There are a thousand books that I have loved down through the years as a father reading together with my daughters, but this list (in no particular order) represents those works that changed something within us and so often caused us to keep reading beyond our normal one-chapter limit before bedtime. These are the books that I think of without looking in the book room to remember them. As I type their titles here below, I am immediately transported to the moments I was reading them with the girls, wondering what in the world was going to happen next and hoping they were half as excited as I was about the title of the next chapter or the illustration on the next page (and they were, most of the time). I love them for allowing me to read to them.
1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett – another world and cool weather!
2. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis – how it all began and from where that wardrobe came!
3. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – our first chapter book together and better than the wonderful movie we know so well!
4. Doll People by Brian Selznick – before Toy Story, there was this gem!
5. Psalm 139 (that’s right, this is in the Old Testament of the Bible)
-good medicine when it has been a tough day at school!
6. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl – a dad who loves his son and proves it every day!
7. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – an invention and old movies and a yearning to know your past!
8. The Meanest Doll in the World by Brian Selznick
– toys come to life and make one of the best to read aloud!
9. The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo – a short novel that packs a profound punch!
10. Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles – only one word: wow! You’ll never forget it!
11. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis – more hope packed into this story than you can even imagine! Dragons included!
12. A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni – simply powerful for its friendship!
13. Here I Am by Patti Kim – a book without words about life in a new country, and that says more than a dozen books with words!
14. Snot Stew by Bill Wallace – laugh out loud funny from start to finish!