My three favourite books

One of the things I love most about being a mom is spending time with my children reading to them. To foster their love of reading is amazing. If I catch either of my boys with a book in their hands, I sit back and watch them as they look at the pictures, turn the pages, and get lost in the story. I'm an avid reader myself, a lover of books, and it brings me great joy to read to my children - it's one of the most important things you can do as a parent.

My home looks like a library because I buy books all the time. I think a house filled with books makes it a 'home'. I love knowing that my son's bookcases are filled with all kinds of books. And it's money well spent, too. Sure, we do frequent the library, but I love to own the books we love. Books are something that will never lose value.

There are a few books that are truly special to me, books I can barely read to my boys because I always end up crying and having to wipe away my tears.

The books that I hope my children will enjoy reading when they're older, when they can fully grasp the meaning behind them, and when they have their own children, are:

The Giving Tree
Love You Forever

Someday is a book by Alison McGhee. I first saw this book in the bookstore over a year ago, and I picked it up and started to read it. I instantly started to cry. I put the book down. Every time I was in the bookstore, I'd pick it up, read it again, and cry. I finally bought the book. I was torn, though - I didn't know if I should buy two copies or just one because I want my children to take this book when they're older to pass it on to their children, too. If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it. I am warning you, though - you will have tears streaking down your face, so make sure to have a few tissues handy!

An excerpt from Someday:

"One day, I counted your fingers and kissed each one.
One day, the first snowflakes fell, and I held you up and watched them melt on your baby skin.
One day, we crossed the street and you held my hand tight. Then, you were my baby, and now you are my child. Sometimes when you sleep, I watch you dream, and I dream, too."

And it keeps getting better. It's the most beautiful book I've ever read. The author perfectly captured with words and emotion how a mother feels about her child. It's a book to cherish.

During an interview with the author, Alison McGhee said: "...once you have a baby, you're filled with that overwhelming love. And you're also filled with fear all the time, because you love something so much. And maybe it was a way for me to understand what John Keats' called negative capability - that ability to hold contradictory thoughts in your mind simultaneously. You know, I love this child more than anything and I want to keep this child safe. In order to keep this child safe, this child needs the strength to go live her own life fearlessly."

Well said, wouldn't you agree? It is a book that will pull on your heart strings, but perhaps not a book to read to very young children.

The book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is a classic. I remember reading this book when I was young, probably in grade 4 or 5. My son received this book for his birthday last year, and I recently started reading it to him. The Giving Tree is about a little boy and his relationship with a tree. A tree that for years provides him with a place to sit, apples to eat, branches to swing from, and more. As the boy gets older, he needs the tree less... and as the boy gets older, so does the tree, until the tree feels he can offer nothing more to the boy. This book shows how life goes from being innocent and easy to more challenging and hard. It's a truly touching book, one that everyone should own because it tells a beautiful story with a beautiful message.

Of course, if you're a mom, you probably already own Love You Forever. I bought this for my oldest son for his first Christmas, and I have a hard time reading it without getting teary. You probably know this off by heart:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

My 4 year old likes me reading this book to him now. He especially likes the part when the little boys make a big mess in the bathroom... because it's something he can totally relate to!

These are the three books I think everyone should have in their home 'library', because these books are beautifully written stories and classics that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Do you have a special book you will always cherish or a book you love sharing with your child?
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Denise Nielsen said...

Good choices, all. We love books too, and the way you describe what it is to watch your children read captures exactly how I feel about it.

Mommy Lisa said...

Okay - are you TRYING to make me cry already this morning?

I cannot even read Love You Forever without crying!!!

I like those and,

Goodnight Moon
Guess How Much I Love You

& Brown Bear, Brown Bear - is pretty fun too. We do voices!

Lady Mama said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I don't have any of those books. But I, like you, feel that books make a home a home - I love owning lots of them too.

Chandra said...

Great topic! There are sooo many books that I love to read with my kids but it's hard to narrow it down to just a few! It's the one item that I do not mind buying for my kids!

These were wonderful choices and makes me want to go home and read to my kids right now!

Managed Chaos said...

Love You Forever is my favorite childrens book too (it was a gift from my Mom after my son was born).

Tiaras said...

The Giving Tree- so my favorite! I have made it my kids favorite b/c of my love for this book!!

Krystyn said...

Those are some good ones.

I really like Where the wild things are...not emotional or special, just a favorite through the generations.

