When you stop to think about how many books have been written throughout the years, it can be…overwhelming to say the least!
On one hand, it is incredible to know that there have been so many stories told and recorded throughout the centuries. But on the other hand, it can feel crushingly overwhelming when you think about directing your children through this literary maze.
How do you help them find books that will capture their interest? How can you point them in the right direction to help them develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime?
It’s not an easy task! And, just to make it more complex, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Each child is different. Each one has different tastes in what they read. Each child has their own unique favorite books and stories.
But just because there is no perfect one-size-fits-all answer doesn’t mean we can’t compare favorite titles and suggest books to each other! In fact, this constant book sharing has been how my family has found some of our favorite books.
So, in the interest of sharing some of our favorite books with you, I sat down with my 7-year-old to find out which books were on her list of favorites. And here they are…
Books I Like To Read On My Own…
Fancy Nancy Easy Readers…or any Easy Readers!
Easy reader books are a secret weapon in finding books for your child to read! And the best part about this series is that you can find easy reader stories starring so many different storybook characters! Some of our favorites are Biscuit the Pup, Fancy Nancy, and Amelia Bedelia.
There is one thing about the easy readers, though. Even though they are written for children just learning to read and advancing through the levels of reading, there is no strategy behind the words chosen in these books. In other words, just because they are easy readers doesn’t mean that one book will focus on one concept. You would do well to read these books alongside your child in case they hit a few words that they can’t understand or sound out!
And if Amelia Bedelia or Fancy Nancy isn’t your child’s favorite, don’t worry! Easy Reader books cover a wide range of subjects from cars and dinosaurs to princesses and fairy tales to animals and nature. There’s sure to be something to delight your child!
Dr Seuss Books
Some people are scared to create something new. Some people are afraid to play around with language and words and see where it takes them. Some people do not have the courage to begin…
Dr Seuss stands up in this midst of all this indecision and loudly declares in each of his books that he loves to play with language! Truly, who else but a man who is unafraid to play with words could come up with such memorable characters as a “Zans who opens cans” or a “Zelf on the shelf” or a “Nook Gase in my book case”?
There is something about a book with rhythm and rhyme that captures your attention, that draws you in, that imprints itself indelibly on your mind to the point where you want to keep coming back to it over and over again.
Dr Seuss is a master of rhyming words and exploring word families. You can almost hear him having fun as he plays with the different words to find the right pair that will tell the story in an engaging way.
And the best part of all? Dr Seuss’ books are downright fun to read and will have you coming back to them over and over again!
Fancy Nancy Book Series
By Jane O’Connor
What do you get when you take gorgeous dress up clothes and glamorous jewels, add in some fabulous French flair, and a good dose of imagination alongside everyday events? Why, Fancy Nancy, of course!
You see, Nancy is a young girl with a big imagination. There is something about big imaginations that endears readers to characters, that draws you in and creates a love for the character. They have this way of working their way into your heart and making themselves unforgettable.
Fancy Nancy is a young girl who has risen to take her rightful place in the halls of imagination alongside these wonderful characters. Nancy has a knack for taking something simple and, with the help of some extravagant dress up clothes, some sparkling personality, and a dose of imagination, elevates it into something divine.
Her adventures come in easy-to-read books (both Easy Readers and picture books) and encourage the readers to be uniquely themselves just as Nancy is free to be completely herself. If you’ve never read her stories, choose one from the shelves of your library and see just how special this young girl is!
Adventures with Bella & Harry
By Lisa Manzione
What could be better than exploring the world through the eyes of two cute puppies? Bella and Harry, two traveling Chihuahuas, take you along for incredible adventures as they explore the wold with their human families.
But these books aren’t just fluff and pictures! And while you will get to see pictures of amazing places, you’ll also learn a lot about the different cities and landmarks as Bella and Harry share what they’ve learned with each other.
The best part of all is that you’ll hardly realize you’re learning! As you explore with these two fun-loving pups, you’ll experience wonder and amazement through their eyes…and if you’re imagination is really good, you just might be able to taste the yummy local meals they enjoy, too!
