1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>
Thursday, 14 September 2000

Books to Grow On

Written by  Esther Boylan Wolfson

Rate this item
(0 votes)

A word about book recommendations:

The age at which a child can benefit from a book varies. Some children have the patience to listen to actual stories by age two, while others do not develop this ability until later.

In addition, a child's understanding and ability to learn from different kinds of material grows as he does. In giving age recommendations, I tried to consider when it is worthwhile to start reading a book to your child. This does not mean that this is the optimal age for a child to appreciate the book or that one should stop reading this book when your child is older.

A book such as Anno's Counting Book, for example, is listed under age two. Age two is much too young to expect a child to learn to count up to 12. However, the spectacular pictures in this book, combined with the fact that a two-year-old can start to learn to count by rote, made me feel that age two is a good time to "start" to read this book.

Keep in mind that this is a list of recommended books, but every child has his own preferences. While many children enjoy the books listed below, you should let your child guide you. If he does not enjoy a particular book, choose a different one.


1. Pat the Bunny
By: Edith Kunhardt Davies
Golden Books, 1976
Ages: Six months and up

A great inter-active first book. Allows children to use their senses through activities such as patting a bunny, smelling flowers and looking in the mirror.

2. Where's Spot?
By: Eric Hill
Publisher: Penguin USA, 1994
Ages: Six months and up
A mother looks for her missing puppy. Children can pull up the flaps to find a variety of basic objects. Lots of fun.

3. Goodnight Moon
By: Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1991
Ages: Six months and up

This book is worthy of being every child's first good night book. The narrator gently wishes a good night to a room and all it's contents.

4. Mother Goose, A Treasury of Best Loved Rhymes
Edited by: Watty Piper, Illustrated by Tim and Greg Hildebrandt
Ages: Six months and up

It is never too early to start reading classic nursery rhymes. Here is one beautiful edition that is now out of print. It can still be purchased from the out-of-print section of on-line stores and can certainly be found in libraries. This is only one of many beautiful collections. Go to a bookstore or a library and choose a classic Mother Goose selection for your child. You can't go wrong.

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See
By: Bill Martin Jr., Illustrated by Eric Carle
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, 1996
Ages: One and up

This rhyming book is a great introduction to animals and colors.

6. Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear What do I wear?
By: Nancy White Carlstrom, Illustrated by Bruce Degan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, 1996
Ages: One and up

A rhyming book that describes a day in the life of a young bear.

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By: Eric Carle
Publisher: Philomel Books a division of The Putman & Gosset Group, 1987
Ages: Two and up

The book describes the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Includes beautiful pictures and a unique format with different sized pages. Particularly appealing to young children.

8. The Runaway Bunny
By: Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1991
Ages: Two and up

A beautiful story about the devotion of a mother to her child.

9. Are You My Mother?
By: P.D. Eastman
Publisher: Random House Inc., 1998
Ages: Two and up

A young bird checks out all different kinds of animals and objects in the search for his mother.

10. Little Bear
By: Else Holmelund Minarik, Illustrator Maurice Sendak
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1978
Ages: Two and up

A little bear goes on imaginative adventures with the help and encouragement of his patient mother.

11. Anno's Counting Book
By: Mitsumasa Anno
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, July 1986

A stunning counting book that allows children to learn to count through vivid portraits of nature. The pictures are of such quality that children ages two until eight are captivated.

12. The Little Engine That Could
By: Watty Piper, Illustrated by George and Doris Hauman
Publisher: Platt &Munk Publishers, 1976
Ages: Three and up

A story about how perseverance and hard work are more important than size and strength.

13. Where the Wild Things Are
By: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1984
Ages: Three and up

The adventures of Max, who behaves wildly and is, sent to bed without any supper.

14. Corduroy
By: Don Freeman
Publisher: Penguin USA, 1976
Ages: Three and up

The story of a bear named Corduroy, who goes on a search for his button and for a home.

15. Caps for Sale
By: Esphyr Slobodkina
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books June, 1987
Ages: Three and up

A great story about a peddler, monkeys and caps. Helps develop imitation skills.

16. Frederick
By: Leo Lionni
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973
Ages: Three and up

Frederick the mouse stores sunshine and colors while his family prepares food provisions for the winter. A story about the importance of imagination and the need for appreciating not only life's necessities, but also life's joys.

17. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
By: Judith Viorst, Illustrated by Ray Cruz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's, 1976
Ages: Four and up

A great book for those days when your preschooler simply can't do anything right. Here's a story about a boy whose day goes all-wrong and how his mother reassures him.

18. Doctor De Soto
By: William Steig
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc., 1990
Ages: Four and up

A dentist, who is also a mouse and his wife, outsmart their patient - a fox.

19. Bread and Jam for Frances
By: Russell Hoban, Illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Publisher: Harper Colllins Children's Books, 1986
Ages: Four and up

If you have a child who always wants to eat the same thing, this is the book for her. A story about a girl who only wants to eat bread and jam and how her mother helps her to try new foods.

20. The Giving Tree
By: Shel Silvestein
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books, Feb. 1986
Ages: Four and up

A tree shows his love for a boy by slowly giving him parts of himself. There is no better book to teach children about the value, joy, and sacrifice involved in giving to others.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:33
Did You Like This? SHARE IT NOW!

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.

Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Wolfson , director of our Early Childhood Development Center is an Early Childhood Specialist, who received her BA in English Communications from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University and an MA in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, both in New York City. Esther worked as a pre-school special education teacher for seven years. Three of those years were spent working in a school for language delayed pre-schoolers, which is her area of specialty. Another special love of hers is cooking with young children. One of her most enjoyable projects was developing a program for cooking with pre-school children for three special education programs. Esther and her husband Myles have three boys aged eight, five and two-years-old. While her three lively boys and her work at WholeFamily, keep her quite busy, in her spare time (if she ever has any!) she is an avid reader who also enjoys creative writing, exercising and swimming.

J-Town Internet Site Design