to dive into again as an adult.)
The list is necessarily limited, and biased, that is, it is based on our childhood favorites: 49 Chapter Books, ranging from Aesop to Sherlock Holmes to Winnie the Pooh; 24 picture books, from Moo Baa La La La, to Peter Rabbit, to Where the Wild Things Are; 4 collections of poetry — mostly silly, entirely wonderful. Lastly, we have included some of the best religious children’s books. These 23 titles are a starting point only; they include a number of beautifully illustrated bibles, as well as some of our favorite saint books. We’ll be sure to dedicate a considerable amount of time on reviewing other faith-centered books in the coming months.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive (how could it be!) but is a starting point for any parent looking to expand their children’s library. (Many homeschooling sites have more exhaustive lists that specifically focus on learning.)
Over the next few weeks we’ll be focusing primarily on Christmas and Religious books, in time for your holiday shopping. We’ll also round up some of the best books released in 2013, and offer a couple round-ups from the last few years that you might have missed.
Though vampires and war games get all the media attention, and though your local big-box bookstore often carries only beloved series and Disney spin-offs, there is, actually, a wonderful trend in Children’s book publishing to create beautiful, funny, interesting stories (picture books, especially) that will endure like the classics of our own childhood. We’re thrilled to be sharing these works with you (and can’t wait to hear your own recommendations as well).
Welcome to the world of wonder and whimsy; welcome to the halls of great kings, the meadows of adventurers, the quiet bedsides and firesides of children everywhere! Welcome to CIC Kids!