So far, Bella and Harry have explored places like Paris, London, Cairo, Athens, Vancouver, Machu Picchu, and Istanbul along with many more. And their traveling isn’t done! Author Lisa Manzione is still creating and writing about incredible new adventures.
By Stan and Jan Berenstain
Come and join the Bear family who live in a tree house down a sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country. This tight-knit family of Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear (and later adding in baby sister Honey Bear) engages and teaches children through their everyday lives.
As you get to know the Bear family, you’ll realize that they’re not all that different from you and me. They go through struggles with wanting things they can’t have and learning to deal with different situations like Mama going back to work or dealing with kids being mean to other kids or what to do when your room gets so messy you can’t walk in it or how to overcome bad dreams.
But one of the truly magical things about the Bear family is that they don’t shrink away from these challenges. They don’t ignore them. Instead, in each and every book, they work together to discover the problem, and resolve it. They don’t shove things under the rug, they deal with the issue and learn from it before moving on.
But before you start thinking that these books are all lessons and boring, don’t forget that these books are written about a Bear family – and they always make you smile and laugh as you read!
By Dav Pilkey
Personally, I’ve never been much of a fan of graphic novels. But if there were any graphic novels that could change my mind, the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey would be the one to do it!
This fun and silly book series starts out in a rather ridiculous way as a police dog and a police man are merged to form the one character of Dog Man. In each book, they go on to solve crime, save the world from the wild schemes of Petey the Cat and crack lots of jokes along the way.
And while this 10-book series is most obviously a fantasy series that could never truly happen in real life, it draws children in to see what happens next with the delightful illustrations and silly antics of the characters.
In the words of Harmony,* “These books are fun and silly and entertaining to read. But most of all, they’re silly!”
Cat Kid Comic Club
By Dav Pilkey
Picking up the story line after the Dog Man series finishes, the Cat Kid Comic Club follows the story of Lil’ Petey, a cat you meet in the Dog Man series. In this entertaining 4-book series (so far!), Lil’ Petey’s main goal is to teach frogs how to write comic books.
The stories that make up this fun series are sure to delight and enthrall your child. Watching Lil’ Petey learn how to teach others – who don’t always listen to what he says – and figure out how to achieve his goals will entertain your child while teaching them that sometimes achieving your goals isn’t without it’s challenges!
BOOKS I LOVE TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE READ TO ME
The Chronicles of Narnia
By C.S. Lewis
The world of Narnia is one that calls to you: Inviting everyone of all ages to come and experience the adventure, the wonder, and the joy that is found in this enchanting world created by CS Lewis.
Now, these books might still be a bit beyond your 7-year-old’s reading comfort level, but the beauty of Narnia also lies in its simplicity. Just because your child might not be ready to read the Chronicles of Narnia on their own doesn’t mean they can’t listen to you reading these books and enjoy the world of Narnia.
Setting aside the benefits of spending time together and allowing your children to hear you read out loud, Narnia itself is worth exploring. It is a world filled with adventure and wonder, mistakes and lessons, excitement and forgiveness. And what could be better than animals being able to talk with humans?
…or any of Roald Dahl’s books!
As you guide your child through the adventure of reading, who could be a better example and inspiration than Matilda, the child who reads Charles Dickens’ books at age 5? And while most children aren’t left on their own to go find the library to entertain themselves – or read as much as Matilda at her age! – Matilda is a completely relatable character that we can all learn from.
You see, even though Matilda faces many struggles in her life, she also approaches many things with humor and a positive attitude. And watching Matilda face her many challenges with a dose of spunk and a bit of magic along the way, can remind us all to face the challenges that life throws at us with a positive attitude.
If you’ve never taken the time to read Matilda’s story as told by the master storyteller, Roald Dahl, I encourage you to grab a copy from the shelf of your local library and enjoy it with your child! And while you’re at it, check out Roald Dahl’s other books. Each one is a gem and worth enjoying – no matter how old you are!