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

We have Someday, but not the others. That book made me bawl my eyes out when I first read it!
Our favorites are the Big Red Barn, Goodnight Gorilla, and Guess how much I Love You.

Burgh Baby said...

Great choices! It's hard to disagree with any of them, but I would love to add Knuffle Bunny as #4. LOVE that book in our house.

Amy said...

We don't have "Someday". I've never heard of it, actually. Has it just been that long since I've shopped for hew books? Gatineau Value Village has a surprisingly amazing selection of english books. I've found so many classics there recently that I haven't stepped foot in a Chapters for MONTHS. Seriously, I've found tons of Eric Carle, "Where the Wild Things Are", lots of Munch, and so much more... and you can't beat the price! I'll have to keep my eyes open for "Someday".

CaraBee said...

I have only heard of the Giving Tree, which I loved as a child. So far, my daughter has not shown much interest in sitting down to read books, not for lack of trying on my part. She just has too much to do to be bothered to sit still for that long. I hope she'll come around, though, because I love reading and I want her to know the joy of a good book.

Anonymous said...

I love Someday and of course Love You Forever. But believe it or not I have never read The Giving Tree. I clearly need to get on that.

We love 'Ish' and 'The Dot', written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. He's also the illustrator of 'Someday'. The books are about creativity, and they're our very favourites, for sure.

Marinka said...

I can't stand I Love You Forever. Seriously, if I married some guy who's carrying his mother around...

But you know me--cranky.

inquisitivesensitive said...

Just thinking about the "I Love You Forever" book is making me tear up. I cry every time I read that book because it brings up memories of my mom reading it to me as a child. I will definitely be buying that for my children in the future.

I will check out the 2 other books, both of which I have not read. I am in a children's language and literature class and am learning so much about types of books, appropriate choices, and how to spot quality. Thanks for giving me more to explore!


Anonymous said...

I honestly find 'Love You Forever' kind of creepy. If I had to pick a few "classics" (for younger kids) in our house, I'd say:

Where The Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
Just For You (Mercer Mayer)
The Bears' Picnic (Stan & Jan Berenstain)
Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)

I don't tend to like sappy books much. I don't find they engage my kids and I don't enjoy reading them. My boys get enough schmulz directly from me. ;)

I like to see them get excited about their books and these are four that were frequent bedtime choices by both of my boys.

Rebecca said...

I love Someday. It was a gift to me from my daughter (who was only 3 mths old at the time) on Mother's Day. My husband has wonderful taste.

I cried. It's so sweet.

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I've got all three of those books - but I adore The Giving Tree the best. Shel Silverstein is just the best. I love books, and especially children's books. I started buying them YEARS ago, way before I was even married, because I knew I wanted my kids to be readers and to love reading. Thankfully they do.

Nap Warden said...

Oh...The Giving Tree...that one gets me every time *tear*

Betsy Mae said...

You named two of my favs Someday and Love you Forever. Someday was on a discount table at Chapters and I picked it up having no idea what it would be about. I sobbed and couldn't get through it the first girls refuse to read it with me, only with their Dad or alone!!!! It's beautiful. Love You Forever is one we all know by heart and tell without the book in hand. Have you heard Robert Munsch sing the 'I'll love you forever..' part? We sing daily and my girls have never fallen asleep without hearing it. I will email you something else special about that story but I'd prefer not to comment here about it.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Good choices. I love so many, many different books that I'd have a hard time choosing just 3. I have 2 of your three though!

That Girl39 said...

What beautiful books Loukia! I'd heard of the other two but not Someday... made me weepy just reading that little bit! I remember seeing Love You Forever read by Joey on Friends on Emma's birthday and thinking it was beautiful then! Am off to see if I can get them in UK on Amazon.. these are definitely going on SC's Xmas list. Like you, I love the fact that she enjoys books, I so want her to be a book worm growing up like I was! x

Anonymous said...

I've never read Someday. I'll have to put that on the list to pick up on my next bookstore trip.

Julie said...

OMG, can't read I Love you Forever. I cry every single time.

Brenda @ottawamom said...

Good Night Moon and Guess How Much I Love You are favourites in our house and I still can't get through Love You Forever without crying!

Will definitely have to put your other two suggestions on my next Chapters shopping list. Love getting books for my kids and catching them 'reading them'.

Jen said...

I still can't get through Love you Forever without crying, LOL and the lines from Someday made me cry too!! I'll have to check it, and the Giving Tree, out for sure!