National Park Mystery Series
By Mary Morgan
When you first meet twins Ben & Becca through the pages of the National Park Mystery Series books, you think they’re pretty typical kids. But the more you read, the more you realize that these kids are more than they appear.
Ben and Becca love to travel around the country, visiting many different National Parks with their mom and dad. But somehow, they always end up in the middle of some sort of mystery wherever they are.
One thing that is so amazing about these mystery books is that they are written for younger children. You can see how Ben and Becca work to figure out the mystery and follow the clues, but the way these books are written also gives your children the opportunity to try and figure things out along the way with the twins.
On top of that, you get a front row seat to some of the most interesting and intriguing information about some of the beautiful National Parks in our country! Becca makes sure that you know what you’re looking at with her tidbits of information thrown in throughout the books!
And while these books are too hard for a beginning reader to pick up and work through themselves, they are super easy to follow along and enjoy when you turn these incredible books into a read-aloud. They’re sure to be a hit for the whole family!
Bindi’s Wildlife Adventures
By Bindi Irwin
What could be better than traveling around the world to explore new places and meet incredible creatures up close and personal? What about solving mysteries or saving animals from being hurt along the way?
Join Bindi Irwin, her brother Robert, and many different friends in this amazing 20-book series that will have you traveling the world and learning all about animals without realizing you’re learning. From helping to rescue kangaroos and koalas from bush fires in Australia to playing with baby tigers in Indonesia to helping save rhinos and rare antelopes from poachers in South Africa, you’ll never forget the adventures you get to join in this incredible book series!
Dream Travelers Quest
By Ted Dekker and Kara Dekker
Meet Theo, one of the most unlikely heroes you’ll every encounter. Theo desperately wants to be invisible, to not make waves, and just to fly under the radar in everything he does. You see, Theo is afraid. He’s alone. He is paralyzed by his fear. And that, more than anything, makes him afraid to do anything.
But one day, everything changes. Theo finds himself pulled into another reality where things are not how he imagined they would be. And before he knows exactly what is happening, Theo is set on a quest to find the Five Seals of Truth.
As you travel with Theo in this epic adventure, you’ll encounter and overcome obstacles, enemies, fears, and more as he embarks on a quest to find out who he is – who he really is.
This remarkable story, told in 4 chapter books, will leave you on the edge of your seat, and bring you along on a journey you’ll never forget as you watch Theo struggle to break free from the fear that has held him back for so long.
Travels with Gannon & Wyatt
By Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet
Come along with twins, Gannon and Wyatt, as they explore the world through the eyes of an explorer. Written in the style of a travel journal (think David Livingstone or Lewis and Clark), these brothers will take you to all corners of the globe without even leaving your favorite armchair.
But the most remarkable part of this series isn’t the places where Gannon and Wyatt have travelled – although they have traveled far and wide! Ireland, Egypt, Botswana, Australia, Greenland, and the Great Bear Rainforest are just a few places you can travel with them.
The most remarkable part of this series is how you get to explore different places through the eyes of two different people with two different perspectives. You see, Gannon loves the people and the culture and the language of all the places they visit. Wyatt focuses in more on the science, the land formations, and how the environment plays a role in the people’s lives.
As a result, you get to experience the adventure of a lifetime while exploring places you might never be able to go yourself, all while learning incredible information about our world.
The Final Chapter
So now that you’ve checked out this list of Harmony’s* favorite books, only one question remains:
Which one will you read first?
- How to Make Reading Fun and Interesting
- Dr Seuss: Rising to the Rhyming Challenge
- The Fabulous Flair and Fun that is Fancy Nancy
- The World of Narnia and the Lessons to be Learned There
- Roald Dahl: Finding Extraordinary in the Ordinary
- Adventures and Mystery Await in the National Parks
- Animal Adventures Around the World with Bindi’s Wildlife Adventures
- Epic Travel Adventures for You to Explore: Travels with Gannon & Wyatt
*While the children and their opinions are real, their names have been changed to a favorite book character of their choice.
Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.